Andy Lucchesi’s arrival at HomeWorld Business intersected with a particularly poignant moment in my life.
My father passed away in November 1998, a couple of days before Andy’s debut as associate publisher of HomeWorld (after 19 years with HFN) at an industry reception inside New York City’s Plaza Hotel. I was unable to attend the reception, of course.
It was coincidence that Andy stepped into my life just as I lost my most valued advisor and advocate. It is no coincidence that in the 14 years since, I have come to appreciate Andy as a trusted advisor and advocate.
I can’t help but reflect on this as Andy prepares to move on from HomeWorld Business and sister publication Gourmet Insider later this month.
While Andy, who has started a consultancy, is not retiring altogether from business, this nonetheless is a moment to celebrate a career. Yet, to recognize Andy’s achievement in advertising sales and publishing without a nod to the integrity and affability behind his success would be a disservice.
Decades of advertising contracts aren’t the only keepsakes of a publishing career Andy has defined by cultivating attentive and helpful relationships. He has helped grow businesses while cementing many friendships with his genuine zest to get to know the companies and the people with which he interacts— whether a colleague, a long-time customer or a new prospect.
Getting to know Andy, meanwhile, has been a reward to so many in the housewares industry whose paths he has crossed.
To have had the chance to spend time with Andy away from the daily grind is to have had the pleasure of listening to him recount his pre-publishing adventures as a small appliance marketing and sales manager. There was the time he entertained Olympic gold medalist swimmer Mark Spitz. And the time he helped introduce the world to a model named Farrah Fawcett who had yet to be courted by the Six Million Dollar Man or Charlie.
Today, he’s just as likely to beam about his family and the delightful surprises of grandparenthood.
There will be much to miss about Andy: that unbridled laugh of his that cracks up everyone; how he prepares meticulously for meetings with pages of handwritten notes on yellow legal paper; and how he starts or finishes narratives with, “true story,” as if anyone would ever doubt the man.
What I’ll miss the most about Andy is our frequent chats about housewares, business, life, family, the Mets, egg creams, whatever.
Andy worked for the competition before he joined HomeWorld Business. But he was a competitor you couldn’t help but admire. It has been a real advantage to have him on our side the past 14 years.
I’ve learned plenty from Andy Lucchesi. He has made a difference to me, to HomeWorld Business and to the housewares industry.
I couldn’t attend the reception that marked Andy’s arrival at HomeWorld in November 1998. I wouldn’t miss this chance to tell him thanks, so long and good luck.
I know my father would have appreciated Andy, too.