Cover Story

This Just in: The Secret is ‘Be Nice’

Nordstrom celebrates its 100-year-old employee

by Eddie Rivera, Editor, Living Section
Published: Friday, December 27, 2013 | 8:39 PM

Ted DiNunzio, official greeter at Nordstrom Santa Anita Fashion Park, celebrates his 100th birthday.

Ted DiNunzio, official greeter you may seen countless times at Nordstrom Santa Anita Fashion Park, never wants to quit working. Literally. Along with store manager Marcille Hughes, his son Bob and granddaughter Jill Marie, DiNunzio celebrated his 100th birthday with hundreds more friends and customers from the Nordstrom family.

DiNunzio is the only greeter in the Nordstrom chain, in fact, and he’s been doing that job since he was 86.

As proud and happy customers lined up for cupcakes and a chance to have their photos taken with him, Ted smiled and described his Nordstrom years as “The greatest 14 years I’ve ever enjoyed working.  I don’t expect to ever retire. I’ll just keep going until I can no longer work.”

“Ted inspires others, he creates an environment that’s welcoming and fun,” said store manager Hughes. “He has a belief that you need to treat people with kindness and a smile. It works for him and works for all of us around him. He truly brightens everyone’s day.”

“He always has a happy heart,” said his niece, Alberta Tellez. “He just believes that if you start every day with a smile, you’re just always going to feel good within, and you’re going to bring that out in others.”

“I’ve made so many friends here, thousands of them,” added the dapper and eloquent DiNunzio. “People from all over the world.”

DiNunzio was born in Italy in 1913, then moved to Providence, Rhode Island in 1954 before moving to California, and finally settling in Burbank, then Pasadena. Before Nordstrom, he enjoyed a long career as a butcher at Highland Meat Packing Company in Hollywood, where he met scores of famous actors and actresses. He has worked at Nordstrom every Friday and Saturday for the past 14 years.

And yes, he eventually confided his secret of longevity to us: “Have faith and be positive,” says DiNunzio. “Always be nice to people. I say ‘Hello’ to everyone.”

So far, so good.

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