A photo cut line in a 1968 company profile said of Anthony Guarriello, president of Palisades Industries, then a fledgling custom dyer in Peace Dale, Rhode Island: "Here's Anthony Guariello Jr.......photographed on a rare visit to his office. Most of the time he's in the plant, supervising production and getting modernization and expansion programs underway.
Move the calendar forward 28 years, and you could say the same of his son,
Anthony "Rocky" Guarriello, president of Ultimate Textile, a new
custom dying operation in Rutherfordton, N.C. The most difficult part of interviewing
the younger Guarriello is monopolizing his attention: Like his father, Rocky
is strictly hands on when it comes to managing his new operation. If he's not
matching a dye swatch to a sample or calculating a dye add for the drug room,
he's out on the plant floor, going from machine to machine, never failing to
note those small things that need attention for Ultimate to retain the top-flight
reputation it has rapidly gained in the marketplace.
Guarriello's management style was ingrained from an early age. He says a most vivid memory is his father rousting the three sons from bed in the pre-dawn hours to help remove a section of the plant roof before the daytime heat became to oppressive.
This early influence played a big role in the management style you see at Ultimate:
Rocky and his brothers, Gary and Kevin, bought Palisades Textile mill, in Peace Dale, Rhode Island, in 1983, and literally drew straws to relegate responsibilities.
In 1987 Rocky became president, and in the next five years Palisades' business volume grew by 400% while adding only two people to the payroll. But Rocky wanted a business in the Southern U.S. and eventually turned Palisades over to his brothers. In a 2 year period, he looked a 63 sites, ranging from vacant buildings to pasture land. He finally settled on the present location, a peach orchard owned by a truck driver who made deliveries to Palisades.