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  • Writer's pictureNicole Easton

When Nicole Met Pete...

Pete and I met, like so many other people, at work. It wasn’t love at first sight for either of us, even though, of course, I recognized that he was attractive by my standards. We both were members of a national account team for a global consumer goods company. He lived in the East and I lived out West. For about a year we only knew one another peripherally. We would see each other at national account specific meetings, frequently in Cleveland where Pete lived, or at corporate meetings in Atlanta where our company was headquartered.

We didn’t get really close professionally until a corporate realignment put us both on the same priority team. We would then see one another at smaller, more intimate meetings with just our core team which consisted of 8-9 national account managers. While we all worked closely as a group, Pete and I began to develop a new data-driven method to create compelling selling stories for our products. It was at one of these smaller meetings in Cleveland when, at an evening team-building event, we were on a boat on the river, and I recall now with some clarity, standing next to Pete at the rear of the boat and, for the first time, being very aware of him as someone more interesting to me than a typical co-worker.

Shortly after, we began dating. We long-distance dated for two years flying back and forth, me from Phoenix to Cleveland, and Pete from Cleveland to Phoenix. Thankfully, there was a direct flight! Our company instituted a right-sizing (more commonly known as down-sizing, of course) and Pete and I both accepted promotions into the corporate office in Atlanta. In 2006, our parent company began the integration of another company that they had purchased. Looking into the future of how corporate businesses operate we knew that while we were trending upward at that time, that could all be over with one executive decision, valid or not. Pete had friends who had successful concrete leveling operations in Ohio and Pittsburgh. And the idea for a concrete leveling business in Buffalo began to take shape!

We left our corporate jobs and set out to create the ability to bring this value-oriented opportunity to Buffalo, the city where Pete was born. We started A-1 Concrete Leveling and began our first season in 2007. We were married a year later in a lovely ceremony in the Officer’s Club of Luke Air Force Base in Glendale, Arizona, a suburb of Phoenix near where I grew up. Pete and I have been together for 17 years and still manage to work in a manner that compliments each other and balances our strengths and weaknesses. And, somehow, we still even like each other!

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