Michael Durante, Jr. - TechnicianCrosstalk with Select Telecom (Summer/Fall 2015)

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If ever there was a Renaissance Man to count in our ranks here at Select Telecom, rookie technician Michael Durante, Jr. would be it.  As son of President Mike Durante, Mike Jr. grew up with Select representing an important part of his life and heritage, but he tried his hand at several other passions before finally following his heart to the family business.

As a Georgetown business graduate in 2010, Mike first combined his affinity for fashion and his keen sense of numbers as a men’s tailored clothing buyer at Bloomingdales.  Soon, though, his idealism called him back to DC to help found a successful education non-profit, Compass, to encourage entrepreneurial aptitude in college students.  With Compass well-established, Mike then fixed his sights on his personal passion of sustainable agriculture, first serving as an apprentice at Cricket Creek dairy farm in Massachusetts, then farming independently in Columbia County, NY, and all the while running an event catering business – specializing, of course, in delectable locally grown food – on the side.  “Though I would love to farm full time someday, right now the five pigs and fifteen chickens I’m raising (and hopefully a dairy cow in the spring!) are keeping me plenty busy as a hobby while I focus on learning more about the day-to-day workings of the family business here at Select.”

Mike joined the company just over six weeks ago in early August 2015 and was thrown right into the fire on our recent installation at Scarsdale Schools, one of the biggest projects the company has ever undertaken.  “It’s been quite an adventure!” Mike laughs.  Luckily, with talented veteran technicians like Anthony Durante, Bobby Waters, and VP Jerry Moscariello showing him the ropes, Mike Jr. is ramping up quickly.  “I’ve never done anything quite like this before, so I’m just learning everything I can, and there’s something new every day: pulling and terminating cables, installing speakers, troubleshooting installations, everything.  My main job right now is just to learn so that I can be useful!”

But amidst all the hard work, Mike is also finding a lot of joy and fulfillment.  “The family business has been around my entire life, so when I decided to make a career move, the only place that made sense was Select Telecom.  And spending so much time working with all these people that I’ve known my whole life and actually getting to work alongside them is truly a privilege,” he recounts when asked about his favorite part of working at Select.  “Also, using a punch down tool,” – an apparently hard-won skill which has earned him the nickname “Tender Touch.”

Though the other technicians like to joke about Mike taking over the company someday, right now he’s just enjoying learning the ropes and trying to figure out what his long term role at the company will be.  “Mike has always made my wife, Sue, and I proud of anything that he has done.  He has always been unselfish and put others first, starting from when I coached him in basketball when he was just a little boy.  He was my coach on the floor, and now he’s my coach in the field,” says President Mike Durante.  “He has accomplished so much in such a short time, and I am so happy that he has decided to come into the family business.”  Welcome home, Mike Jr.!