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Gretsch . . . It’s All About Family

Gretsch . . . It’s All About Family

Gretsch has been all about family since 1883 beginning with company founder Friedrich Gretsch! Here’s one family story recently brought to light . . .

Ralph DeCostanzo

Born in 1908, Ralph DeCostanzo was an ambitious 16-year-old living with family in Brooklyn, New York. In the fall of 1924 DeCostanzo visited the nearby Gretsch Building #4 located at 60 Broadway in the Williamsburg district to inquire about employment. His efforts were to help contribute income into their modest family home. While still attending Bushwick High School, Ralph was hired at $6.00 a week to deliver musical instruments after school in and around the Brooklyn area. Not knowing how to drive a car, his duties were fulfilled by foot and bicycle. Though his employment with Gretsch was a brief two years, his dedication to school, job, and family aided to the welfare of those he loved most while providing a sense of pride to a young man who set an example to future generations.

Fast forward 90+ years and meet Ralph DeCostanzo’s grandson, James Poulios, Sr., inventory finance analyst at the FMIC/Gretsch Guitars Headquarters in Scottsdale, Arizona. No, James doesn’t use a bicycle to deliver critical information that keeps the financial side of the business on track!  He uses modern technology and business smarts that are required to execute his daunting day-to-day tasks. As a graduate from the University of Buffalo, James is an admitted “metal head” who gravitated to the sound of heavy metal music in his adolescent years. Poulios moved to Arizona in 2009 with his wife Keri and their three children. James took up the bass guitar shortly after joining FMIC in June of 2018.

“I was very close to my grandfather while growing up in Wappingers Falls, New York,” states Poulios. “He never once mentioned to me of his history with the Gretsch company.” As fate would have it . . . “It wasn’t until a casual conversation with my mother sharing the news that I had just secured a job with FMIC that I learned about my grandfather’s previous job with Gretsch.” James goes on to say, “Providing for my wife and children with a family-owned business established in 1883 that manufactures and distributes revered products globally offers a sense of pride, stability and peace of mind.”

James Poulios

There’s no doubt the example displayed by Grandpa DeCostanzo of the importance of education, job, and family had a profound influence on his grandson. Currently, James’ children, Alexa (22) is now a 3rd grade teacher while Donny (19) is a sophomore at Northern Arizona University. Christopher is a high school sophomore with interest in music theatre.

Gretsch . . . it’s all about family!