The Filipino work ethic and its impact on a L.I. company

Chief Information Officer Jose Ng. ‘Proud to be part of a team that values diversity in its workforce.’ Photo by Alma Ng

By Cristina DC Pastor

When Hurricane Sandy flooded Lower Manhattan’s Financial District in 2012, one Long Island company came to its rescue.

Power-Flo Technologies (PFT) rushed to 175 Water Street to survey the damage. PFT quickly dispatched their team to get the building back up and running. Thanks to their equipment, dedicated technicians and can-do attitude PFT was able to get AIG & 175 Water Street’s critical systems back up and running within 48 hours. “Hurricane Sandy hit New Yorkers in a way we had not experienced before,” recalled CEO Jerry DiCunzolo.

DiCunzolo’s father started at a small electric motor and pump repair shop called General Electric Specialty in Jamaica, Queens that was started in 1929 and ultimately became a partner in the company. Following in his father’s footsteps, Jerry bought out one of his father’s partners in 1984 and in 1992 bought out his father. That trusty repair shop has since grown into a conglomerate now comprising 15 companies scattered across 13 different locations on the East Coast.  PFT provides electrical, industrial, mechanical and automation products, services, and solutions – from conception to completion. It employs over 300 employees with 50 more openings, and is always “looking for good people to grow our team.”

A small but industrious group of Filipinos work at PFT.  Their Filipino team members work across the board in various departments such as accounting, purchasing, senior management and more at both their headquarters in Garden City, New York and in the Somerville, New Jersey location. One of them is IT professional Jose Ng who joined the company in 2020 as Chief Information Officer.

Three Filipinos who work at PFT. From left,  accounting associate Eric Santiago, administrative associate Ellaiza Caragan, and purchasing agent Sherwin Pacis. Photos by  SueJean Naglieri

Manila-born Jose is involved with IT, Marketing and Pricing. Whether he is leading their rebranding project or spearheading new system integrations, he fully immerses himself in every aspect of his work. With a master’s degree in Information Systems he initially pursued a career in web development. He quickly transitioned into systems and business applications with a focus in manufacturing and distribution.

“Manufacturing and distribution are the lifeblood of America,” he said when interviewed by The FilAm

Jose’s expertise in his field eventually led him to consulting with PFT regarding their Inventory Management system. One day, Jose and Jerry met over lunch, hit it off and the rest is history.

Family first

Jose lived with his parents and two sisters in Manila until he was 8 years old. His father’s job as general manager of Motorola, however, would uproot the family and bring them to live in Taiwan and Malaysia, and with that came the ability to travel to nearby Singapore and Thailand.

“The diversity of these countries and cultures had a profound impact on me,” he said.

Ultimately, Jose landed in the United Stateswhere he went to college at Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, Connecticut and earned a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science in 2001.

CEO Jerry DiCunzolo and Chief Information Officer Jose Ng discussing the process of rewinding an AC electric motor. Photo by Vince Giannettino

Both at work and in his personal life, Jose leads by example. He is deeply involved in his local Filipino community as it is an integral part of his identity. Jose and his wife Alma are active in their church, Saint Dorothea, and within the community of Couples for Christ. He believes in living and leading by example. Although his parents and one sister live in Canada, and another sister in California, Jose keeps family at the center of his heart. Jose embodies treating others “compassionately and respectfully.” He spends his free time volunteering in his community of Eatontown, N.J. and helping out at the local soup kitchens. In addition to this, he recently completed the 2022 NYC Marathon!

“We are very proud of our Filipino coworkers,” said Jerry, CEO and owner for eight  years now. “The hard work ethic of our Filipino workers motivates all of us to keep moving forward. Our Filipino team members continue to be true examples of how hard work, integrity and teamwork can lead to success.”

Jose and Jerry share a mutual respect for one another. Jose is excited to be joining Jerry as he takes on the challenge of growing his business and expanding PFT beyond the confines of Long Island. He feels empowered to be part of a team that strives to include diversity in its workforce.

PFT, Jose likes to say, is a “small microcosm of what America truly is.” 

© The FilAm 2023

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