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Eye for detail

Perhaps a carryover from his Navy training, Ed liked things to be neat and orderly. This expectation wasn’t just for office workers, but also extended to the production floor at ELI manufacturing facilities and later on, the foundation’s grounds and building maintenance crews. Suseland recalls that Fridays at Big Rock Valley were dedicated “cleanup” days. At least one person spent the day washing all vehicles and heavy equipment. Afternoons were spent sweeping the shop and wiping down tools and saws. “It took a lot of labor to do that,” Suseland says. “At first I wondered about lost time on other duties, but later saw how it increased our efficiency.”

“I always felt Ed was the real deal. He was not afraid to get his hands dirty, which impressed me. If he happened to be the first one in the office in the morning, which he often was, he would make the coffee or shovel the walk. Going forward I applied that to the way I handled my job.”

— Jim Dinges, a former executive vice president at ELI

Ed's Keen Eye

Ed was a “master of management by walking around,” says McCuistion, noting Ed’s habit of driving around Big Rock Valley in his Toyota Scout to survey the condition of grounds and structures. “He had a unique ability to quickly find any problem areas, even if they were few and far between. He would amaze me at what he could find.”

In fact, McCuistion recalls a time working at Ed’s Florida ranch. Making his way through some very thick brush to check out a game trail, McCuistion ate a banana as he walked. He threw the peel into the brush before heading back to his truck and continuing his property check. “Later that day I had a meeting with Ed,” McCuistion says. “During the conversation Ed asked ‘How was your tour back by the river? Did you enjoy your banana?  You know, you really shouldn’t litter.’  Somehow, he had seen my tracks in the brush and found that banana peel.”