Last month, we introduced you to American Wear President, John Auriemma. This month, we take a personal look at John’s right hand man—and cousin—Vice President Dean DeFilippo.

Dean has been working in the uniform supply business his whole life. He grew up in Bloomfield, New Jersey—just a mile from the American Wear facility—and started with the company by putting orders together in his grandmother’s basement, which acted as the American Wear warehouse in the early days. He says his greatest education came from both his cousin John and his uncle Nick.

As Vice President of American Wear, Dean has many responsibilities, but he says one thing takes precedence over everything else. “When running a small business, one has to wear many hats,” Dean said, “but my main responsibility is to ensure my customers and employees are happy.”

He says the main thing he wants customers to know is that he is there for them whenever they need something, no matter how big or how small.

Dean has seen a lot of changes in the uniform rental industry and he is excited about the future of American Wear.

“With a lot of consolidation in the industry, we are an alternative to our national competitors,” Dean said. “I think the future is bright because we are uniquely positioned for customers who do not want to deal with the ‘big guys.’”

In his free time, Dean exercises daily and spends as much time with his family as possible, but he also says work is its own reward. “I love what I do, so it doesn’t feel like work,” he said.

Dean describes himself as “old school,” so when customers need to contact him, he prefers a phone call. He can be reached at 973-414-9200, extension 117.