Interview: Michael Giordano of Branford Building Supply

4th Generation Business Burns...
(policy strengths and weaknesses)

Introduction (who I am):  I’m Mike Giordano. I am a resident of Branford, Connecticut and the owner of Branford Building Supplies, fourth-generation Company that’s operated primarily by my daughter Sarah who, interestingly enough you should talk to because she’s had a few experiences with John herself.

John was an East Haven guy and I am a Branford guy, and sooner or later, our paths crossed. We have common friends and we go to the same club together and the kids got to know each other, and so we had a lot of identity adventures there.

I was thinking as we were talking that a relevant point would be for people to understand that while John and I share the same last name, we are not in any way related, and our relationship has been through friendship and business only.

With out John, it would’ve been very difficult for someone like ourselves to migrate the sophistication of the insurance companies and to be able to understand where our strengths were, and when it was appropriate to dig in and when it was appropriate to let go. Mr. Mike Giordano

Well, we had a major fire in November 1999, and as a matter of fact, it’s on the web if you want to go look for it.

Well, it was a night. It was the evening and we had, oh my gosh, just about every fire apparatus that there is in town here and the hook and ladder, the extension trucks, they were all here, and it was, as I said, they did a great job containing the fire.

They didn’t spread to the rest of the place. It could’ve hit anywhere on the yard, in the other barns, this is building could have gone up in our feet. I mean, one of the things about being a fourth generation organization is that some of the other physical plant is as old as that and so it’s a little inclined to be dry and be a ready target for a fire like that.

 It’s a fire that we never actually could identify the cause of. Isn’t that amazing? They thought probably that someone left a cigarette butt on the floor or something like that; it’s the most that they come up with. As much as they had all the forensic investigations and did everything they could in order to determine if there was anything suspicious or inappropriate about the fire, and there just was nothing that ever materialized, and so like so many things in my life sometimes, it became an un-diagnosable event. So I just had one physically and it wasn’t fun, but in any event, that was the conclusion there and as I said, it was a total loss. The single barn is a total loss

Go look at the Branford Building Supplies fire on-line and the video will come up.

The videos, I’m not sure who took them, but to get some idea of the phenomenal effort that the fire department put in to put this thing under control.

So it turned out to be in our storage barn at the back of the yard which housed all the plywood and trim, and finished lumber, and a variety of other things, and also became the nighttime garage for our forklifts and trucks, so when this fire burned, it took a significant bite out of the apple here and we wound up losing all of our trucks and forklifts, and obviously, inventory that was in the barn as well.

It was a monumental fire. It was one made for the movies, truly. It was really something.


Q –  What  else did John help you with?

I found that his industry is quite responsive to the needs of people who have these events in their career and they make themselves available on an as-needed basis. There were multiple organizations that I could have gone but John’s was the obvious preference in my opinion. I’m glad I did because we succeeded quite well.

 I had known him for quite a long time and I was impressed with his knowledge of the industry at large and his knowledge of the people in the industry, and very much able to connect and make the kind of significant calls that made negotiations become more or less fruitful in times.

He was quite good at it, quite good at it.

We reported the fire immediately and they were responsive but they weren’t going to be as responsive as… I don’t think, they weren’t going to be as responsive as they finally turned out to be without the assistance of an organization like John’s.

Insurance companies are not looking to give you as much as they can to repair your claim. They are looking for ways to minimize your recovery. And that’s where I come in. - John Giordano Click To Tweet

It’s about first of all, understanding the policy. Which I had never read to be truthful with you up until that day and understanding what the strengths and weaknesses are within the framework of the policy, understanding the political structure of the insurance companies and to be able to migrate through that to get to the right people and then be able to affect the solution that the common guy is not be able to produce on his own.

John was there all the time, yes. We really worked together on that and valuing the inventory was a big deal. The contribution to the effort was really making him understand what it is that we lost. The back and forth between us was constant, it was constant. It was very much a part of our solution. It wasn’t just a hit and run.


Have you ever recommended him to anybody or would you recommend him?

No question. Particularly for people who have a basic lack of sophistication in that world, I wasn’t completely blind about it. To think that you know the intricacies of it necessarily is a leap of faith. You really don’t.

You really need to have someone who can help you there.
If you have a loss of significance, it’s the absolute mandatory contribution.

It wasn’t so much about saving time and money. It was about being thorough in our approach to the solution, and his ability to help guide us in our presentation of facts as they were being presented to him and run through process himself, I would say that’s really his primary value to us, was that.

I have recommended  John. Unfortunately, I don’t know a whole lot of people who had severe problems. It’s kind of like the dubious achievement award, they get introduced to a guy like John professionally, but on the other hand, when you need him, you need him.

To think that you know the intricacies of it necessarily is a leap of faith. You really don’t. You really need to have someone who can help you there. If you have a loss of significance, it’s the absolute mandatory contribution. Mr. Mike Giordano

Anything else you would like to share with me that I haven’t asked?

Well, I think if you drove by his house and saw the way he keeps his house, meticulous.

He’s renovated a couple of houses in our neighborhood and lived in them, and created absolute gems about very maintained houses, and when you see some of his, he’s got that kind of eye for and the where withal to make it all happen and stick with them and get it all to happen, it gives you clues on what kind of person you’re going to be dealing with.

(up next) Storm Decimates Country Club
It started as a micro-burst and then it got even worse. Juggling multiple problems and then this….