Salem chamber selects Gudek 'businessperson of year'
“This is a family business,” Gudek said Wednesday. “It really is a Gudek award and a Technical Needs, Park Place Realty award.”
At first overwhelmed by the news that he was chosen, Gudek accepted the honor with an easy-going smile. He’s a jovial man eager to share his success with his family and staff.
Gudek opened Technical Needs, a temporary staffing company on Pelham Road in Salem, with his father, Steve, and his brother, Stephen, more than 35 years ago. With Gudek in the chief financial officer role, the company has placed over 40,000 workers.
In addition to running Technical Needs, Gudek takes an active role in the family real estate business. Park Place Realty has developed about 175,000-square feet of office space in Salem since 1984.
He was the founding treasurer of the Greater Salem Chamber of Commerce and has served on its board of directors.
Giving back to the community is important to Gudek and his family. His brother, Stephen, helped set one of the first stones when the Salem Boys & Girls Club was built, and the family continues to assist its fundraising.
“We feel it’s a great organization that helps everybody in the community,” Gudek said.
Closer to his heart is the Osteogenesis Imperfecta Foundation, an organization focused on a rare bone affliction also known as “brittle bones.” Gudek sits on the board of directors and does what he can to raise awareness of the disease that touches almost 50,000 people in some way, he said. Children with the disease can break bones easily, Gudek said. He was diagnosed with the disease as a child and was lucky to have the support of the community, Gudek said, but there was a time when children were in danger of being removed from their homes before diagnosis because authorities suspected abuse. By raising awareness, Gudek hopes to prevent that from happening again.
In 2006, Gudek helped create a golf tournament that raised more than $125,000 for the foundation. Later, he partnered with the New Hampshire Fisher Cats and the Lowell Spinners minor league baseball teams to raise funds for the foundation through the “Broken Bats for Broken Bones” campaign. He hopes to bring the campaign to the major league level.
Gudek lives in Salem with his wife, Teresa. They have two children Ken, 23, and Danielle, 26, and two grandchildren Madison, 5, and Mason, four months. He is appreciative of the people of Salem who were by his side throughout his life, he said.
“The community has given so much to me,” Gudek said.
Gudek will accept the award at the chamber’s annual dinner Sept. 19 at the Castleton Banquet and Conference Center in Windham.
The William A. Brown Award was originally presented by the Salem Commerce Exchange and is now in its 31st year. It’s awarded in the memory of William A. Brown, the award’s first recipient, to someone who has enhanced the local business environment.
Tickets are $55 with tables of 10 available. Cocktail hour starts at 6 p.m., and dinner begins at 7 p.m. Awards will be presented immediately following the meal. Call 893-3177.
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Julie Hanson may be reached at Jhanson@newstote.com.