Spotlight on CarpetWorks
The power was out. It was a sweltering 95 degrees outside. Utility crew workers were hard at work and baking in the sun. That’s when a four-year-old girl brought the work crew cold drinks. That little girl, Gary O. Silverman’s granddaughter, was carrying on a family tradition of helping others.
Gary founded Manchester’s multi-million-dollar CarpetWorks in November 1991. Mainly serving the commercial market, CarpetWorks has installations across the region. If you’ve walked through the main entrance of Manchester Memorial Hospital, you’ve walked across work done by CarpetWorks.
Gary cites a West Hartford real estate developer, Seymour Sard, as the catalyst behind the formation of CarpetWorks. Seymour’s mentoring and unconditional support empowered Gary to succeed. Gary also attributes much of the business’s success today and tomorrow to the talents and character of his sons: Adam Silverman, Todd Silverman and Michael Byers. But Gary isn’t all about business.
He’s about giving back. When the Business Alliance for Community Health (BACH) formed in 2009, Gary was among the first to join the advisory committee. Gary’s been an active and passionate advocate for BACH ever since. BACH is a partnership between local businesses and ECHN through which both entities benefit. Being active in BACH helps businesses become aware of how they can better benefit the community. Gary did so with work for the Behavioral Health Unit at Manchester Memorial Hospital.
Behavioral health services are dear to Gary’s heart. He believes people with behavioral health issues have been unfairly stigmatized.
“You show me a family that hasn’t had or doesn’t have or won’t have a loved one with a behavioral health issue. I can’t name one. Every family needs help at some point and today most of these issues can be treated effectively.”
Nurses Are Undervalued
A few years ago Gary discovered that the nurses in the Intensive Care Unit at Rockville General Hospital needed a new floor for the nursing station. Their old tile floor was crumbling apart. CarpetWorks donated new carpeting and the installation. “Nurses are undervalued people and that nursing station is their home away from home,” he says, but there was also a personal reason behind Gary’s passionate response to this need.
When his mother spent her final days in an ICU in Florida, Gary was there for days. The nurses and doctors couldn’t have been more helpful. “I would have done the ICU carpeting anyway, but it had a deeper meaning for me because of my experience with my mother.”
A major reason for his staunch advocacy for BACH and ECHN is the people. Gary lauds the ECHN leadership. He calls his fellow Corporate Relations Committee members “the greatest.” He’s found Peter Karl, Dennis McConville, Dennis O’Neill, M.D., Stan Kontogiannis, Nina Kruse and everyone he’s met through ECHN to be people of good character, high intelligence and clear forthrightness.
One of Gary’s many philosophies describes his community-minded business approach well: “We work for the almighty dollar, but we don’t live for it.”