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Foley's Susan Connolly Retires After 48 Years With Company

Thu January 12, 2023 - Northeast Edition #2

Recently retired Foley Inc. COO Susan Connolly started her career with the Caterpillar dealership in 1974.
(Foley Inc. photo)
Recently retired Foley Inc. COO Susan Connolly started her career with the Caterpillar dealership in 1974. (Foley Inc. photo)
Recently retired Foley Inc. COO Susan Connolly started her career with the Caterpillar dealership in 1974.
(Foley Inc. photo) Jamie Foley (R), CEO of Foley Inc., reads a 45th anniversary tribute letter in 2019 to Susan Connolly, while Ryan Foley, president of Foley Inc., looks on.
(Foley Inc. photo)

Susan Connolly, who for the past 20 years has served as Foley Inc.'s chief operating officer, announced her retirement from the Piscataway, N.J.-based Caterpillar dealer, effective Dec. 31, 2022.

"It is with a series of mixed emotions, but primarily a deep sense of gratitude, that I announce Susan Connolly has elected to retire," said Jamie Foley, CEO of Foley Inc. "Susan [Connolly] has served our company, our customers and Caterpillar in a variety of roles during her career at Foley. Her list of her accomplishments is extraordinary."

Having joined Foley in 1974, Connolly's career has spanned the entire organization. Before being promoted to executive vice president and chief operating officer in 2000, she successfully managed several other areas of the company, such as credit, parts, financial services, general manager of Foley Lift Company, vice president of Foley Lift Company and Foley Power Systems.

"Foley was the only company I ever worked for," said Connolly. "I started as a two-week temporary Kelly girl and 48 years later am retiring as COO, having worked for three generations of the Foley family. To say I found a life there, is an understatement."

She said working as a credit manager early in her career gave her a wonderful opportunity to learn about our customers and their business.

"They were a hard-working group, many of them self-made who were building and powering a better place to live," she said. "I loved being part of that effort as Foley Inc. supported them with our product and service offerings.

"She led our company to new heights as a champion of our Corporate Values, which underscored how we expect people to communicate and collaborate with others on a daily basis," said Foley. "She has been a driver of key initiatives from DBSi to Six Sigma to our PMP process to several iterations of Strategic Plans, which transformed not only how we operated the business, but also catapulted the company from an underperforming to a top-performing Caterpillar dealership."

Foley added that without Connolly's drive, vision and leadership, the company would not have had the opportunity to take on additional territory.

"When that opportunity presented itself in 2018, the company took the ball and ran with Sue leading the way," he said. "By starting with a vision of "One Company, One Culture, One Team" what the Foley team has been able to accomplish in less than five years exceeded the expectations of not only Caterpillar, but those of the entire Foley team.

"On a personal note, it is difficult to articulate how much respect I have for Susan, and the positive impact she has had on me, both personally and professionally," he added. "In my opinion, Susan's career achievements are unrivaled in the Caterpillar dealer community. I know I am not alone in feeling very fortunate to have had her as a mentor during my career. While her contributions will leave an indelible mark on Foley Incorporated, it is because of her role as a coach and a mentor that we are so well prepared to continue to achieve great things in the future."

Connolly summed up her venerable career at Foley Inc. and shared her plans about the next phase of her life.

"After stumbling upon the Foley organization almost five decades ago, I have had an amazing and satisfying career working with people that I deeply respect and admire," Connolly said. "Many people stay in this industry for a lifetime, and I am but one of them.

Whether customers, fellow Foley employees, Caterpillar representatives or vendors, they all shared a common love of the industry," she added. "I will miss the daily interaction with so many people, talented people, but am looking forward to the next chapter in my life.

"To me, retirement means enjoying more of the other things I have also loved in life," she concluded. "Together my wife, Donna, and I have nine children and six grandchildren and most of our family lives within 30-minutes of our home. We are blessed and look forward to spending more time with all of them along with more travel, golf and the remodeling our kitchen. Heaven help us!" CEG

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