In planning what to post in honor of Veterans Day, the team at Publishers Clearing House was just plain stumped. Then one of the staff members noticed the arm of PCH.com’s Head Art Director Marc Garcia. On it was a large tattoo of the Marine Corps logo. Danielle Bertellotti also became inspired, and remembered that Quality Assurance Manager Al Salerno was also a veteran. After talking to Al, he told us about two other veterans who worked at PCH: Anthony Prisco and Bob Dimonda who served at the same time! We wanted to find out about each of their experiences and how these veterans came to work at Publishers Clearing House.
Enlisted in the Navy during one of the most controversial wars, Al Salerno first started working at Publishers Clearing House in the lettershop at around 17; helping deliver original sweepstakes opportunities. Before he could be drafted into the Army, Al left PCH and signed up to the Navy at the age of 19. Transplanted to Roosevelt Roads, Puerto Rico, Al was part of Fleet Composite Squadron VC8. Even though he considered himself more of an “artsy” type, one of his happiest moments was helping to maintain the F4 Phantom jets of the legendary Blue Angels. As each Marine combat squadron made their rounds to Roosevelt Roads, he always heard first-hand accounts of the war in Vietnam that he still can’t forget. After leaving the Navy, Al returned to Publishers Clearing House to work in the Lettershop and eventually Quality Assurance. Al has been with the company for 43 years and credits the circular management system he uses to the Aircraft Quality Control practices he became familiar with during his time in the service.
Although he joined the naval reserve at the time of the Vietnam War, Anthony Prisco didn’t mind one bit; he looked forward to travelling the world. Until he was able to do so, he attended meetings once a week in an armory in Brooklyn. Anthony recalls one of the most memorable and difficult times while serving in the Navy was when he was stationed on a Destroyer called the U.S.S. Myles C. Fox, during which he encountered a 3-day storm off the coast of the Caribbean, close to Bermuda. Another conflict he recalls was when communists tried to take over the capital of the Dominican Republic. Coincidentally fellow PCH employee Bob Dimonda was there at the same time. Although he went through some rough times, Anthony says he loved having the opportunity to visit Europe, which at the time cost around $8,000 for a trip to Europe. Before serving, Anthony worked at Interchemical Corporation doing design work in the Art Department. He expressed his creativity by designing the ship’s patch as well, so it only made sense to him to continue working in a similar setting. Anthony worked for American Family Publishers and eventually Publishers Clearing House.
Marc Garcia, Head Designer for PCH.com, followed three generations of his family into the Marines . Marc’s first Duty Station was during 1996-97 where the Marine Corps infantry was in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, with the vital job of securing our borders. Marc was then stationed in 2nd Battalion 6th Marine Division in Camp Lejeune, N.C. As a Platoon Sergeant he was responsible for cross training American allies and ensuring organized operations with military partners including South Korea, Israel, Russia and Britain. Marc told us that the experience he got in the Marines translates nicely to the civilian world. At PCH.com he has to help coordinate efforts with cross functional team members. After Marc’s honorable discharge he took advantage of the G.I. bill to pay for college where he majored in Graphic Design. Marc says his training and experience in the Marines helped improve his dedication and attention to detail, which has helped drive the success of many of PCH.com’s creative efforts.
Bob Dimonda expected to be drafted into the U.S. Army in 1966. After leaving his art job at Doubleday publishing, Bob was sent to boot camp in Atlanta, GA. After completing basic training, he served in the Dominican Republic as part of a Counter-intelligence unit. While in the Dominican Republic, his unit was part of the Inter-American Peace Force for the Organization of American states which included troops from Honduras, Nicaragua, and more. Although there remains a great deal of information he can’t share, Bob said he enjoyed flying to Washington from Fort Bragg to aid in briefings pertaining to the G-2 Plans section of the XVII Airborne Corps. Bob served 2 years and then returned to his job at Doubleday. He joined Publishers Clearing House 17 years ago and is currently Head Art Director. He made an amazing discovery after 12 years of working at PCH, Bob found out that Marvin Schneider of the PCH proofreading department had been in the same army unit during their service in the Dominican Republic.
Happy Veterans Day!
The “Prize” Queen