Kasimir retires after 40 years with Raley’s
Kasimir Pawliszyn will retire this month after being with Raley’s Supermarkets for more than 40 years.
The person who takes over his position as the Gardnerville store director will find that Pawliszyn is a tough act to follow.
“If I wrote a job description, it would be way too much,” said Pawliszyn. “There’s a lot to do but so much of it becomes routine – managing people, using psychology, providing a shoulder and sometimes being a sounding board.”
“I’m like the captain of a cruise ship. I nudge it left and right and keep it on course,” he said.
Pawliszyn has spent 23 of his 40 years with Raley’s as the Gardnerville store director. He moved to the United States with his family in 1964 from a small town near Krakow, Poland. He started as a janitor at the Wells Avenue Raley’s in Reno in 1965. He was 15 years old.
“In Poland, we didn’t think about ‘what do I want to be when I grow up?'” Pawliszyn said. “I focused on moving here. It was a priority to learn English.”
Pawliszyn advanced to courtesy clerk from checker to manager of the downtown Reno Raley’s in 1977. He put in for the manager’s job at the then new Raley’s in Carson City but ended up in Gardnerville instead.
“My wife Sandy grew up in this town and went to the old high school,” said Pawliszyn. “It was the best decision we made to stay here.”
Kasimir and Sandy Pawliszyn have two daughters. Heidi, 33, is a registered dietitian who lives in Sacramento. Paula, 35, is a pharmacist for Raley’s in Lockford, Calif. and has a two-year-old son, Brock.
It was on a recent visit to his daughter’s family that Pawliszyn decided it was time to retire.
“We went there and I realized that my grandson is 2 already,” said Pawliszyn. “I missed my kids growing up and I’m not going to miss this.”
When asked about retiring at the age of 56, Pawliszyn said, “Why wait? It was 40 years in July and 40 years is plenty.”
In looking back over the many years in Gardnerville, Pawliszyn said that being with his co-workers so long made them seem like family.
“Some people we hired out of high school so they’ve been with us all these years,” he said.
Senior clerks Leona Justinich and Melinda LaPoint agreed about the family atmosphere at Raley’s.
“He’s been here so long, you could go to him about anything,” said Justinich.
“He’s like our father,” said LaPoint. “His retirement is bittersweet. It’s great for him and sad for us.”
Assistant grocery manager Matt Ames has known Pawliszyn for more than 25 years and said that the success of the store had a lot to do with his boss.
“This store will take a severe hit because of Kasimir’s retirement,” Ames said. “Honestly, it was because of Kasimir’s personality with the customers. It’s a blow to see him go.”
Ames said that they don’t know who Pawliszyn’s replacement will be but that the position is open to existing store directors.
Ames said that the company will pick the director.
“It can’t be just anybody, it has to be a personal person,” he said.
“I hope they’re trying to find someone who is a good match,” said Pawliszyn.
Pawliszyn’s last day at Raley’s is Christmas Eve. As far as what he’s going to do after he retires, Pawliszyn is looking forward to fishing more often. He might take up golf again, but mostly wants to spend time with his family.
“My first project is to assemble a swing set for my grandson,” he said.