12/7/2013 3:56:52 PM
Siena Success: Andy Heck '88
Monday, July 15, 2013
President and part owner of Alpin Haus, Andy Heck '88 is a far cry from Archie Bunker, but when it comes to doing business and getting an education, the 1988 Siena College graduate prefers them to be all in the family. “Being part of a family business, I don’t think there’s anything better than that," Heck said.
Heck now runs Alpin Haus, the business his father started in the 1960s. His father, brother and sister are all part of a company and his children work there part-time. Alpin Haus has grown considerably since Heck returned full-time 21-years ago. “When I got back in, we had one store. We have five now, doing all different things," Heck said.
Alpin Haus sells an array of products, including boats and RVs, pools and spas, skis, snowmobiles and apparel. The company also runs a health club. Even if you’re not related, Alpin Haus is a great place to work and Heck said the proof is in the Business Review’s annual survey. “I think now six out of the last eight years our employees have voted us one of the best places to work in the Capital Region and that makes me proud," Heck said.
The former accounting major also maintains a sense of pride in the liberal arts education he received at Siena College. He said learning from friars and professors with real world experience, plus taking courses in a variety of subjects, including history, religion and psychology while learning the fundamentals of accounting has served him well, especially while managing employees and working with customers. “At the time, you’re thinking I’m going to be an accounting major, why do I need to take these courses? But as you interact with other people in all walks of life, you’re able to understand where they come from and you’re able to be well versed to talk about things, not just numbers," Heck said.
That well-rounded education plus the College’s inclusive atmosphere were some of the reasons that going to Siena also became a family affair. “It’s kind of the Heck thing to do is go to Siena," Heck said. “My father attended Siena and I always wanted to go to Siena. And my wife Lorraine and I met at Siena." Heck’s sister and brother-in-law also graduated wearing green and gold. Now, his two children are enrolled at the College.
Heck's connection to the College continues. Heck sits on the Board of Associate Trustees and, through Alpin Haus, supports men’s basketball and various Siena events. He even gets back into the classroom to evaluate business students’ capstone presentations.
For all his contributions, Siena College honored Heck with The Reverend Benjamin Kuhn, O.F.M. Award for specific contributions to improve the Siena Community. “I had to read the letter I think two or three times," Heck said. “It was just amazing that somehow I was selected for this. It’s quite an honor and very humbling, that’s for sure.”
Heck said receiving the Kuhn Award means he’s come full circle because as a student he received the Kuhn Alumni Scholarship. Heck hopes that by continuing to stay involved and support his alma mater, he’ll help to give the next generation of Siena students opportunities that’ll allow them to look back and say, those were the days.
Contact: Ken Jubie
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