by Don Janezic, Fairfield CT


Mrs. Mary Hynes passed away over the weekend.

 As I began to write a note about Mary Hynes, I felt sadness and deep loss of a true friend and trusted advisor.  But as I thought about what I was going to say, it quickly became clear that there was a great deal of happiness in her personal life and accomplishment as a professional. That helped me to appreciate her wondrous life and realize how fortunate we were to know her and work with her for so many years!
 
I wish I knew her husband, retired Navy Commander Edward Hynes, the first non-family CFO for the Bigelow family.  He was certainly her hero.  She spoke of their shared experiences and related his years as CFO for the company.  As Ed Hynes took ill, Mary would be his daily work companion, executing on Ed’s direction and advice.  When Commander Hynes passed, Mary continued with Bigelow as a full time employee for more than 30 years.  Among her many duties was handling all the cash that transferred through the company, a daunting and rather important assignment.  Trust was paramount, and Mary was certainly up to the task!
 
We could write volumes about all the things that Mary did for Bigelow, but the important things included managing the profit sharing plan and subsequently, a separate 401k plan for all Bigelow employees.  She managed debt for the company in the decade of the 90’s as we expanded our capacity with newer machines and new operating facilities.  Those days were especially challenging because every dollar we received had to be carefully planned to keep the company afloat.  Lenders constantly monitored us, and Mary was on top of the cash every step of the way.  But these were not just tasks for Mary, she did these things with careful thought and concern.
 
I recall one morning, while on vacation, getting a call from Mary at 5:30am.  I saw the call coming from the Bigelow Company and was bewildered.  It was Mary.  I thought to myself: “why at 5:30am while I am on vacation, do I get a call from Mary??”  She told me our bank was taken over by federal regulators and wanted to know if “maybe we should do something. ”  It was her way of advising: let’s move quickly, get out of bed and take action!  She knew that without secure access we could not make payroll or pay vendors.  Within the day we transferred enough cash to make it all transparent to everyone.  To me that typifies Mary Hynes.  Understated but accomplished in her own subtle way.
 
There were so many other things too; comments from Mary that I would take home and ponder realizing that she had a perspective that was thoughtful and deep.  Mostly pensive, sometimes rather humorous, but always appropriate to the moment. 
 
Let’s all recall the happy times at the “big lunch table”, engaging in good conversation, and occasional observations that would put us all in stitches, having a good time being with friends.  She loved us as much as we loved her.  First concern was her family, next it was us!
 
Mary Hynes: the definition of a true lady!