Director of Sales, Yankee Candle Co., age 33
Ralph DiVito Jr. says the city of Springfield played a major role in his development.
“Where I grew up in Boston helped make me into who I am, but Western Mass. helped mold me into a productive adult and member of the community,” said the Springfield resident. “There is something about Springfield that is special and unique, and I feel at home here. I like everything the city has to offer, and every blessing I have been given, I am trying to give back.”
DiVito wants the City of Homes to return to its former glory, and has spent untold hours working toward that goal as the vice chairman of Rebuilding Together Springfield. His leadership and vision have helped chart the course for a long-term, sustainable future, and he has been a house captain two years in a row on National Rebuilding Day, recruiting volunteers, soliciting donations of building materials, and managing projects which help people improve their homes.
DiVito said there is a link between his professional and volunteer efforts. “I lead our division at work that helps independent store owners,” he said of his role at Yankee Candle, adding that they, as well as the homeowners Rebuilding assists, are “everyday people,” which is important because “Main Street is really the backbone of America, and when there are viable stores and viable homes, it helps make the community strong. So, in all aspects of my life, I am trying to create a place where people can coexist and support each other.”
His dedication at work has helped many locally owned businesses become stronger through marketing, communication, and grass-roots events. He also helped lead a fund-raiser for a shelter in Hoboken, N.J. when its resources were depleted following Hurricane Sandy.
DiVito said Springfield is a microcosm of America, as it is made up of different groups who form a great community. So he works tirelessly to help “get the city back on its feet. It’s my goal, one business at a time and one house at a time. I want to showcase to all of Western Mass. that this is a great place.”
— Kathleen Mitchell