40 Under 40 Class of 2009

Scott Sadowsky

Scott Sadowsky

Age 32: General Manager, Williams Distributing

Scott Sadowsky is following the footsteps of his grandfather. In fact, he followed them right into the proverbial corner office, which is where he sits today as general manager of the 75-employee Williams Distributing in Chicopee.

It was Sadowsky’s grandfather who started the beer-distributing company 50 years ago. But make no mistake, the office and the title are no hand-me-downs. Sadowsky worked hard to earn his place in the family business.

After getting a degree in Business Economics at Brown University (the same school his grandfather attended), Sadowsky joined Staples Inc. in the Strategic Planning department, where he stayed four years, before going to Harvard for an MBA.

“As I approached graduation, I looked at other jobs, but ultimately, I liked the idea of continuing the legacy my grandfather started,” he told BusinessWest. So he joined his father and uncle in the operation of the business, in a position that has him involved in everything from sales and operations to finance.

In addition to his business skills, Sadowsky shares a few other traits with his grandfather. He’s committed to family — he married his high-school sweetheart; their first date was the prom — and also work in the community. He sits on the board of directors for United Way of Pioneer Valley, the Dana-Farber Leadership Council, and the Pioneer Valley Red Cross.

“This is where I live and work, and it’s important for me to help make the community a better place,” he said. “Revitalizing Springfield is important because it helps our retailers, the people downtown selling beer.”

Sadowsky’s office still holds a few relics of the past — his grandfather’s old Brown University chairs, for example — and a few golf putters. Proficiency in that game is one thing he didn’t inherit from his granddad.

“He was a much better golfer than me,” Sadowsky said. “He would shoot par, whereas my handicap is 12 or 13.”

—Amy Castor