Wednesday, February 26

20 Questions with Purchaser, Nick Fugate (AKA He Who Runs with Little Steps, AKA Little Steps, AKA Steps, AKA Tiny Dancer, AKA Nick "The Great" Fugate, AKA Booger)

How long have you worked at Crowley’s?
7 years. I started working here in the spring the yard was moved from the South Branch of the Chicago River to our current location. I was not involved with the move, but I heard many amazing stories.

How did you first start working here?
I was purchasing for Culver’s Portside Marina in Culver, IN and I decided to move to Chicago. I met the Crowley’s HR manager at a golf outing and he set me up with a starting position in the Rigging department and I jumped in head first.

Which departments have you worked in?
Rigging, Store, and Purchasing.

What is your favorite time of year at Crowley’s?
The late fall/early winter is my favorite because that’s when we place all our spring stocking orders. It may be a bit slower in the yard, but it’s a busy time for those of us in the store deciding what to purchase for spring. Plus I get to travel to buying shows. Vegas!

How often do you go boating?
Not as often as I‘d like, a couple of times per month. I am a golfer as well so that takes up time I could be out on the water.

What kind of boat?
A J27 was the most recent ride I had. The owner sold that boat so I will need to find a new ride. Any openings available? Bueller? Anyone?
Did you grow up boating?

Nope. It was something I got into because of my first job at a marina.

What is your favorite boating activity?
Day cruising, cocktails anyone?

How many Employees work in your department?
Me, myself, and I.

How often do you go to training?
I go a couple of times per year, typically in the winter.

What job specific training do you have?
I have attended many different training sessions on different areas of boating. I have also taken purchasing classes to further my professional development.

What certifications do you have?
I am a Certified Purchasing Professional and a member of the American Purchasing Society.

What is your number one recommendation to boat owners?
Know your boat. Take the time to learn how things work and what can go wrong so you can catch it before something bad happens.

In your area of expertise, what can a boat owner do to maintain their boat?
Use your boat and keep it clean. The more you use your boat the better condition it will stay in. It may seem contradictory, but it’s absolutely true.  

What is the one complaint that you hear most often?
Where are my parts?!?!

What is your number one money saving tip for boat owners?
Fix it if it’s broken. Don’t just let it go because it’s only going to get worse and will cost more to fix later.

What is the toughest part of your job?
Creating good relationships with vendors is challenging to be sure.

When are you most likely to be found in the harbors?
Wednesday nights for beer can racing.

What is your favorite winter activity?
Texas Hold’em Poker.

What is the best way to get a hold of you to ask a question?
Email me at

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