Brave Alumni Save Customer's Life

Xavier High School alumni Sal Nesci, a Bakeshop Associate, and his colleagues helped save the life of a customer suffering a seizure

CROMWELL, CT - Sal Nesci ’14 graduated from Quinnipiac with a degree in international business and went on to get his MBA. He was working for a wealth management firm, but as a self-described “people person,” he wanted more.

At the beginning of the year he became the assistant store manager at the Stop & Shop in Cromwell. Once his training was done, the coronavirus pandemic started to ramp up.

“It was hectic but the best on-the-job training you could imagine,” Nesci said. “I was jumping into things veterans in the grocery industry had never experienced.” 

He said he never felt scared by it all.

“The company has been good to us, providing the proper safety equipment, and we’re taking it day by day,” Nesci said. “Thank God we’ve stayed healthy. I’m surrounded by people with good attitudes and positive morale, and we’re getting though it together.”

And that was his goal: to be surrounded by people.

“I’m a people person, first and foremost,” Nesci said. “I wanted to work in an industry where I’d be surrounded by people every day. I’m a firm believer you can learn a lot from everyone. I like to meet different types of people; you can learn different lessons. You listen to customers and you can learn a lot.”

He felt Xavier helped lead him down this path.

“What didn’t Xavier teach me?” Nesci said. “As a freshman I was pretty quiet, but my nickname became the mayor. I wouldn’t stop talking to anybody. Xavier taught me how to be a leader and work together with people from different backgrounds. Xavier students come from all different schools, some private, some public; all different towns. You have a lot of backgrounds merging.”

Nesci said working for Stop & Shop checks all his boxes, the big ones being his desire to work with people and his love for cooking, so being on the supply side of things certainly educates him in that regard, too.

He says customers have been very appreciative off all the safety precautions the store has implemented, such as everyone wearing masks and one-way aisles. 

“We have learned how important we are to our customers’ lives and how important they are to us, not that we didn’t know that before,” Nesci said. “Just that trip to come see us, that might be the one time out of the house. We get many phone calls and emails each day appreciative of the work we do.”

Nesci and his fiancee, Jessica, are both on the front lines. She is a nurse at MidState Medical Center in Meriden. 

“The two industries that are busier than ever are the grocery industry and health care, so we’re probably the two most exposed people on earth,” Nesci said.

But they love what they do at a time people need them. In fact, Stop & Shop recently named Nesci and two other workers, “Heroes Of The Week.” A man had a seizure in the store, and Jermaine Russell and Sean McKinney, bakeshop associates trained in CPR, and Nesci helped save the person’s life. The commendation read: “With Sean’s support, Jermaine started CPR and Sal called 911, secured the area and kept other customers calm.” 

Someday, we assume, one-way aisles will be a thing of the past, but that Xavier bond never will be. This year our seniors will be graduating in a virtual world, but for Nesci the reality is this:

“The light at end of tunnel [for the seniors] is that the network they built through Xavier, and the foundation they built, lasts a lifetime.”

Back to News