Bon-Ton Stores bid farewell to Tony Buccina by roasting him at the headquarters in Milwaukee earlier this month. Bon-Ton’s 61-year-old vice chairman and president of merchandising retired Feb. 15 after 20 years and one day with the company.
Buccina was greeted with a gladiator helmet, seated on a throne, subjected to a round of “Tony Jeopardy” with such categories as “Tonyisms” and “More Tonyisms,” and presented with Bon-Ton’s version of the Vince Lombardi trophy. Nostalgia reigned, with a steady flow of video clips of his career with tributes from executives over the years. “I’ve loved all of the characters I’ve met over the years. I couldn’t have asked for a better or more caring group of people to work with than everyone at Bon-Ton,” Buccina said.
“Tony has taught me so much in the short year that we have worked together,” said Brendan Hoffman, who became Bon-Ton’s president and chief executive officer in February 2012. Buccina joined Bon-Ton as the ready-to-wear general merchandise manager, rose to executive vice president of merchandising, then president of merchandising, and ultimately added the vice chairman title. He began his career as a trainee at Kaufmanns and also worked at Gantos, Weinstocks and Meier & Frank. All of these stores were either liquidated or folded into other retailers.