by Gabrielle S. Martin
Nick and his wife Marty have been Hingham residents for the past 44 years, and their roots run deep: they raised their children here in Hingham, dock their beloved boat in World’s End, and Nick even built his own business, Amdur Associates, here! On top of all that, Nick has served his community as a member and chair of the Hingham (MA) Harbor Development Committee and continues to participate in town activities today.
Humans of Hingham is our attempt over at The Anchor to help our readers get to know each other a little bit better, so we profile people who live and work in town; today, we are happy to recognize Nick Amdur as our latest feature!
We believe that everyone has a unique story to share: here’s his.
Hi, Mr. Amdur! Thank you so much for agreeing to an interview with The Anchor. We’re excited to share your story with our readers. Why don’t you start by telling us a bit about yourself?
“I was born and raised in Cambridge and Belmont. Growing up, we always went to the North Shore or Maine–rarely south of Boston. That changed in 1976 when my wife Marty and I were looking to relocate from Lexington as a result of job change: we discovered Hingham and thought, ‘Just right!’”
Ah, as so many do! What drew you and your wife to Hingham?
“It was close enough to Boston and Route 128, and best of all, near the water! As an engineer and operations manager working in Foxboro [at the time], it worked. [My wife and I had] just had our first child and also a twenty-two foot sailboat,” says Nick Admur, an avid sailor and family man with an equally impressive and interesting professional life.
Amdur paints vibrant pictures of his early days in Hingham, inviting us jovially into his world: “Our neighbors were hopeful, as we moved into a five-bedroom house, [they figured] we must have a lot of kids! Just one more, as it turned out, but the house! Nice backyard, cul-de-sac, and two miles to the Harbor? It was just perfect.” And that’s where he would stay with his family for the next four-and-a-half decades!
He then admits, “After 45 years in the same house, we keep thinking, ‘Is it time to downsize?’, but the inertia to stay prevails.”
And, while living in Hingham, you began Amdur Associates in 1989?
“Not a very creative name, to be sure,” he says, showing his sense of humor. On a more serious note, Amdur reflects, “As a consultant for Amdur Associates, I loved working with organizations facing supply-chain and information systems challenges.”
Amdur Associates is an operations consulting firm with a focus on enterprise and supply-chain solutions such as logistics, materials, and operations as well as information systems.
Amdur shares, “One consumer products client started with a three-month stud and evolved into a thirteen year association! Many of the professional relationships evolved into personal ones, some well into retirement.”
How did you come up with the idea for Amdur Associates in 1989?
“Amdur Associates and consulting were not new concepts,” Amdur admits. “It seemed a good way to organize activities and track expenses to offset hoped-for revenues! This continued after I left my last ‘real’ company in 1989 and focused on a consulting career; one assignment led naturally to another and for twenty-five years. This was my satisfying professional experience.”
And, during that time, as I understand it, you also become involved with the educational aspect of your industry; can you speak to that?
“Yes! Early in my career, I started teaching part-time. It was a perfect blend of industry, consulting, and academia,” Amdur shares. “There was such a need for Operations Management faculty at business schools; they would accept an MBA with experience in lieu of a Ph.D.”
This began his parallel careers at Boston University, Northeastern University, Simmons College, and Hult International School of Business.
Amdur's part-time pastime ultimately evolved to a full-time Dean of Faculty position; it also offered Amdur the opportunity to put his management experience to use in a different setting. “Additionally, it allowed me to travel around the world to satellite campuses and to work with remarkable and dedicated people that I just would not have encountered.”
As I said earlier, Amdur is an avid sailor; it would be remiss not to address this in profiling him! He spoke to that, saying, “We always loved the water. My father was a professor and as a ‘MIT Family,’ I learned to sail on the Charles River. At that time, if you fell into the water, it meant a tetanus shot! The sailing bug started at age thirteen and evolved through Sunfish, Tanzer day-sailor, Catalina 22, and, for the past thirty-four years, our Caliber 28 ‘Lollipop II’ moored in Hingham Harbor! [Since then it’s been] day sails, cruises up and down the coast, summer evenings at World’s End.”
What do you love most about Hingham?
“It’s the right balance of suburb with close proximity to Boston, Route 128, and wherever else we want to go. We loved the balance of the town, the nice blend of locals and newcomers. And, again, having a harbor and waterfront has been a big plus.”
What’s your favorite local spot around town?
“Ah, that’s easy: drive down to the Harbor, look out at Button Island, sip a cup of coffee! World’s End is an equally great resource, and Bare Cove Park comes right in there; we also love to walk at Webb State Park in Weymouth.”
What’s your favorite restaurant and meal in Hingham?
“We started with Pages before it became Stars! We’d sit with our six-month old in a baby basket, and the ambiance has remained. [Now it’s] Legal Sea C Bar in the Derby Street Shops, Café Tosca and, for special events, Tosca.”
Is there anybody in Hingham who you find especially inspiring?
“I’m impressed by the number of volunteers who donate their time and energy, we see more of them now associated with the senior center. Working through the town organization and occasional special-interests can be a challenge, but folks here genuinely committed to making this as welcoming and warm as possible.”
How does living in Hingham influence you?
“It has taken a long time, but it helps me focus on activities other than my work and career! I love the town’s history, the variety of homes and neighborhoods and the change of seasons. We have no desire to ever move away!”
Do you have a hidden talent? If so, what is it?
“It’s pretty much ‘what you see is what you get!’ After I complained once too often about my meals, my wife enrolled me in a cooking class–now several of them. I’ve enjoyed trying some new recipes, some work! What a deal, I prep and cook dinner, but she agrees to clean up!”
Favorite vacation spot?
“That’s easy: Boothbay, Maine! As a child, my family vacationed regularly in Boothbay. Travelling has always been important and my parents, on a limited budget, had emphasized travel and education."
He continues, "We stayed at the end of an island and I’ve never stopped going; Linekin Bay and East Boothbay are favorites of mine. We’ve been going to the same place for thirty-eight years! When the kids were young, we added Truro and Wellfleet for the warmer water, and that has continued with annual family vacations there, grandchildren and all.”
This question is a particular favorite of mine in people I’m profiling: what’s one thing people may not know about you?
“I was actually a ‘ham radio’ operator. I got my first license at age fourteen and this led to an interest in electronics, building Heathkits (hi-fi, stereo, etc.), and then engineering. I’ll never forget my first contact with another ‘ham’ thousands of miles away–I nearly fell off my chair!”
What are you most looking forward to doing around town this fall?
“Walking, exercising, staying healthy and safe! Staying engaged with groups like World Affairs, Hingham Coffee Group and Memoirs; staying in touch with friends and colleagues. Being positive, being thankful for having a loving wife (57 years and counting!) and someone to share experiences with.”
If you could give your younger self one piece of advice, what would it be?
- It’s okay to try and fail.
- Help others: in many cases, those who have lost their jobs. It’s not contagious!
- Be able to focus on life beyond work and career; you’re only a father once.
- Professionals will remember you more for how you handled a disappointment rather than a victory.”
Do you have a favorite quote?
“‘Don’t snatch defeat from the jaws of victory,’” Andrew M. Cuomo.
What’s the last book you read?
“Rage by Bob Woodward.”
Amdur also says he generally enjoys stories about sea adventure or mystery.
Well Mr. Amdur, it was a pleasure to interview you; thank you for allowing us to introduce you to our readership!