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Gazmend 'Gaz' Gjyrezi
Janome America Inc.
1964 -

Gazmend Gjyrezi photoBorn in 1964 in Shkoder, Albania, Gazmend Gjyrezi has journeyed through the ranks of the sewing industry and inspired clients and coworkers alike. As a young man, Gazmend fled from a Communist country; if caught, the penalty would have been severe. When he arrived in the United States, he settled in Queens, New York, and in 1993 he joined the New Home Sewing Machine Company as a service technician. A mere five years later, he was promoted to Service and Warehouse Manager, and in 1998 when Janome introduced their first fully-computerized five-needle serger, the Compulock 888, he was sent to Janome's Research and Development Center in Japan. Gazmend has been a teacher of service classes at Janome Institutes since 1996 and attends every factory training in Japan.

Gaz's professional accomplishments also stem from his extreme dedication to customer satisfaction. When a problem arises that "can't" be solved, Gazmend is just a phone call away. His skills and precision are evident with each machine he touches – repairs are done right the first time, every time. Michaela Murphy of The Fabric Garden LLC recalls first meeting Gaz in a serger repair class at the Janome Institute in 1993. "I was the only woman in the class and he treated me with the utmost respect, as he did everyone," says Michaela. "He instilled a confidence in me that I could tackle any repair … Just like the Wizard of Oz behind those green curtains, Gaz is the Wizard behind the scenes working wonders at Janome."

Regardless of time of day or place, Gazmend willingly and affably steps up to help Janome dealers. And by introducing a series of sewing machine repair training videos, he has saved dealers time, money, and unnecessary frustrations. After 32 years in the sewing machine business, today Gaz serves as Janome's Head of Shipping and Service Departments in Mahwah, New Jersey. He has rightly earned a reputation as one of the top repairmen in the sewing industry. Rick and Ann Maas, owners of Super Stitch Inc., sum it all up, saying, "With his gentle nature and quick smile, we are honored to call Gazmend a friend and the VDTA•SDTA would be proud to name him to the Hall of Fame."

2016 Vacuum & Sewing Hall of Fame Inductee