Hard at Work this Summer

Jeff Willmore

I want to talk about those who are actually making the maintenance department tick this summer. I am surrounded by great talent both old and new, both staff and volunteer.

The staff of your maintenance department this season is small but mighty and you could say mighty small. Excluding me, we have a staff of two; Robert, my longstanding part-timer and our new staffer, Bryan McDonald, who is our only full time person. You all know Robert well for his hard work and dedication to this site, but Bryan may be a lesser known commodity to most.

Bryan was brought on in early April and hit the ground running. He comes from an applied arts background, worked as a self-employed craftsman and is a great addition to our staff. This fellow brings a wealth of knowledge into my department; he is a carpenter with the skills of a cabinet maker, he is completely competent with any mechanical repair and works extremely well with all aspects of the farm program. Bryan has fit in famously right from the get-go, he brings a calm, competent aspect to the maintenance department that other staff like and appreciate. He seems to genuinely enjoy working here and after 3 months is carrying out the on-site maintenance like a seasoned veteran.

We also have a number of new and enthusiastic volunteers that are helping with maintenance. Cliff Scott has been helping with site janitorial and lawn care for a little more than a year now. Two brand new volunteers, Brian Pickett and Barry Francis have just come on this summer and are already doing great things on site. Brian has painted the Gazebo and is helping with maintenance of tractors and lawn equipment. Barry started by working on repairs and painting touch-ups on the Miller Barn and now both men have moved on to help with exterior painting on the Jury House.

It is initially an exploration of personalities and skills when new staff or volunteers come into the organization. As a manager you must steer the person towards the type of work they enjoy and have the skills for, but you must also make sure you are getting the work you need from the individuals. With any new staff member or volunteer, it is a process that can contain some wonkiness but ultimately produces its rewards. At this point in the summer your maintenance department is starting to reap those rewards. Thanks to all involved.