Everyday Heroes: Gilberto Guerrero

Posted: June 3, 2004 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Colleen Kearney Rich

Editor’s note: the Daily Gazette inaugurates a new weekly feature profiling key people at Mason who “make it happen.”

Gilberto Guerrero

Years at Mason:

Birthplace: Ecuador

Current Position: Building Supervisor, Johnson Center

What He Does: You name it. Guerrero and his staff of nine keep things running smoothly in the Johnson Center. They set up and take down the rooms for functions scheduled in the building. Guerrero also coordinates some of the building maintenance. On the afternoon of Friday, May 21, Guerrero was found in Dewberry Hall supervising the refinishing of the floors. “This room gets used so much throughout the year,” he said. “We are really fortunate to have five days without an event to do the floors.”

His First Job at Mason: Guerrero was hired as a housekeeper for SUB I. It wasn’t long before he was made a supervisor.

On Working Long Hours: If something important is happening in the Johnson Center, chances are Guerrero will be there. When Ralph Nader recently visited campus, Guerrero worked a 12-hour day. “I wanted to make sure everything was as it was supposed to be. I love working here. The people are so friendly, and everyone knows Gilberto.”

Gilberto Guerrero
Photo by Evan Cantwell

On Leaving Mason: “I left for seven months once—this was many years ago, in 1979—to take a better paying job in Prince William. My boss didn’t want me to go. I am very glad my job was still open so I could come back. I never want to leave. I hope to retire from here.”

What He Does for Fun: On weekends, Guerrero likes to spend time with his grandchildren. “My grandson is four; my granddaughter is three and a half. They have a lot of energy. After spending a few hours with them, I’m tired. Now that’s hard work, harder than working eight hours here.”

Personal Goal: “I try to smile two to three thousand times a day.”

On Keeping a Level Head During Stress Times: “That’s just the way I am,” he says with a smile. “What would be the point of losing sleep over something? Then I would be tired and still have to solve the problem. You just have to concentrate and figure it out. Lots of things have a way of just working themselves out.”

On the Cicadas: “In 1987, they were pretty bad. I was working in SUB I then. We had to keep sweeping them away from the doors—they were trying to get in the building. You couldn’t walk. They were everywhere.”

On Kudos: “People are so nice. They are always sending cards and letters,” he says, indicating a pretty large pile with his hands. “My favorites are the ones that mention my crew. These men are the ones who really do the work. I am just here supervising.”

What They Say about Gilberto:

“Gilberto is definitely one of the busiest people at Mason, but he always has time to stop, smile, and ask how you are doing. He helps make Mason a very special place for everyone.”

—Alissa Karton, Johnson Center and University Life program manager

“Gilberto is so accommodating. Some of our events are pretty complicated. Then at the last minute the client will have about 7,000 changes. Gilberto always just smiles and gets things done. We couldn’t do it without him.”

—Barbara Lubar, director, Office of Events Management

“Gilberto is one of the kindest souls I know. He is a dedicated professional and a very hard worker. Without Gilberto and his team, Orientation would not happen as it does now, with seamless program transitions and space configurations. He is a genuinely engaged staff member who cares deeply about the success of Orientation and really owns his part of the process, which makes a hugely positive difference!”

—Amy Snyder, director, Orientation

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