BMCC is home to many faculty members—familiar faces people smile or wave at when walking around the school. While staffers come and go over the years, 18 employees have worked at BMCC for twenty years or greater. These long-term BMCC staffers were honored at Employee Recognition Day, held Thursday, May 29th in the Richard Harris Terrace.
The employees who worked at BMCC for twenty, twenty-five, and even forty years were presented gifts at the ceremony. “We’re honoring those who are behind the scenes at BMCC, making sure services for the students are there,” BMCC President Antonio Pérez said in his introductory speech at the luncheon. “We are acknowledging those who’ve been with us for quite a while.” Pérez and G. Scott Anderson, Vice President Administration and Planning, presented each honored BMCC employee with a special, colorfully-wrapped thank you gift, allowing each honoree in attendance to give a brief speech on stage.
“For those of you who know me, you know I deserve this!,” said Leonard Lee, holding up and waving his gift at the podium. Lee provided BMCC with twenty years of service in the Building and Grounds department. The audience also watched a photo montage of the 18 honorees at work around the school.
“I didn’t even realize I’d been at BMCC for twenty years until I got the notice about this ceremony,” said Edward Alvarez, who started working at BMCC as a part-time painter. “It went by so fast.” He eventually worked his way up to a full-time employee, and now Alvarez is in charge of the night custodian staff. “I prefer working nights because I can be with my family during the day. I have two daughters,” said Alvarez. In his thank-you speech, Alvarez said he’d give BMCC “another 20 years!”
President Pérez said that when BMCC moved to its current address at 199 Chambers Street in 1983, many new employees joined the BMCC community. “It was the biggest ‘class’ of employees we’ve ever had at that time.” Nine of those original ‘1983’ staffers were highlighted at the ceremony for their 25th anniversary as a BMCC employee.Gerald Lindo , the sole 40-year award recipient at the event, was honored for his dedication to the Building and Grounds department. “It doesn’t feel like it’s been forty years,” said Lindo, who spends time with his family and even practices martial-arts when he’s not at BMCC. “I like using the floor machine to clean the floor, and teaching others how to use the floor machine as well.”
When asked what advice he has for workers who have worked as long as he has at BMCC, Lindo said, “Don’t let people get to you, and if you have good people to work with, then everything will be OK.”