In the early morning hours at JILA, before most of the laboratories are up and running, a team of custodians diligently works to ensure the building is clean and safe for use. Because each laboratory has different requirements for what can and cannot be cleaned, the challenge of tidying JILA’s many facilities is far from straightforward. However, the team of six custodians, Boua Sayavong, Nouan Saengdara, Beatriz Soto, Irma Bernard, Gabriela Soto, and Gabriela Mora, who have had years of experience dealing with JILA’s unique requirements, handle these challenges in stride.
To honor their efforts, JILA hosts an annual Custodial Appreciation Day celebration. “Our staff has consistently proven themselves to be among the best at CU,” explained George Kavadas, JILA’s Building Manager, in his speech at this year’s celebration. “Their dedication, going above and beyond, has not gone unnoticed. They are a vital part of the JILA family, and we are fortunate to have them as part of our team.”
This year, the custodial staff were awarded certificates and JILA water bottles. After photos were taken with JILA’s Fellow Chair Konrad Lehnert, a buffet feast was opened to all JILA, with the custodial staff taking the front of the line. As food was served, the community thanked the six-person team for all they do to make JILA run smoothly and efficiently.
The importance of Custodial Appreciation Day lies in acknowledging the often-overlooked contributions of these essential team members. Their work not only ensures a clean and safe environment but also plays a vital role in creating a positive and productive atmosphere for our entire JILA community. It's a reminder that every team member, no matter their role, plays a crucial part in our collective success, and their efforts deserve recognition and appreciation. JILA looks forward to next year’s Custodial Appreciation Day to continue celebrating the unsung heroes who help us thrive.