ALC’s aDifference Advisory Team recognized the work of our teammate, John Hayes, as their January aDifference in Action nominee. John is a great example of this initiative, as it was launched to recognize the work of deserving individuals, and John is well known for his endless ability to “focus on the one” while never missing the chance to be a great co-worker. You can read more about John here, along with some thoughts from his teammate Blake Smith.
Nominated by Blake Smith
John has honestly been a mentor for me from Day 1 with ALC. Working with John has given me the tools and guidance that have put me where I am now and has helped me grow into the ALC team member I am today. He has walked me through how to overcome the ALC “bumps, scrapes, and bruises” as he calls them, and ensured that I came out the other side a stronger person. Through the many interactions with John, I feel I have been able to develop a very good “ALC toolbelt”, which has allowed me to become a better leader and ALC teammate. I am where I am with ALC because of John’s belief in “The Caring Gene” and his effortless leadership. I am happy to be an ALC team member because of his power of example.
1. How long have you been with ALC? What were some of your favorite moments with the company?
I was contracted with ALC in S. California to provide transportation for both medical and school trips. A chance meeting with Brad Muirbrook led to an offer to join the team in N. California. Early on I had the privilege of working closely with the individuals who now comprise our senior and executive management teams. They have all been on the front lines… (“boots on the ground” as Brad will say) of projects/launches and understand firsthand the challenges of every department and team member. I had never worked with a team of individuals who are always “all in” to do what is right by our clients and the families we serve.
In addition, these same individuals have always remained accessible to anyone in our growing organization, and I believe (and have witnessed) the care they have for each and every team member. With such extraordinary leadership to support me, I see my job as being of service to my team members in helping them to gain the skills and knowledge necessary to prepare for the continued growth and future opportunities within our organization and in life.
Education is a lifelong process, and as we’ve seen over the past year, to be the absolute best alternative transportation company in the country we must continually assess our skills and improve on them. I’m blessed to be surrounded by team members across the company departments who are always so willing to go the extra mile to pitch in and complete the tasks at hand. I am where I am because of the efforts of many… thank you!
2. What advice would you give people who want to get involved in their community?
Take inventory of your talents/skills, and offer it up to those in need. Sometimes it could be just being a good listener. Sometimes giving time back to a single parent. I’ve served as a “Big Brother” in the past and found this very humbling and rewarding. No matter what your individual challenges are, there are others who have it worse. Perhaps having command of more than one language would serve others.
I recall being with Jessica Aquino at Huguenot High School in Richmond, VA for a pre-launch meeting with the principal. The lobby was packed shoulder to shoulder with new families and students, trying to enroll at the front desk. We wormed our way through the crowd to get to the front office. A person behind the counter yelled out, “Does anyone speak Spanish?” Jessica raised her hand and we have immediately whisked away to the main conference room. The staff had a line form by the door, and family after family came in, sat down with Jessica and the school staff. Jessica spent the next few hours translating, while the very impressed principal and the team of social workers let it be known that they’d make certain we got all the business we could handle.
3. What are 3 words to describe ALC?
DRIVEN – Always looking to adapt and improve on who we are and the services we offer.
COMPASSIONATE – Always aware we work with people, not packages. The opportunity afforded us to service client families in unique situations is an honor.
VISIONARY – Mapping a future that maintains our position as the unquestioned leader in alternative transportation.
4. Do you have a favorite quote?
“Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or the present are certain to miss the future.”
John F. Kennedy June 26, 1963. Frankfort, Germany