LaVerne Hawkins

Desk Clerk

At what moment did you know DISH was for you?

When DISH took over, we were employed by John Stewart. We had staff, meetings, tenant meetings, and the upkeep of the building. The staff stepped up and started to do everything we could to keep the building clean and passing inspections. We were small in numbers but powerful as a team. We managed to keep the building stocked with supplies. At one point when we were employed by John Stewart, we were taking our own money and buying toilet tissue and cleaning materials to clean the building. We did that because we knew that this is where the tenants live, this was their home. It was important to them and us to clean up, we wanted to leave them with a clean environment.

When DISH took over from day one, we started to see big changes in the staffing, management, and upkeep of our buildings. It was joyous. The Camelot was able to come together as a team. DISH taught us a lot, how to maintain our boundaries with the tenants, which we never had to practice before because we were too busy trying to help them. For me, that was a big turning point.

What is the most gratifying part of your job?

When I come to work, I come with a giving spirit. I have been here many years and have seen a lot of changes within the organization. The most gratifying part of my job was in 2006, I worked at the Star, and I had a heart attack. After taking time off I was able to come back and maintain my job and my status. At the same time, I had a son that was in college, and I was allowed to make all his football games and his award-winning activities. Lauren and leadership were very supportive of me they knew that it was dear to my heart for my son to see somebody. They really supported me with him and from that point on he was able to finish high school, college, a master’s, and still play for the 49ers and play for four NFL teams while I’ve managed to stay here at DISH, so that’s a blessing. I thank DISH for being a part of that in my life and working along with me. I really appreciate them for that.

What is your first fond memory of DISH?

Lauren, Doug, and Jason have always been a revolving door where no matter what, we could talk to them, you don’t get bosses or supervisors where you can come to them and speak to them, and they give you knowledge or the right direction. I feel very confident that when I leave here, someone else can pick up the same experience that I had with Lauren, Doug, and Jason. Outside of the job, they care about how you feel, how you’re doing, and that’s a big deal. A lot of people don’t care about what’s going on in your life. I’ve been sick for the last year, but I never gave up hope on my job or questioned losing it. I’ve always been able to come back and pick up where I started. I work for someone who didn’t just care about the job they care about me.

Is there anything you'd like to share about your experience at DISH?

I think I would have retired a few years ago from DISH but when I’m at home I stop and think about the tenants and staff and the love that they get from us. Some tenants may have never had anyone to say, “you’re going to have a good day” or “it’s going to get better” or experienced an uplifting spirit for them. For that reason, every morning I wake up, I look forward to coming to work because I truly feel deep down in my heart that I’m not only making a difference in their life but they’re making a difference in mine.