By DINA ARÉVALO
Port Isabel-South Padre Press
If, at any point over the last few years, you’ve had the opportunity to call or stop by our office then you might have been introduced to Sergio. His is the smiling face and friendly voice that most often greets people here at the PRESS and PARADE.
He started out as a graphic artist who designed advertisements as well as the pages of our publications. Eventually, though, he rose through the ranks to become our general manager. Along the way, he served stints as a photographer, an ad sales rep, a customer service specialist and a trainer of new hires, and so much more.
No matter what new role he took on, Sergio has always responded with humility, hard work and a quiet sense of determination to do the best job he could. And he’s excelled!
He’d probably shrug off any heaping of praise, but he’s definitely deserving of it because, over the last few years, he’s been the very thing that has made us such a successful and respected member of the Laguna Madre community.
However, Friday marks Sergio’s last day with the PRESS and PARADE. Starting next week, he’ll begin a new job with a new organization. But, before he goes I wanted to offer my own thanks and appreciation of all his hard work here. And I wanted to share with you, our readers, what some of you may already know.
First and foremost, Sergio is a good friend. I think most visitors at our office would agree.
In the two and a half years I’ve worked here, I’ve seen so many people walk in our door. Some come to buy ads or place notices for garage sales, even though we can fill most requests via email or over the phone. Some people come to buy a paper from the stack sitting on our front counter, even though there’s a newspaper rack right outside our door and at various businesses throughout the region. Other people just stop by to say hi.
I have a sneaking suspicion most of the people who come by in person do so in large part because of Sergio. Pretty much any time someone stops by, Sergio knows exactly who they are and is always willing to spend a few moments catching up with them.
I’ve seen people come in asking if they can re-run an ad they ran months ago and Sergio will know exactly what they’re talking about. Considering we still do a lot of things around here the old fashioned way, with pen and paper, that’s quite a feat.
Then there’s his endless patience.
Whether it’s training someone new, facing a looming deadline, or those moments in the journalism business when breaking or controversial news can lead to impassioned reactions from readers, Sergio is always the picture of calm. He’s met every situation I’ve seen with quiet competence, patience and thoughtfulness. I’ve asked him before how he does it. He said he tries his best to put himself in other people’s shoes in order to try to understand things from their perspective. It’s a deceptively simple and intuitive thing, but it’s one not everyone remembers.
It’s that sense of empathy which has allowed him to get to know this community and these publications so well. His knowledge and work ethic have been immeasurable assets here and they’ll surely continue to propel him forward in his future endeavors.
So, thank you for everything you’ve done, Sergio. And good luck! It was a privilege to work with you.
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