One morning, on a bright day in fall, I headed over to Pasadena to meet with the lovely Ms. Justine Anguiano, the Office Manager for Schweitzer Law Partners. My intention was to get an insider’s look into the workings of the office and meet the woman who Mr. Schweitzer credits for his smooth running firm.
As I entered the office, I was greeted by the sweet smile and glowing face of Ms. Anguiano. She was wearing a striped shirt, almost reminiscent of the gondola rowers of Venice - a black cardigan, tan pants and black flats. A sensible but professional look. She smiled and welcomed me as she shook my hand and offered me a seat. She waited until I settled in before sitting down herself. I immediately noted that this lady was well versed in professionalism.
Simply put, Justine is an open book.
“So, what do you wanna know?” she asked with a laugh, seemingly suggesting that this interview was a bit silly. Why would anyone want to interview her? Why all the fuss? What is so special that she needed to be interviewed? Quite a lot it seems. Justine is the mom at church who organizes the bake sale; she is the teacher at school who pays out of pocket for kid who cannot afford to go to camp. She looks out for and cares for everyone. Some of the many ideas Justine has spearheaded include: Christmas gifts for orphans and children with less fortunate backgrounds; Thanksgiving food drives for low income families; back to school events that provide children with school supplies; clothing and medical/dental checkups; all along while keeping morale in the office high by organizing inter-company events as well.
Justine has been with the firm for seven years, with the latter two years in her position as Office Manager. It was clear, early on, that Justine shies away from the spotlight, a true testament to her altruistic character. She wants the company she works for to succeed and run efficiently. That being said, she does have a great affinity as a spokesperson for the office.
“You’ve received multiple accolades” I pause to see her reaction; A shy smile. “You’ve got two awards on your office wall, multiple promotions and opportunities for growth, after seven years, has this job turned into a career for you?
“It definitely has turned into a career” she responds after brief reflection. “When I started as a filing clerk, I did not see a long term future here. I was in school to become a pharmacy tech. I completed multiple programs trying to find a career path in a different field. Every time I endeavored on a new project, they all ended up being something that didn’t feel right. Throughout that whole time I was working here, working hard, and they kept promoting me and giving me more responsibilities.” She pauses as she runs through the last few years in here head. “And I realized, I’m actually kinda good at this!”
“Kinda Good” is an understatement. Justine has been awarded the prestigious ‘Don Moon Memorial Award’ twice! The only person to ever do so. The Don Moon award is in memory of Donald Moon, a private investigator and close friend of Mr. Schweitzer and the firm, who was the personification of hard work and dedication.
As I continue to interview employees of this office, everything continually points to one concept, one idea, one action, one word; Excellence. Donald Schweitzer has created a workplace that encourages and builds and strives for excellence. Justine is no exception. She is the rule.
So what’s next for this wonder woman? As her history would suggest, on to bigger and better things. Justine is currently working towards getting her certification in Human Resources to continue to make the office, and her future, the best it can be.
This interview took place in Pasadena on October 10, 2017