Congratulations to Mekonen Bahta, Santa Rosa Junior College's Employee of the Month for July 2015. Mekonen has dedicated over eighteen years of service to the College, starting his work as a full-time custodian here in March, 1997. Since then he has been working diligently with the Custodial Services team to keep the SRJC Santa Rosa campus clean.
Custodial Services supervisor Javier Rodriguez Aguilera praises Mekonen, known fondly by his co-workers as Mack, as "a hard working person who always takes great pride in his work." He elaborates, "Mack's work enhances the appearance of our college and creates a healthier environment for our students and staff to conduct their business. He is always a great support to co-workers and anyone in our group knows that working with Mack means having a reliable person supporting them."
Mekonen's comments align with Javier's: he speaks of his commitment to the job alongside his love for the campus. "My greatest accomplishment at the college is when I started as an STNC and moved to a full-time custodian. I felt then I could serve a broader audience and the whole community." He also discussed more recent developments in his job, saying, "With the expansion of the college, the scope of my job is hugely affected. I'm working with more technological equipment and more sustainable and safe products, always looking for a better and safer way of doing my job."
Outside of work, he is very active within the Eritrean community, and enjoys jogging and spending time with his grandchildren.
Mekonen was born and grew up in Areza, Eritrea, where he attended Mendefera, an Eritrean secondary school. To escape the war between Eritrea and Ethiopia, he went to Sudan, where he worked as a mechanic in Kahrtoum. In 1985, he came to Sonoma County and, prior to being hired at SRJC, worked as a custodian for a number of school districts, including Twin Hills Union School District.
Javier continues, "It is a pleasure to have Mack on our team, and to know that no matter what projects we assign him, he will perform them with the utmost professionalism and dedication. Mack has the energy and dedication of a 25-year-old person, maybe even better. He's just a great employee all around."
His reaction to being named employee of the month? "I'm happy that I have been contributing something good to this wonderful college," said Mekonen. "I'm excited; I feel accomplished and recognized for my dedication and hard work."
Mekonen celebrates his recognition with his wife Azamit, and with his six children: Tewelde, Daniel, Abiel, Saba, Yordanos, and Helen.