Valori Benner: Work Like No One's Watching

February 2014
CDC Building 23
Valori Benner
It was one cold rainy day, one of those types no one wanted to be outside. I stood at the window of Building 23 looking at the weather and noticed an FSE employee working on the rooftop exhaust fan units of Building 15. Their coat was bundled and hat pulled down tight in every attempt to keep the rain and cold out. I watched as they checked the belts, fan blades, greased the bearings, and wiped the units down. They ensured each of the units was secured to the roof curb, the covers were in place correctly, and every nut and bolt was tight. After completing the work, they walked the roof and appeared to remove any debris they found.

I watched the entire process unfold—Charles Greeson walked up as I stood there. I made the statement to him, "We need that guy over in this building. He is conscientious, meticulous and thorough. They're hard working and never let the severe weather slow them down." Charles just smiled and said, "That's Valori." That is how I met Valori. Little did I know at the time how our paths would cross or how dependable I would become on her. As things happen, people move into other positions and the position for work leader in Building 23 became available.

When I received the news that Valori was chosen to be the work leader for Building 23, I was excited. I remembered the attributes I had seen that cold, rainy day when she thought she was all alone on that rooftop. I spoke with her extensively and found she had construction experience, as well as maintenance, which is always helpful. She had experience in the laboratory environment, which, at the time, could be very complex and demanding. Valori has excellent communication skills with the building occupants, keeping them informed of work schedules, productivity and possible delays. She communicates well with co-workers and follows up on the work they complete, and gives me daily update with regards to electrical, general maintenance and HVAC projects. She takes on the important task herself and with the persistent approach. She overcomes any obstacles.

Valori has far exceeded any expectations I had of her and her ability. She is an intricate part of this team and has been an indispensable asset. When I work with people, regardless of the training, I always access their abilities and characteristics with one question, "If I owned a company, would I hire this individual to work for me?" From my experience with Valori, not only would I hire her, but she would be the first person I hired.


Larry Rountree
CDC Building 23 Manager