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Employee Spotlight – Giovanni Marra

Welcome to the Employee Spotlight

Welcome to another edition of the Mahoney ‘Employee Spotlight’.  This spotlight is our way to reflect on and draw positive attention to the most important assets of Mahoney – its employees! A functioning business cannot function without a solid team in place, and we are extra proud of that team.

Every couple of weeks, an employee will be nominated and featured.  Next up is Giovanni Marra.

What is your role at the company? How long have you been with Mahoney, and what position did you start at?

G:  Accounts Payable Administrator.  I’ve been here 7.5 years and have moved up from just a “bean counter”, as they call us in the accounting business (A/P clerk), to my current lofty status.

What is your favorite aspect of your job?

G:  There is always something to do or something to untangle, if you will, when you are in accounting. When I can work with another Mahoney employee to get something done the right way the first time, it brings so much gratification.

What is the most challenging part of your job?

G:  I would have to say reconciling statements – which, ironically, can be one of the easiest parts of the job. It’s one of those things.

If you could switch your job with anyone else within Mahoney, whose job would you want?

G:  I can’t think of another place I’d be as good as I am now; although I have always prided myself in being a fast learner.  I imagine I could do anything here except be a driver. I’m a grumpy old man who dislikes traffic and weather conditions – my hats off to those guys who keep the wheels of Mahoney “greased”, if you will…

How do you balance your career at Mahoney with family life?

G:  For a long time there was no balance – it was just me as the “AP Dept” went. But I’m very big on family-you have to be. Over the last two years, I’ve gotten some much needed and appreciated help from the rest of the accounting team, most notably Nicole Klaff, who acts as sort of my deputy. The women I work with on the accounting team are all a great source of help, support and knowledge.

What is on your wish list for the next five years at ME?

G: Keeping the communication lines open. When we communicate, there are no surprises and everyone goes home happy. 

What has been your favorite project that you worked on here at Mahoney?

G: You won’t believe this – maybe some will – but it’s Papersave. It was a major undertaking but I had great support back then from programmers and people here to make it a little less nightmarish. Looking forward to upgrades so it runs smoothly for one and all. 

What drew you to Mahoney when you initially started and how has the company changed since then?

G:  I was out of work! I tried to give this job away to a friend who lived in Joliet, as I did not live here at the time, but I suppose it was in the cards for me to be here. I do love working and living here for the time being. The company has grown so much, and the work keeps coming. I hope we can all grow along with it.

Before working at Mahoney, what was the most interesting or unusual job you had?

G:  I had a one weekend stint folding tables and curtains at McCormick Place once – and I used to take calls and go on pickups for a funeral parlor. It was easy money and a free apartment; and as my grandmother used to say, “Don’t be afraid of the dead, it’s the living you better watch out for.”

Share your proudest moment since coming on board at Mahoney?

G: I prefer to live vicariously through all the departments here. When somebody gets the ol’ “atta boy or girl”, I like to think we all have a part in getting the accolades, provided we all work together as a team. Very important!

What are 3 words you’d use to describe Mahoney Environmental?

G: Employer, Environmentally conscious and challenging

Miscellaneous Questions (non-job related)

What is your office nickname? 

G: Gio

Do you have a favorite or inspirational quote to share?

G: “Where there’s life, there’s hope.” – by the great Roman statesman Marcus Tullius Cicero

Best vacation you have been on?

G: My first trip to Los Angeles. It began a never ending love affair with lower California (and a not long enough residency there some years ago.)

If you could change careers right now, what would you choose?

G: I’d like to do something with helping low income families, immigrants, the elderly, children, or animals. Anything where I could help “the little guy” getting a clean and even break.

Motto or personal mantra?

G: “You gotta love living, baby, because dying’s a pain in the @ss” – stolen from “The Rat Pack”

If you could interview one person in the world (dead or alive), who would it be, and why?

G: I’d have to choose the great arranger/conductor Nelson Riddle. He worked with EVERYONE in the music business during the 40’s until he passed away in 1985. I really have always associated with him because, as great as he was, he never gave himself enough credit. (I’m working on that!)

If you could choose anyone, who would you pick as your mentor?

G: In life, hands down, it’s a dead heat between my two uncles, “Chickie” and Frank. Two polar opposites, one the perfectionist and the other the class clown. But I always looked up to them, and have tried to model myself after the great qualities they taught me over the years. I miss them every day. As far as work, I worked with an extraordinary man when I first started in the transportation business, Tom Mull. He was the best kind of guy you could work for, and with. He always emphasized we worked WITH each other. We won awards from our customers, got bonuses, worked until we went home exhausted, but in the end, always had some laughs. His type is hard to come by anymore.

What are you currently watching on Netflix?

G: I really enjoyed “The Umbrella Academy” and hope it comes back for another season.  Grace and Frankie is classic comedy. Always on the lookout for a new movie or series though when time allows.

If you could have one superpower, what would it be and why?

G:  Healing of illness and non-physical hurts as well. Lord knows we need that in this world.

People would be surprised if they knew what about you or what’s your secret talent that no one knows about?

G: Nothing’s a secret anymore with social media. But I’m a singer – mostly jazz. I still perform from time to time, most recently for a retirement village. The residents really appreciate it and I couldn’t think of a better way to spend an hour or two (Not even at a CUBS game!)

Finally, three words that best describe you:

G: Loyal, passionate and Italian.  


Thank you, Gio! We appreciate your contribution to this interview AND especially to all you do for Mahoney Environmental!

Want to nominate someone? Submit your nomination by emailing [email protected]. Please title the email “Employee Spotlight Nomination”.

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