As 2022 begins to come to a close, we often take this time to reflect on what’s most important in our lives. And during the week of Thanksgiving, there’s always a focus on family. That’s why this month’s Employee Spotlight shines on a powerful family: the father-daughter duo that works to make Abt run smoothly every day, George and Maria Mavraganis.
In 2003, George Mavraganis was working at Johnny’s Kitchen and Tap down the road when the new Abt was being built right here on Milwaukee Avenue. Bob Abt would come in and the two became fast friends. Mr. Abt quickly asked George to work at the new location, and the rest is history. When talking about his history with Mr. Abt, George noted that “I only regret that I didn’t meet him 20 years earlier. He was a great man to me.”
George has spent the entirety of his career here at Abt in sales. Ask anyone, George is an incredible salesman and his vast knowledge about appliances is unparalleled. He particularly loves helping people make the right decisions, ensuring they are happy and excited about their new purchase.
When asked what he loves most about working with his daughter Maria, he had the following to say: “I love the fact that I can email her anything and she will take care of it for me.” It’s all about family for George. He said he loves spending time with his grandkids when he’s not here at Abt. And when he’s not hanging out with his grandkids or working here, he’s out riding his Harley.
Employee Spotlight #2 is Maria Mavraganis! George’s daughter Maria began working here at Abt a little over 11 years ago, following in her father’s footsteps. She had humble beginnings in everyone’s absolute favorite place at Abt: with the cookies. “I started when I was 16 making cookies on the weekend.” Everyone who comes into Abt and sees anyone behind the counter in our BlueStar kitchen expects to see warm chocolate chip cookies flying out of ovens and into customers’ hands. From the warm cookie kitchen, she worked her way up to her current role as a supervisor in customer service.
When asked about what she loves most about working with her father, Maria said that “I have been doing it for so long and I’m so used to it now, but it’s nice to be able to talk about things that he understands. I can always go to him with questions or when I need help.”
Thanksgiving is tomorrow, too, a day when everyone gathers close together to enjoy each other’s company and appreciate family, friends and all that we’re grateful for. “Every year for my entire life, we have spent Thanksgiving at our family’s farm. Some of my fondest memories have been spent there, and I’m grateful for my niece and nephew. They’re my favorite little humans.”
Even when asked what her favorite hobbies were and what she loved to do outside of work, Maria mentioned her favorite little humans. “I love spending time with my family and friends, working out, and being with my niece and nephew of course.”
As far as hobbies that might surprise readers and coworkers, Maria absolutely loves to bake, and finds it really therapeutic. “Homemade cinnamon rolls on Christmas Day are my favorite!”
For the Mavraganis family, it seems like it’s all about just that: family. That’s what all of us in the Abt family appreciate this Thanksgiving, too. This season, we’re grateful for all of our employees like George and Maria, and wish everyone in the community a happy holiday.