We’re so excited to acknowledge another one of Abt’s hardest-working employees, Maria Hernandez! Many employees and customers alike will recognize Maria’s kind face from all over the store. In her time here at Abt she’s shared many different duties, from greeting customers to making sure the store runs in an orderly fashion to assisting anywhere she can. Whenever help is needed, Maria is sure to be there to assist.
Maria first started her employment here over 26 years ago when a dear friend introduced her to Ricky Abt. He gave her the opportunity to work in both the afternoons and the evenings, and to this day she notes that “I’ll always appreciate the generosity of the Abt family.”
In fact, one of her favorite memories here involved Ricky’s father Bob. Bob Abt was beloved by many, including Maria. “Many years ago, Mr. Bob Abt would always take walks at night around the same time I would work. He asked another employee to take me home since I did not drive at the time. Mr. Abt told the employee to make sure I got inside my home. I will never forget that moment and I carry it forever in my heart. He greatly appreciated his employees.”
When asked what she loves most about Abt, it always comes back to our culture. “I am very happy to be at Abt and I love the culture as well as working as a team with colleagues.”
Maria was nominated by Shirley Hood, who describes her as “one of the kindest, most hardworking people you’ll find here. She is always proud of her work no matter what, and no matter the request her response is always a resounding ‘Yes.'” Her kindness is exemplified in one story from Shirley: “One day when my daughter Nina was younger, she mentioned to Maria that she loves hats. The next day, Maria came to Nina with a hat she had knitted overnight just for her. It was a pure act of kindness, and that’s what Abt’s culture is all about. Taking the initiative to be kind to each other. She embodies Abt’s goodness.”
When she’s not at Abt, Maria loves spending time with her special needs son Jesus, whom she describes as a strong and happy boy who is the love of her life. She also loves watching Korean K-Dramas, reading and knitting.