MEMBER PROFILE - DAWN THOMPSON

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It’s very difficult to be a tenant of the Conti building without knowing who Dawn Thompson is. She has been an integral part of the building for so long. Since January of 2005 to be exact. Ten of those early years also allowed her to work with her dad, ‘Bucky’, who was also employed here at the building.

Dawn had just moved back into the area from Florida and was renting a storage unit. At that time, the office manager was Linda James and before long it would be Linda that would hire Dawn to help out with secretarial duties here at the building. Her duties ranged from office support and storage rental unit management to building rental logistics. Currently she has been working less in the office and more with janitorial duties around the building as she prepares to start a new chapter in her life down in Maryland.

Over the years Dawn has both seen and been part of many of the changes at 415 Howe and has very fond memories. One such memory is as a mother she would receive birthday cards from Mrs. Conti for her children. Mrs. Conti would include a $5 bill for her kids and it is memories like this that makes it hard for her to leave all the people she has come to know and love here at the Conti.

Personally, I have to admire her dedication and appreciation of this old place as I have seen her painting and sprucing up bathrooms, hallways and other areas of the building. You might say it’s her last ditch effort to leave her mark on this place and I applaud her for it. You can’t help but love her dedication.

Sadly, she is leaving us, but don’t be too sad. She is looking forward to her move to Maryland where she will be living on three acres of land in “the middle of nowhere”, as she describes it, to have fun riding four wheelers, getting muddy and having fun with her kids. She has, however, promised to stop by for a visit whenever she is back in the area.

In closing and on behalf of the staff and tenants of 415 Howe Ave., I would like to thank Dawn for everything she has done. We wish her all the best of luck and good fortune as she begins a new chapter in her life.

Member Profile - Pete Malec

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One of the busiest members of the Conti building team is Pete Malec, the building’s general maintenance manager. When something goes mechanically wrong, Pete’s the first to be called.

Pete originally began his tenure with 415 Howe assisting Margo with her business in Nicky’s Attic, helping her with her estate work and antiques business. As time progressed and Dominick took on a more active role in the building’s operations, Pete’s 15 to 20 year experience as a machinist was called on to help with some of the maintenance tasks around the building. In particular, the very old and very fidgety boiler we have all come to love/hate.

It came as a surprise to me to learn that Pete has only been in this official capacity for less than a year. Prior to that he helped Joe Foti, the previous maintenance manager, with the boiler, getting to know it’s workings and what it takes to maintain it running during the cold months. Joe has since retired and Pete has taken over full time. Although he does a lot of work in the building, Pete considers himself retired and does his work here simply to supplement his income.

Talking with Pete it is obvious that he has a fondness for the 415 Howe community. While he can be seen quickly shuffling from place to place, he always has a ready welcome to those he crosses paths with. As he tells me, “it’s a nice place to work, bottom line.”

For an interesting look into just how involved Pete is with the maintenance of the building he shared this little bit of information with me. He has a health meter that keeps track of his walking mileage. On average he does anywhere between 5 and 9 miles a day through these halls.

Next time you see Pete, please take a few minutes to recognize his hard work and dedication to keeping the building in working order. It’s often easy to minimize situations when things go wrong, but when you think that most of the work is done by one person… makes you think twice.

Pete down in the ‘bowels’ of the building.

Pete down in the ‘bowels’ of the building.

Valley Shakespeare starts their 2019 season at 415 Howe

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Tonight is dress rehearsal and the curtain goes up tomorrow on the Conti building’s first performance of The Merchant of Venice presented by the Valley Shakespeare Festival. Running for two weeks, the play represents a new partnership between the Conti building and the company of performers and their artistic director, Tom Simonetti. It’s another great feather in Dominick’s cap in bringing the arts to the downtown area and the 415 Howe Ave. specifically.

The play runs March 7th through the 17th with performances Thursday through Saturday at 7 PM and Sunday at 1 PM . Ticket prices range from $35 for front row table seats and $20 regular chair seats. Students are $10 with a valid ID.

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For more details about Valley Shakespeare Festival or to purchase advance tickets, go to www.vsfestival.org/merchant-of-venice.

First Friday - March 1st

Hello friends,. Our first, First Friday was such a success we're doing it again! This Friday, March 1st, from 6-9:30pm in the Industry Co-Working space. Enter through door 6 off West Canal Street. There is plenty of parking there.

Mingle, open mic, BYO beverage / light refreshments / snacks

We'd love to have you showcase your talents; music, poetry, art.

Bring friends, spread the word! If you have any suggestions or ideas for future events, we'd love to hear them.