Catching Up with HD Supply Facilities Maintenance’s 2015 Maintenance Person of the Year: Alfredo Caramena

In February 2016, HD Supply Facilities Maintenance (FM) will hold the second annual Maintenance Person of the Year (MPOY) contest. We’re excited to see who this year’s winner will be!

“The best thing is to love what you’re doing. Don’t look at it as just a job. Love your job and keep learning and improving every chance you get.” ~ Alfredo Camarena, HD Supply FM’s Maintenance Person of the Year 2015

As we await the outcome, we checked in with last year’s winner, Alfredo Camarena, who works at Estelle Creek North Apartments in Irving, Texas. Alfredo took home the grand prize of a $1,000 check and a trophy. We asked him about his MPOY experience as well as his 12 years working as a maintenance pro.

Alfredo, you’ve set the bar pretty high, garnering 364 votes to win last year’s competition. How did you get so many? 

Well, I asked all my coworkers to vote for me, and I have a very big family. But I did have to bribe some of them by promising to treat them to a beach day, too.

Did you nominate yourself for the MPOY contest, or did someone else?HD Supply's 2015 Maintenance Person of the Year
Actually, my wife was the one who nominated me. It was a total surprise!

Did you treat yourself to anything once you won?
I celebrated with my coworkers, made fajitas for everyone to thank them, and had a barbecue on the beach with my family.

What is your best maintenance advice?
Try to learn something new every day. Don’t get lazy or think you know all there is to know. Because no matter how long you’ve been in this business there’s still something you can learn and from everyone at any level—whether it’s a supervisor with way more experience than you or a porter who’s just learning the ropes.

What’s your craziest maintenance story?
I got a call from a resident who was concerned about an animal or something roaming around the wooded area bordering the property. He truly believed it was a chupacabra, a legendary creature said to inhabit parts of the Americas that drinks the blood of livestock, especially goats. But when I went to investigate all I found was…a raccoon.

What does a successful day at work look like for you?2015 MPOY Winner
Getting all the major work orders cleared out of the way and leaving only more manageable and less urgent tasks to complete.

What’s your best memory in your career as a maintenance man?
I remember helping an elderly lady once, putting new blinds up in her apartment. She was really funny and sweet, and she had some good advice. And she knew a lot about blinds, even more than me!

What does it take to be a good maintenance man?
The most important thing is to be prepared and to know what to do on your property in any situation.

Can you give an example or two of a more challenging situation?
In 2011, we had very cold weather, which led to many busted pipes in the walls of the property. I had to work 16-hour shifts to get all the repairs done. Another time, we had a tornado in the area that blew out over 200 windows. It took a lot of work and time to clean up, repair, and deal with the tenants in a positive way.

2015 was a good year to be a maintenance man for Alfredo, who obviously loves what he does and has been doing it for over a decade. Alfredo, his wife of seven years, and their son are looking forward to 2016 as they are expecting a new addition to the family in May.


The rest of us can look forward to the second annual Maintenance Person of the Year contest. The grand prize is $2,000! Be sure to check our Facebook page to nominate your favorite maintenance person (and yes, you can nominate yourself!).

The nominee with the most votes by March 31st, 2016 will win, so take a page from Alfredo’s book and enlist friends and family to vote, even if you have to bribe them a little bit. Fajitas seem like a good choice!

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