When Rhonda Ciacco became General Manager of Silveridge and The Resort, one of the first things she did was promote Kelly Haragan to take her old job as Maintenance Manager. “He was my lead person,” Rhonda says, “and I knew he was the right one for the job. He’s the kind of guy who, if he sees something that needs fixing, he just does it. And it doesn’t matter if it’s during regular work hours or not. I sometimes see him working so late that I tell him, ‘If you don’t go home, I’m going to have to fire you.’ That’s became our standard joke. Sometimes he objects and I’ll say, ‘Okay, you’re fired.’ Then I add, ‘And I’ll see you in the morning.'”
As for Kelly, he still remembers the day back in ’05 when he first became an employee: Working for an electrical contractor, he’d been on a crew doing jobs around both Silveridge and The Resort. What he didn’t know was that Rhonda, still Maintenance Manager at the time, had been noticing the quality of his work. “One day I was digging a trench for a new electrical cable,” Kelly recalls. “It was a deep one where I was down to where just the top of my head was above ground, and I see someone up above me and it was Rhonda. She said, ‘We need you to work for us.'” Kelly took the job. (Who can say no to Rhonda?) And eventually moved into The Resort.
At the time he started at the parks, he’d recently moved to Mesa from Southern California. Although he’d grown up in Eastern New Mexico, mostly around Clovis, he’d spent the past 30 years in Los Angeles. He had grown tired of fighting the crowds and the traffic in the San Fernando Valley and was ready for a change.
I asked Kelly how he choose to move to Mesa and he said, “My ex-brother-in-law let me move into one of his rooms. And he offered me a job.”
“Yeah, I’d gotten divorced but I stayed in touch with him. Still do. I don’t know what happened to my ex-wife – I never talk to her.”
(Something about that story makes me think of the country song, “My wife ran off with my best friend… and I sure do miss him.”)
It was that same ex-bro that offered Kelly a job helping out with his electrical contracting accounts, including some work at the RV parks.
Kelly now has two year-round employees reporting to him at each park, as well as two “work campers” who are seasonal residents of each park. Every morning the teams go over their checklists and their work orders. (Any resident who spots something amiss can report it to the office, and they generate the work orders.)
When asked what’s the most common task, Kelly replied that it’s the irrigation system with all the sprinklers and drip emitters. “There must be four or five hundred emitters at each park, and with the hard water out here, there’s plenty to replace.”
In addition to his full-time job, Kelly takes on plenty of additional work for residents. “Mostly it’s plumbing,” he explained. “Usually there’s some kind of leak. I’ve gone out at all hours, sometimes the middle of the night. The people are grateful and I’m happy to help.”
He smiled and added, “Just about everybody knows me.”
And just about everybody would understand what Rhonda means when she said, “I remember when I first saw his work and I started thinking, ‘We gotta have him.'”