What started as a friendship years ago has blossomed through the years. Now, it’s more like family. That’s why this story is an incredible reflection of our Atlantic culture, and it’s the reason why Gwen Wiggins of our Boca Raton, FL (BCT) location is our 2020 Atlantic Employee of the Year.
Gwen started working at BCT seventeen years ago and met a pilot, a tenant of theirs, George. Through the years their working relationship has grown into a friendship. George has always been willing to lend a helping hand and has grown close to not only Gwen but many employees at Atlantic. Gwen says, “He’s just that type of guy. Very nice and caring.”
Early in 2020 when COVID started spreading, many employees were unfortunately furloughed, and this included Gwen. George reached out to Gwen, like a friend would, to check on her. While talking, Gwen found out that George’s wife, Françoise, who was beginning to suffer from dementia, had a mild stroke and was in the hospital. George wasn’t able to visit Françoise or be with her in the hospital, so Gwen jumped into action to help him through this tough time by preparing their home for Françoise’s return. Gwen organized her books, decluttered, and rearranged furniture so when she came home it would be neat, organized, and easy to move around.
Françoise did soon return home and George had to get back to flying. Gwen was happy to do anything she could to continue to help them. George would stock the house with food before leaving for a trip, and Gwen would cook for Françoise, she would sit and spend time with her, fixing her hair or just talking. They would fold laundry together and do puzzles that Gwen’s daughter would bring. Gwen shares, “We really helped each other. I helped Françoise stay active and kept her company while George wasn’t home, and she helped me to stay busy while I wasn’t working.” Gwen is back to work now, but she continues to help them when she’s able. She’ll come over and help George by meal prepping for them, so they have meals ready to warm up, or come over to have dinner with them where they’ll open a bottle of champagne and sip and talk through the evening. Every day is a bit more of a struggle since Françoise’s condition is worsening, but she still gets a big smile on her face when Gwen comes over.
The team at Atlantic BCT presented her award to her with a big surprise celebration and lunch. She knew something was off that day when she came into work but had no clue what was going on. When Joe, General Manager, gathered everyone around and started talking through the story of Gwen, George, and Françoise, Gwen was completely caught off guard and shocked to hear him announce – Atlantic Employee of the Year! "Gwen regularly goes above and beyond her core functions to assist our team and our customers in any way she can. Armed with a smile on her face and positive attitude, she takes her position to a whole new level each and every day," says Joe Therrien, General Manager of Atlantic BCT.
“It’s my pleasure to help them,” expresses Gwen. “It’s the right thing to do, and why not. They are such sweet people and great friends. Even like family you could say. I’m very blessed to have them in my life.”
Atlantic is truly honored to have employees like Gwen who selflessly give their time and resources to help others. Gwen’s authentic actions show such integrity and align with our company culture. On behalf of everyone at Atlantic, we’d like to say, thank you Gwen, and congratulations on receiving this special recognition!