Posted 23 months ago
2 MIN READ - Michael Love, the November Loop Employee of the Month, brightens everyone's day at Joffrey Tower. He is also tasked with keeping everyone in the building safe.
When you walk into Joffrey Tower, home of The Joffrey Ballet, the first person you see is Security Lead Michael Love—and odds are he’ll be flashing you his famous smile.
“One might describe Michael Love as The Joffrey Ballet’s shining light,” said the Joffrey’s director of communications Matt de la Pena.
Love has worked as an Andy Frain Services security guard at the Joffrey since 2016. On paper, his job is to ensure everyone in the building—including the Joffrey’s youngest dance students—stays safe.
“I make sure the kids come in safely, make sure when they leave they get in the right car, make sure I secure the building, make sure there are no violations, and just make sure to keep everyone safe from anything or anyone who doesn’t belong,” Love said.
But it’s what is not in his job description that sets Love apart. His friendly spirit over the past three years has made him a part of the Joffrey family. Love says at least 50 dancers greet him by name, and he even won an award from Andy Frain Services for being their most Instagrammed employee. One photo showing Love in a plié garnered more than 1,000 likes.
“I feel like how you treat people, they’ll treat you back,” Love said. “If I come in pleasant, I’ll get pleasant. And if I come in sad, I’ll still be pleasant because it’s my job. Greeting people is my job.”
That may be so, but de la Pena sees Love’s spirit as something a little more special than just performing his duties.
“Michael’s gregarious spirit is not part of his job description,” de la Pena said. “He could easily sit back and monitor from a distance. Instead, he prefers to engage people with no expectations in return. We love him for it, and think he deserves as much recognition as possible.”
When Love found out he was the November Loop Employee of the Month, he said he first felt shock, then felt grateful for the recognition. He enjoys spending time in the Loop for the area’s events, restaurants, and shopping, and he has a particular affinity for Millennium Park and Maggie Daley Park.
Love got into security work because he enjoys having the opportunity to meet new people every day. He foresees continuing to work at the Joffrey because of the coworkers and dancers he’s gotten to know over the years—and the opportunity to brighten their days.
“I like to motivate people and inspire them to do whatever they put their mind to,” Love said. “If they have a plan, I like to make sure they follow that plan and go after their dreams.”
We are the city that works. And the Loop is at the center of Chicago’s powerful workforce. Chicago Loop Alliance would like to recognize the over 300,000 Loop workers contributing their heart, talent, and tenacity to their job each day. Each month from March 2019 to February 2020, a Loop Employee of the Month will be recognized for being great at what they do, contributing to their community, and inspiring those around them. For more information on award selection, rules and conditions, and a full list of prizes, please visit loopchicago.com/nominate.
Photos by Hummingbird Studios
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