Department of General Services


For Jones and Jackson, public service is all about the customer

Bertha Jackson and Ronald Jones are the package deal. They've worked side by side at the Department of General Services for the past 26 years.

What makes them such a steadfast duo in the office? Their shared vision of public service.

"For us, it's all about the customer service," Jones said.

Customer service is Jones and Jackson's bread and butter in their roles as trades manager and operations manager, respectively, in the Division of Real Estate and Facilities Management (DREFM) at DGS. The two work closely together on administering all of the refuse, extermination, security, custodial and recycling contracts for DGS-managed buildings. This includes 10 buildings on Capitol Square and six buildings elsewhere in Richmond.

They oversee more than 50 security and housekeeping employees and over 100 contract workers.

In other words, Jones and Jackson are responsible for making sure the DGS-managed buildings we work in every day stay clean and safe for state employees and the public.

"They are really behind-the-scenes, dedicated staff," said Holly Eve, the Director of DREFM at DGS. "They always exhibit such cheerful, positive attitudes to address their tasks, no matter the challenge."

One of their favorite programs that they both consider a highlight in their careers is the in-house custodial program they developed for the Capitol. Before the Capitol underwent renovations beginning in 2004, the custodial services were contracted. Jones and Jackson developed a custodial program for the Capitol to replace the contracted workers with DGS housekeeping employees. They wrote the plan and created a budget before it was presented to the Clerks of the House and Senate.

"We pitched the Clerks with the idea of let us develop a cleaning program for you. We can get this Capitol the way you want it and give it the attention that it deserves, if we can start and implement this program," said Jones.

The Clerks agreed to the proposal, and Jones said the program has been very successful since its inception.
They also do a lot of the behind-the-scenes work during inaugurations and legislative session.

Whether it's the setting up for an important event like inauguration or streamlining recycling, both Jones and Jackson stressed how they strive to meet the needs of their customers, despite the often spur-of-the-moment requests.

"Ron makes sure the customers are receiving exactly what they are paying for and he goes out of his way to make sure that anybody, not just the people we work for, but anybody that he comes in contact with feels wanted and feels like they can rely on our services," said Jackson.

Jones and Jackson's talent for great customer service is reflected in how they work together as a team.

Both of them have worked on Capitol Square for the past 36 years, but they didn't meet until they joined DGS in 1993. Jones started out as a housekeeping inspector and quickly moved up to operations manager and then trades manager.

Jackson also came on board as a housekeeping inspector and moved up to the operations manager position.
The two divvy up responsibilities, with Jackson working heavily on the extermination, recycling and security management and Jones handling the budget and the custodial and refuse management.

"We work hand-in-hand and there isn't really a lot of separation," said Jones "The good thing about us I think is that we have always gotten along, and we have always been not just coworkers, but we have been friends."

Jones and Jackson exemplify their values of public service—respect and open communication—not just with the public, but also with each other. And that's what makes them great at facilities management.