Nita Thornton, doorperson at Coast Apartments, 345 E. Wacker Dr., learned how to handle the front desk responsibilities of a busy New Eastside high rise from a former coworker and friend who she believes to be without equal in the business.
“The good man from the Shoreham, Fred Crocker, is the best Doorman I’ve ever known,” she says. “He looked out for me. Got me all set up. Got me through training.”
It was Fred’s mother, a trusted friend for years, who encouraged Ms. Thornton to investigate an opportunity in the building where her son worked in October 2012.
At the time, Ms. Thornton was a Moraine Valley Community College nursing student, but her natural instinct for helping others was growing restless. So she decided to give it a try.
There is no doubt in her mind that it was the right move to make.
“You get to put your arms out and extend yourself,” she explains. “It’s beneficial all the way around.”
Roughly a year later, she accepted a postion at Coast when it opened.
Since then, her personalized brand of courtesy and service has been a hit with the tenants. “Nita is always on it,” said the resident who nominated her for this honor. “Everyone loves her. She always has a smile on her face and the right answer to give to anybody. We know we can count on her.”
The position also allows her to frequently communicate in Spanish, which she speaks fluently thanks to her father, who is of African American and Puerto Rican descent.
Although she wishes that she had learned to speak more than “just” two languages — “There are a lot of people and I would love to speak with them all,” says Ms. Thornton — she has taken full advantage of her bilingual and bicultural upbringing.
“The beat of Reggeatone is amazing,” she says. “And I like to dance.”
When she’s not enjoying the calypso rhythms of her heritage, Ms. Thornton likes to “just hang back” and spend time with family. Whether it’s with her own cousins, who rely on her wisdom as the oldest, or the children of friends, she cherishes being a helpful and mature friend.
“For some reason, kids take a liking to me,” she says. “I like to claim them when I can.”
To nominate your doorperson, please email email@example.com.
— Daniel Patton, Staff Writer