Kimani Gray, supply services coordinator for the Supply and Property Management Unit, doesn’t have an easy job. Even though it regularly pulls him in multiple directions, he always remains calm and focused. Colleagues call him the “behind-the-scenes glue” that keeps schools and offices running. Gray has been named this year’s Supporting Services Employee of the Year, an annual award given by SEIU Local 500.
He has exceptional customer service skills, exceeds expectations with his attention to detail and has in-depth knowledge of the school system’s inventory, which help him meet design and spatial needs for all offices. He deftly juggles several projects at once, and is described as a flexible, positive and kind leader. He also works closely with local businesses as he coordinates the furniture donation program, which allows the Department of Materials Management to obtain new or gently used furniture for MCPS facilities.
A 12-year veteran, Gray came to the U.S. from Jamaica as a teenager and joined MCPS as a temporary, part-time employee who helped relocate schools in the summer. Once the summer was over, he was invited to stay to provide additional support in the warehouse and for other projects. A natural leader who was dedicated and dependable, Gray was soon hired full-time as a truck driver. He was given more responsibility and special assignments, leading to his current position.
Gray handles all requests for new and additional furniture, and keeps up with surplus furniture that is removed, always thinking about where it could be repurposed. He works on traditional classroom needs, such as tables, desks and chairs, as well as art and science classrooms, staff lounges, front offices, conference rooms and library nooks. He meets with staff to understand their design needs and listens so he can support their goals and vision.
He was invaluable in the creation of the system’s furniture refurbishment program. He is the liaison for the Department of Design and Construction and works closely with project managers to ensure schools open on time, and that staff and students have what they need to succeed.
Gray will be among the honorees at the annual Champions for Children celebration in April at BlackRock Center for the Arts in Germantown.
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