Tuesday, June 9, 2020
By Claudia Zequeira
Larry Fox, manager, courier services, learned the meaning of hard work in his native West Virginia, where his family members grew the very food they put on their table.
“If we didn’t grow it, we didn’t eat,” he said. “But it was a great upbringing. You could run around in the country all day and be safe.”
That work ethic got him noticed at Valencia College, where he started in 1998 as a shipping clerk at a campus bookstore. In between, he briefly left the College to work as a locksmith and in sales.
Larry returned to the College in 2011 as a part-time delivery courier. Today, he manages a team of 12 couriers who do their best to ship, receive and deliver packages collegewide. Among the items shipped are lab materials, computer equipment and mail.
More recently, and as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, his department helped send art supplies to students who needed to complete their work online. In addition, he helped send more than 1,000 laptops to students, a monumental effort undertaken by the College to ensure equity among those without access to resources.
“It was all done in less than a month’s time, and we have more coming. Students are really appreciative of that,” said Larry of the effort, an accomplishment of which he is proud.
Their next push will be delivering textbooks to Disney Aspire students.
And that’s just what he loves about working at Valencia, an atmosphere that he described as collaborative yet “not corporate.”
“I like that all these departments can come together so that students can be successful,” he said. “It’s different from every place I’ve worked for. It’s a very positive atmosphere.”
He is also inspired by the College’s mission.
“I think Valencia signifies that no matter what walk of life you come from, you can get resources and an education,” he said. “It’s a safe environment for any students to come and pursue their educational goals.”
Valencia, he said, is also a place that encourages growth. He said he was able to improve his skills thanks in part to his supervisor, Paul Rooney, assistant vice president, operations, who he described as being “very supportive.”
He also mentioned that Valencia’s professional development opportunities are a good reason to work here. Specifically, he mentioned PIVOT 180, a leadership training program that Paul encouraged him to pursue.
“I had just transitioned into the manager role [when I did PIVOT],” he said. “It helped me develop skills and helped me realize the skills I needed and the kind of leader I wanted to be.”
Paul, meanwhile, praised Larry for being “a true ‘team player,’ and a strong leader of our Courier Services Department.”
He also commended Larry for his “can do” attitude during the pandemic and his work ethic in general.
“Larry is not afraid to go above and beyond to assist all members of the College,” said Paul. “I routinely receive thank you notes and praise about his willingness to assist others. Larry is a true asset and we are very proud to have his professionalism, dedication, loyalty and expertise as he serves as our courier services manager.”
Larry graduated from high school in West Virginia and moved to Orlando in the 1990s. In his free time, he loves spending time with his grandchildren, who are one and two years old. Larry also enjoys the outdoors and playing flag football with friends.
In addition, he has a door-to-door ministry which, since the pandemic started, has focused its work on mailing letters of hope and encouragement.
Know of someone who embodies one of Valencia’s Values (learning, people, diversity, access or integrity), who has been an employee for one year or more? Send the colleague’s name to us at The_Grove@valenciacollege.edu. He or she might be one of our featured colleagues, subject to supervisor’s approval.