Having to choose a career path as a seventeen year old high school graduate isn’t an easy task. Being shy and quiet can often make the decisions more difficult. Luckily for Luke Hazelaar his hard work ethic and desire to learn didn’t go unnoticed and he was given the opportunity to discover his hidden talents.
Luke was born and raised in Cambridge, Ontario and as an only child he describes himself as shy and quiet; although these characteristics better describe him as a listener and observer. These qualities proved beneficial, as Luke grew up closely watching his hard working parents and embraced their positive work ethic.
After high school Luke wasn’t sure which path to take and admits he didn’t have a specific passion. Still shy and quiet, he joined some friends working at a local car wash where he felt comfortable being around people he knew. However, a new opportunity was about to arise.
“I remember my uncle worked as a maintenance manager at Langdon Hall and during the annual shutdown in January he would bring in my dad and others to help with odd jobs around the property,” recalls Luke. “My first year out of high school, I was invited to help out and earn some extra money.”
It was Luke’s first time visiting Langdon Hall and he remembers how incredible the old house looked. He didn’t have a specific skill set but he recalls moving a lot of furniture. This was also the first time he met the Director of Operations, Jay Bolhuis – his soon to be boss.
“I remember assigning Lukey a less-than-pleasant task and he tackled that job and stuck at it longer than I ever expected,” recalls Jay. “His talent for things mechanical was also apparent from the outset, fostering this in him was simply a matter of giving him opportunities to use it and whatever tools and advice I had to offer.”
Not long after his first introduction, Luke received a call from Jay offering him a position and later that year he became the third member of the Maintenance team. Although he was still shy and quiet, he was willing to learn anything and found that he enjoyed it.
“Table saws, drills, heating and AC, problem solving…I was learning a lot,” recalls Luke. “I’m sure there were some frustrating times, but Jay taught me not to dwell on my mistakes and that there’s always another solution.”
For Luke, a routine day is always full of variety. From daily water and meter checks, to repairs in guest rooms, and fixing the odd broken piece of equipment, Luke and the team try to stay invisible to guests – “Mission Impossible style,” jokes Luke. However, interacting with guests is also part of the job, so Luke also had to start breaking out of his shell.
“I’ve been at Langdon Hall for over five years now and I’m very grateful for everything I’ve learned. I’m even now comfortable speaking with guests,” explains Luke. “I would love to be able to pass on my knowledge to someone else, just like Jay has done for me.”
Last year Luke enrolled in a gas technician and HVAC program to grow his skill set even more. At the end of his course he had the opportunity to pursue an apprentice role with another company, but he chose to stay at Langdon Hall and take on a new leadership role as Engineering Manager.
“Lukey has a way of inspiring confidence,” explains Jay. “He motivates the team towards our common goals by bringing out the best in each of us.”
Langdon Hall couldn’t be more grateful to have such a dedicated member on the team. Now in his new role, Luke will take on more of the day-to-day operations and a leadership role among the growing team of now nine.