350,400 hours. 14,600 days. 40 years. That is how long Maria Martinez has been a staple of the Belo Mansion. Mama Maria has attended to DBA members, staff, and the public and treated them like her own family. On June 28, she will retire from the Belo and begin a new chapter in her life.
“Over the past 20+ years I have come to know and love Maria like family. It is hard to imagine the Belo without her there to greet me with a hug,” said DBA President Laura Benitez Geisler. “Her loyalty to the DBA for the past 40 years speaks volumes. While she will be sorely missed, I am delighted to think of her enjoying retirement after a lifetime of hard work in service to others.”
Others heartily agree. When asked to describe Maria, response was instantaneous and sentiments included: caring, compassionate, happy, active, tireless worker, wise, and honest, treats you like one of her own. These are just a few of the many words that define Maria.
During her 40 years at Belo she not only took care of us, she also raised four sons and welcomed seven grandchildren—four grandsons and three granddaughters. She was the matriarch of her own family, while taking care of, and becoming part of ours.
“I am most grateful for the memorable experiences and, most importantly, the great people and friendships I made throughout my 40 years at Belo Mansion,” said Maria.
But it is the countless past presidents, members, and staff who are most grateful! As one DBA staff person stated: “She makes the Belo feel like home when she welcomes you with her bright smile, warm embrace, and genuine interest in what’s new in your world. She will be missed!” Yes she will.
Maria—we wish you the best and hope you enjoy your next adventure!