Going the Distance in Florida – The Sunbathing Gator

Posted: July, 20, 2017 | Categories: Company and Industry News

JWilliams Staffing has a superstar in Florida and I’d like to tell his story. Henry Bell was awarded for Going the Distance and snapping into action when confronted by an alligator on a JWS assignment. Henry was originally brought to me by Wanda Johnson, who had been coached by Henry for Olympic Track and Field events. Wanda was now looking to start her career with a New Home Builder and decided to seek out opportunities through JWilliams Staffing’s temp-to-perm assignments. Since Henry had been Wanda’s coach and mentor for so many years, she asked Henry to come along with her for an open   interview with JWilliams Staffing. Henry agreed.

He sat with her as we started the open interview session but was not engaged in the process; in fact, he was reading a newspaper. This was distracting to the group, so I asked him to wait in the lobby until we finished the interviews. He promptly apologized and said that after listening to the introductions and background on JWilliams Staffing that he would actually like to participate in the interviews if possible. He put down his newspaper and we continued the interview. I came to find out that he had also been an Olympic Torch Bearer and was currently a motivational speaker and leader who loved working within his community. Henry was an excellent interviewee and I welcomed him on to the JWS Florida team as a New Home Sales Assistant.

I knew that Henry was an awesome sales assistant - accountable, thorough, engaging; but he really proved his dedication and ability to think on his feet when he was faced with one of the most unusual circumstances experienced by a JWS candidate on the job. Henry was greeted upon arrival to his Taylor Morrison assignment by an 8-foot alligator laying out on the sunny driveway right next to the model entrance. Despite the level of danger, Henry stayed calm and began to call the necessary contacts, including myself, to let us know that the model would be opening late that day due to the sunbathing alligator (pretty good excuse if you ask me). I told him to stay safe in his car to make sure his arms and legs stayed intact. From there he called the police, who were able to get the alligator to scramble over to the retention pond.

Though away from the model homes, the alligator was now too close for comfort to the actual neighborhood residents. Henry took it upon himself to call the Florida Fish and Game Department to have the animal properly removed but they could not give him a specific arrival time. He knew he might be off the assignment by the time they arrived, so he let the homeowner closest to the retention pond know where the alligator was located and that he’d like to offer the department their phone number as well in case he had to leave before they arrived. The homeowners were grateful to be informed and alerted their neighbors of the situation. The alligator was relocated to a more suitable home and Taylor Morrison was very thankful that Henry stepped up and took the necessary actions to keep the residents in the neighborhood safe.

The thorough way Henry dealt with such a risky and dangerous situation displayed how reliable Henry truly is. His focus on taking care of our clients’ communities no matter the circumstance is why JWS has presented Henry Bell the “Going the Distance” award. Thank you, Henry, for handling the unwanted sunbather with such a level of expertise! We are proud of you and all of our associates who go the extra mile to make a difference.


Written By:

Cheri Bass
JWilliams Staffing
Vice President

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By JWilliams Staffing

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