Though he was only in high school, Anthony Patton had a dream. He was going to become a firefighter. His first step toward achieving that dream was to sign up for the Compton Fire Department’s Explorer program. As an Explorer, he was able to interact with firefighters as he learned the basics of the job.
The path became even more clear when he was accepted into the fire academy at the age of 18, fulfilling his ambition. Unfortunately, the city’s budget was not as dedicated to Anthony’s pursuit as he was, and he was quickly laid off.
With uncertainty about the future causing him to question his choices, Anthony decided to make a pivot in his career and enroll in construction management classes at a local college, but life threw him another curveball. A series of events — including getting married, finding himself hospitalized, and becoming a father — all in a short span of time, made the need for employment much more pressing than the need for an education.
The next step was made even more clear when a lawsuit forced the shutdown of the college, but not before a career counselor pointed Anthony toward a bellman’s job at Evo, a 24-story luxury high-rise building in Downtown Los Angeles managed by Action Property Management. The pay was enough to make a difference with his immediate needs, so he applied for the position. As he interviewed, it became clear that Anthony possessed a drive that propelled him beyond other applicants. His proven track record with the fire department was an impressive bonus, and he was offered the job.
With an insatiable drive to succeed, Anthony dove into his new job headfirst. As a young man, he didn’t yet own a car, so he commuted from Compton to Downtown Los Angeles on the train each morning in time for the start of his 8:30 a.m. shift. After working a full day, he hopped back on the train so that he could continue his education until 11:00 at night. The next morning, he woke up and did it all over again, cherishing the few moments he had with his wife and infant son.
As Anthony settled into his new job, he quickly gained favor with the residents and his supervisors. As a firefighter, he had learned to meet the needs of people in their worst moments. Leaning on that experience, he mastered the art of customer service by making meaningful connections with the people he met each day.
Within a year Anthony was promoted to the front desk and a few years after that he was moved into an administrative assistant position at the same building. The gradual stair-stepping up the ladder was encouraging, but for someone with an insatiable drive to succeed, Anthony had his sights set on an even higher rung.
”The gradual stair-stepping up the ladder was encouraging, but for someone with an insatiable drive to succeed, Anthony had his sights set on an even higher rung.
When the manager assistant at Evo moved to a new building in Long Beach, he asked Anthony to join him. The Pacific was an account that Action had taken over from another management company, and there were several unresolved issues that needed to be addressed.
Anthony rose to the challenge, stepping in and excelling wherever possible. At that time, The Pacific had no computers and no access control systems. Anthony was instrumental in bringing those systems to the building and modernizing its processes. Each day he showed up to work with the goal of eventually becoming a general manager.
In an effort to pursue that goal, with the support of his boss, Anthony applied for Assistant GM positions, but he was not selected. Eventually a position opened up at Action’s Los Angeles office as an operations assistant. This time, Anthony was the right fit for the job. In this position, he supports all the general managers in the region by organizing CME seminars, training manager assistants, and acting as an office manager. Although he’s now behind a desk and not interacting with residents on a daily basis, his goal remains the same — to go above and beyond to make a difference.
Anthony is an accomplished musician, so he knows the importance of excellence and dedication to growth. His start with music came while in the high school band playing his clarinet. He eventually mastered other instruments and was elevated to the position of Drum Major, helping to lead the band.
Today, he plays the bass guitar in an R&B band. Though he is by far the youngest member of the group, he enjoys the music and the people he plays with.
Anthony also enjoys camping trips with his wife, two sons, and extended family. Usually these trips involve a lake and water sports, and they are highlights each year.
When he gets back to the office, Anthony relies on his drive to succeed to propel him forward. He’s learned that hard work, helping wherever necessary, and a strong desire for excellence can make an employee stand out among both colleagues and clients. While today, he stands on a rung in the middle of his career, Anthony knows that tomorrow will bring another rung, and with it, another step upward.