Have a question? Need directions? Meet Kathy DeSimio, Geri Lucarell and Debbie Huston, the three receptionists at the front desk of NEOMED’s main entrance. Their position can be described as the face of the University and the backbone of security. It takes a special person to provide customer service in a polite, professional and friendly manner, while also being able to solve problems in the face of conflict. We sat down with each of the receptionists to learn more about their role.
“I enjoy being the bright, shiny face at the desk because providing good customer service is my favorite thing,” says DeSimio. (We hear that doting on her dog, Victor Francis, is a close second.) Huston agrees: “I love meeting, greeting and chatting with people to make them feel welcome.”
DeSimio, known for her quick wit and sense of humor, retired after 30 years as an administrative assistant for Summit County Children Services, where she worked for protective services. Huston, who is famous for her decorating tips and welcoming manner, retired after 27 years from a career as an executive assistant for executives and the president of Akron General Medical Center. Lucarell, known for her warm smile, owned a Hallmark store in Ravenna and worked as a sales associate managing the candy counter at a Hallmark in Stow for many years.
“I love all the interaction with people,” says Lucarell. “I especially like meeting someone new.” Part of the job entails not only being a friendly face to greet guests, but also ensuring that everyone who goes through their door is wearing a badge or is an invited guest. If not, the receptionists will politely refuse entrance and communicate with campus police.
Extensive knowledge of NEOMED allows these receptionists to be a great internal and external resource. They are happy to help students and guests to reach their destination by communicating with the internal host by phone or email. They answer questions like “Where is the RGE building?” or “Where is the bookstore?” They are also happy to help people navigate the website and to provide a campus map.
All three agree: It is their love of working with people and watching NEOMED grow that makes their job so enjoyable.