Derrick Funches, lead doorman of the Avenue East Condominium Association, 160 E. Illinois St., takes his job very seriously. Although he is serious about the residents’ safety and the security of the building, he is anything but grave.

Funches is as affable as he is protective and professional, with an infectious laugh and ample sense of humor. Residents claim they have never seen him without his smile.

“I can be silly at times,” Funches said. “But I really just love a good laugh and

just being around people in general.”

Born and raised in Chicago, Funches credits his large family—and particularly

the strength of his mother—with giving him his vigor and confidence. He lives

in Harvey, Ill., with his one-and-a-half-year-old German Shepherd, Bear, and a

75-gallon aquarium tank, home to eels and various types of fish.

With nearly 15 years under his belt at the Avenue East Condo Association, Funches said the key to making residents happy is to listen and remind himself that this is their home. He makes an effort to not only remember everyone’s names but also recall tidbits of information, both big and small, about each resident.

“Communication is key, as well as taking great pride and gratitude in what I

do,” he said. “The best part of my job? My residents. I love my residents all the time. I try to do whatever I can to make them know they’re home.”

To nominate your favorite doorperson, email with

their name and why they should be the doorperson of the month. Winners will

receive a $25 gift card to Mariano’s.

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