Will Rivera brings a unique philosophy to his role as lead concierge at One Bennett Park, 514 N. Peshtigo Court.
“If I’m going to be here eight hours, I’m going to shine because this is my stage,” he said. “If you’re going to be a concierge doorperson, be the best concierge doorperson in the world.”
The attitude helped him through a variety of successful careers before entering the property services industry seven years ago.
After graduating from Schurz High School in 1985, Rivera went to work for American Airlines, where he advanced to lead customer service manager. Advertising sales in the radio industry came next: first for US99, “Chicago’s Hottest Country;” then with WLS 94.7, “Chicago's Classic Hits.” Then came seven years as a territory sales representative with Lorillard Tobacco Company.
In addition to his obvious knack for adaptability, Rivera wields a level of energetic charm that radiates throughout his work. So instead of simply saying that he is from Chicago, Rivera exclaims that he “was born and raised in the lovely city of Chicago — best city in the world.”
Rivera grew up in the Humboldt Park neighborhood and played shortstop and outfield for the Schurz baseball team, which won the 1984 city championship against Simeon High School in a game at Wrigley Field.
“Do you remember Ozzie Guillen?” he asked. “That’s who I was.”
His father spent 30 years with RJ Reynolds. His mother, who worked in manufacturing before she retired, made sure her son always showed proper courtesy to others. Now Rivera shares that trait with everyone who passes through the lobby.
“Resident, guest of the resident, family of the resident, vendor… we treat them all with respect,” he said. “That’s how I was raised, and my mom was the judge and jury.”
He also passes it on to the people he trains, resulting in co-workers of “unbelievable” quality.
“I put my team up against anyone in the city,” he said. “Not because I train them, but because I’ve had fifteen years of customer service from the airline industry.”
His enthusiasm goes all the way to the highest levels of the company that manages One Bennett Park, Related Midwest.
“The whole executive team is top notch,” he said. “From our President Curt Bailey to our COO Frank Monterisi to our VP of Architecture and Design Ann Thompson and our VP of Development Nick Millot and our fearless leader, our Regional Manager, Haley Rafferty.”
When he’s not making everyone’s life more pleasant, Rivera is a husband and father who likes to explore Puerto Rico with his wife. But since travel is on hold due to the pandemic, he’d like to take the time to thank his fellow essential workers.
“From the construction crews who built this building to the plumbers and painters to the concrete guys and window guys and firefighters and police officers, you are more than essential,” he said. “Someone has to come in and keep things running, and you are all unbelievable.”