As our commuters plan their trips to visit family and friends on Thanksgiving, Metra employees are also gearing up for the holiday. A few employees shared with us what they are thankful for this season.
Todd Cabonor is the head of the Department of Industrial Hygiene and Environmental Compliance. He has worked for Metra for 3½ years and worked in public transportation in Denver for three years before that.
“I am most thankful for my family,” Cabonor said. “I have a beautiful wife and two kids: Caleb, who is 1½ years, and Eli, who is 3.”
When asked if he was traveling for the holidays, Cabonor said he is staying in the area and is thankful for that as well, especially with young children.
Jacqueline Watkins, Safety Officer for the Chicago Union Station District, is in her own words “awesomely busy.” In her 18 years at Metra, she developed her leadership skills through a variety of positions across the agency.
“Lately, the agency has been going in some different directions, and I am thankful that they’re better recognizing women of color and what we’re contributing to the agency,” Watkins said. “That’s a big thank you.”
This sentiment holds extra weight when thinking about her four daughters, aged 19 to 36. In the future, Watkins will continue to look towards bigger and better things within the agency.
Behind the counter at Chicago Union Station you’ll find Carrie Andrade working as a ticket agent or in Lost and Found. Andrade came to Metra after working as a Certified Spanish Teacher and has been here for five years.
“I’m happy to have wonderful friends in my life, and a family that is supportive and sets such a good example,” Andrade said. “I’m also so super thankful that the Cubs won the World Series! It brings so much excitement to the city. Go Cubbies!”
With five daughters at home between the ages of 9 and 20 and a husband “who’s the boy of the family,” she is also thankful to be able to support her loved ones.
At the end of the Rock Island line lies the LaSalle Street Station, where Sean Washington works as a ticket sales agent. Sean used to work as a social worker before coming to Metra and has been assisting Metra customers for more than 11 years.
This holiday season, Washington is thankful for his faith, family and opportunity.
“You have to have a foundation, no matter what your belief is,” Washington said. “My foundation shaped me and taught me how to treat people, how I want to be treated. I think that’s why I’m a people-person. I’m very thankful of my family because they are very supportive. They give me a sense of foundation as well.”
Washington and his wife have two sons, the youngest of which is in college.
As for opportunity, Washington says when it comes your way, “it’s very important to seize it.”