Simpson College’s campus is made up of 75 acres, on which there are 34 major buildings. Inside these buildings are the hundreds of people who make Simpson what it is today.
Ramona Rios is one of these people. Rios, better known as Mona, is an employee at the Storm Street Grill. She has worked there since September 2004 and is a valued staff member who truly loves what she is doing.
“My favorite part of the job is meeting all the different students,” Rios said.
Rios works the day shift at the Grill. Her job consists of scanning cards at the express station, making sure the salad bar is maintained and cleaning tables in the dining area. Rios’s general manager, Blair Stairs, knew right away that she was fit for the job and called her back for an interview the day after she filled out her application.
“Mona’s good natured personality stood out during the interview process and I was looking for someone that would provide excellent customer service,” Stairs said. “It is a pleasure to have Mona as part of our team.”
When Rios first moved to Indianola seven years ago she simply stumbled onto her job here at Simpson and feels that she was blessed to do so. She owns a home in town, and although she is not married and does not have any children, she is surrounded by family. Rios’s mother lives with her and she has a brother and sister living in Indianola, as well as another brother close-by in Des Moines.
But, in the words of Rios’ co-worker Beverly Burgett “Mona is not your typical older lady.”
Rios is full of life and brings out the best in the lives of those around her. “Mona is a really fun person to work with,” freshman co-worker Abby Harris said. “She has a positive outlook on everything and somehow manages to make work fun.”
Rios tries to make each day the best that it can be by enjoying her time at work. According to her coworkers, it’s all the little things about her that make her so much fun to be around.
“She really likes Michael Jackson,” Harris said. “If she has control of the radio that is what’s going to be on.”
Rios acknowledges her love for Michael Jackson, and has many other interests as well, including photography. She attended Lincoln High School in Des Moines and was the photographer for the yearbook. She even had her own dark room in her basement at home. There was one part in particular she loved about being on the yearbook staff, though.
“Since I was a photographer for the yearbook I had a pass to excuse me from classes,” Rios said. “So if I was in geography or algebra I could just show them my pass and say ‘Gotta go!'”