In 1969, Kevin Gaquin was draft-eligible, which, to many hiring managers, meant unemployable—until he found the Exchange.
“No one wanted to train me for three or four months if they weren’t sure I was going to be around,” Gaquin said. “I applied at the Fort Belvoir Exchange, and they hired me within two hours.”
Gaquin was never called up in the draft and 50 years later, he’s still with the Fort Belvoir Exchange.
“I’ve done a lot of different jobs through 50 years of service,” Gaquin said. “Seems like it went by quick.”
Gaquin, a maintenance mechanic at the Belvoir Facilities Management Office, was recently presented with a certificate of thanks from Senior Vice President of Real Estate Mike Smietana, along with challenge coins from Director/CEO Tom Shull and Chief Operating Officer Dave Nelson, and a certificate commemorating his achievement.
“He’s got a reputation for high quality. He’ll do it once and do it right,” FMO Foreman Geoff Pulignani said. “Electrical, voice and data, carpentry, plumbing—he does it all. He has such a wealth of knowledge about all the trades, I can pretty much use him for any tasker.”
Gaquin’s duties include installing, modifying, repairing and troubleshooting of electrical, air conditioning and plumbing systems, as well as performing carpentry and painting tasks.
He has been a key asset in the completion of Real Estate and FMO capital expenditure projects and activation of new Exchange activities throughout his career.
Gaquin often takes day trips to nearby Exchanges or the occasional TDY to assist at a farther away store. His expertise and reliability have taken him to Fort Meade, Fort Lee, Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall, Fort Bragg, Carlisle Barracks, Joint Base Andrews, Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling and Seymour Johnson Air Force Base.
“Kevin is extremely dependable and always puts the Exchange and the customer first,” said Eastern Region Assistant Facilities Manager Keith Hash, who worked with Gaquin for 15 years. “All the Exchanges in and around the Beltway know Kevin and request him by name for jobs they need.”
For Gaquin, retirement can wait.
“I’ve had some friends retire, but then they come back because they need something to keep themselves busy,” he said. “I’m listening to them. I’m not ready to retire.”