Q & A with physical plant director Jim Palone

Aviso: Where were you born?

Palone: I was born in Waynesburg, Pennsylvania, but raised most of my young life in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio.

Aviso: Where did you go to college?

Palone: I spent some time in the Air Force right out of highschool and I had attended UNLV [University of Nevada, Las Vegas] while in the service. Then I attended West Side Institute of Technology after getting out of the service and that’s where I got my degree in environmental sciences. Specifically it was enviromental level heating, cooling and air conditioning. I also achieved a third class stationary steam engineer license.

Aviso: How and when did you get started at Malone?

Palone: It’s a little bit of a funny story how this happened. I was working at Aultman Hospital. A lady in purchasing, her husband wanted to get a job in management. I oversaw building maintenance and environmental services at the time. I said I’d be glad to talk to him. After our conversation he said “you know, you’d be good for that job that’s open at Malone University.” Next thing, there was a phone call made from the human resources director here. He said “someone gave us a name and you might be interested in a position here.” I said I wasn’t, but I would think about that. Long story short, it was such a blessing because my oldest son was two years from college age. I loved what I saw and an opportunity to work here, so I took the job. I’ve been here since June of 1991.

Jim Palone is the physical plant director at Malone University. (Photo provided by Jim Palone)

Aviso: What does a typical day look like for you?

Palone: Typically, on a normal weekday, it starts between eight and nine o’clock. With the advent of voicemail, email, all of the electronic communication, I’ve got a lot of things to check and double check. The first couple hours could be following up on calls, answering things. Then it’s what’s going on at campus that day that’s important.

 

Aviso: Out of all the pranks you’ve seen at Malone, do you have a favorite?

Palone: My own staff did this one. They stole the moose head. When we built Mitchell Hall, inside Timken Science there, in the main lobby, was a moose head. We had to knock that wall down to build that new building next to it, so everything had to come out of that lobby. I took the moose head down. As a joke, I advertised by email ‘would anyone have a home for a moose head?’ A couple of people were  interested in that moose head and they legitimately thought I was trying to give it away. It went missing. I started getting postcards from the moose from different parts of the country. I couldn’t get anyone to tell me where the moose head was. Next thing I know it appears in my office. I had it cleaned and it’s hanging in the barn right now above the fireplace.

Aviso: When you were little, what did you want to be?

Palone: I thought I would be a forest ranger. I thought that would be the best job. Live in a cabin. Then this thing called girls hit. As I grew up I thought “what girl would want to live live in a cabin away from everyone?” Then that idea kind of fizzled.

Aviso: What are some of your hobbies?

Palone: I like to ride motorcycles. Another hobby has always been family. I have four children. We’ve got three grandkids now. I like outdoor activities. I do like to camp.

Aviso: What is your favorite movie?

Palone: The Edge.

Aviso: If you could go anywhere, where would you go?

Palone: It would be Hawaii because on one island you can experience all four climates and I love the beach.

Aviso: Do you have a favorite Bible verse?

Palone: I tend to fall back on Proverbs 3:5-6. I just think you need to give yourself over to the Lord. This whole journey here at Malone has been such a blessing to me and my family. I think sometimes we try to control and I can be a control freak about things because for some reason I think it’s built into most guys’ genes to fix things. We don’t look at everything that’s going well. We don’t always trust in others. We just want to fix something and sometimes I have to continue to remind myself that I need to be led, I need to be open to the Word and let it guide me, and let things unfold as they should.

Kaylee Riley is a staff writer for The Aviso AVW.

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