Above: CDD Eligibility Coordinator Luis Chaidez receives an “ABCD’” Certificate of Appreciation Award. (From Left: COO Susan Eckert, Luis Chaidez, VP of Child Development Edith Sanchez, and President & CEO Cambria Tortorelli) 

Staff Spotlights is a series that highlights and celebrates the dedicated staff of International Institute of Los Angeles. 

February 16, 2024

At International Institute of Los Angeles, we prioritize the safety and well-being of our employees as we work together to serve the most vulnerable in Los Angeles. We firmly believe that a safe workplace is a productive workplace, and it is through the dedication and commitment of our team members that we maintain a culture of safety excellence. 

We therefore are proud to recognize and spotlight IILA employee Luis Chaidez for his initiative in reporting a recent safety concern according to our workplace safety procedures and his willingness to help remedy the situation. 

IILA Chief Operating Officer Susan Eckert explains the significance of Luis’s actions and IILA’s decision to celebrate his actions:  

“Safety in the workplace is so important,” Eckert says. “At IILA, everyone receives a Safety Orientation during their on-boarding process.  I am happy to share that we have a new employee in our Child Development Department who paid very close attention to his Safety Training.  His name is Luis Chaidez and he is an Eligibility Coordinator at our Selig building.  

One day last week, he went down to the kitchen and found a very large liquid spill in the kitchen. He did not just ignore it and walk around it. He pulled out his cell phone and reported it immediately to Manuel Guzman, our Safety and Facilities Manager.  Luis then showed true team spirit. He alerted anyone that entered the kitchen about the spill, so they would not slip, fall and potentially injure themselves.  When Manuel arrived on the scene a few minutes later, Luis stayed and even helped with the clean-up. 

For this reason, we have awarded Luis Chaidez with an ‘ABCD’ Certificate of Appreciation Award for going ‘Above & Beyond the Call of Duty.’  We also gave him a $100 gift card for his effort to keep other co-workers safe. I would be more than happy to give out more of these awards. If you witness someone doing something right like this at your work site, please let me know about it! Luis, thank you again for your exemplary behavior!” 

We join Susan in expressing our gratitude to Luis and encourage all IILA staff to emulate him in promoting a culture of safety. Whether it’s being mindful of safety protocols, reporting potential hazards, or simply reminding one another to prioritize safety in every task, every action counts. Together, we can continue to ensure that IILA is a safe and welcoming place to work for all and carry on the important work of serving our clients across programs.