Brooke-Lynne Seewald, Front Office Administrator
Leanna Gurniak, Facilities Maintenance Coordinator
While most of APTN’s staff were told to work from home indefinitely on the fateful week of March 16, 2020, the facilities department had some of the few staff members who remained at APTN’s headquarters. Under the leadership of Dave Prefontaine (manager of facilities), Brooke-Lynne Seewald (front office administrator) and Leanna Gurniak (facilities maintenance coordinator) kept the office up and running. They went above and beyond for the staff newly working from home, watering thirsty office plants and ensuring rapid delivery for abandoned office supplies, snacks and important documents. They took care of maintaining the building, updating staff on health protocols and more. They also ensured the safety of the staff that needed to continue working from the APTN headquarters. APTN would like to thank the facilities team for all their hard work during these challenging times.
- What is your role and how long have you worked with APTN?
Brooke-Lynne: I am the front office administrator here at APTN and as of July 8, 2020 it’s been a year since my very first day!
Leanna: I’m APTN’s facilities maintenance coordinator, a position I’ve held for just over a year, but I’m about to hit the five-year mark this September. When I was originally hired in September 2015, it was for the role of front office administrator. A lot has changed since I’ve been hired, but it doesn’t feel like it’s been almost five years!
- What do you like most about your job?
B-L: The part about my job I love most is that all the small things I do help create the bigger picture of APTN, which fills my little heart with lots of pride and joy!
L: What I like most about my job is being able to work with my hands and that I’m not stuck in front of my computer every day. Some days it’s easy things like hanging up pictures and taking apart desks to be moved. Then out of nowhere, I might have to get up on a ladder to poke my head above the drop ceiling to see if I can spot what caused a watermark on a ceiling tile to determine which company I need to call. I’ve spent a lot of time with the different companies that we use to fix things beyond what we are able to do and have been able to pick up a lot of knowledge that I can transfer to my life outside of work.
- What is your most memorable moment at APTN?
B-L: I don’t know if you’d consider it a memorable moment “at” APTN, but when I got the call that I got the job here, I jumped up and down and did a happy dance… It was on a sidewalk and some lady came up and asked me if I got some good news. First step in what has been the best job of my life.
L: I don’t know if there has been one memorable moment during my time with APTN that stands out more than the others. I like to look back on some of the highlights of things I’ve been a part of because of APTN. I have helped plant the flowers for the Indigenous gardens located outside of the head office in partnership with the Downtown Winnipeg Biz. I’ve met a sitting Prime Minister of Canada, volunteered my time for Indigenous Day Live and I modeled a gorgeous canvas dress that was accented with arctic fox fur, caribou antler and fish scales designed by Tishna Marlowe on live TV for an episode of InFocus.
- What do you hope for your future at APTN?
B-L: I hope to continue growing here in my role and have a lifelong career at APTN.
L: I hope that I can continue to expand my knowledge of building and vehicle maintenance. The more I learn, the easier it is for me to troubleshoot problems which helps get the issue taken care of quickly. Also, one day I hope I’ll be able to visit our other bureaus in person. I had the chance to visit the Montreal bureau and it was a great work trip. I enjoyed that I was able to see staff that I normally only communicated with over email. More importantly, because our department is also responsible for maintaining some aspects for the other bureaus, being in the physical space allowed me to have a better understanding of the office layout, something that pictures and a drawing can’t capture.
- What is your favourite show on APTN?
B-L: That’s tough… I’d have to say I like the movies we feature. I’ve even had my family members mention them quite a bit.
L: I really like Wild Archaeology. When I was little, I wanted to grow up and become either an archeologist or paleontologist (Sorry past version of me!). Even though I didn’t become either of those things, my love for all things ancient has never gone away. Moosemeat & Marmalade would be my other favourite. My husband does most of the cooking, and I do a majority of the baking. Both of us enjoy experimenting with different ingredients or cooking methods to find new dishes we both love.
- How have you and your team adapted to work during the pandemic?
B-L: In the facilities department, adapting to something new is a main part of our everyday roles, so we have continued on with everyday life in our department. A new challenge means something new to learn and gain.
L: When people stopped coming into the office at the start of the pandemic, I was moved to an empty floor to put more space between my coworker and I. It’s been an adjustment working on a floor by myself. During this time, our departmental focus has been split between helping the staff get everything they need to work safely at home along with helping to roll out the safety measures that were decided by the Pandemic Response Team to keep the on-site staff safe. Along with our day-to-day tasks we have been able to cross off countless low priority tasks on our to-do list because the building has been empty. Additionally, amid the pandemic, I became the caretaker of plants that are spread throughout the different offices in the building. If you were wondering how many plants there are, I counted – there are 193 of them. As much as I love plants and learning about all their little quirks, it started off as my most stressful responsibility.
- If you could have one superpower, what would it be?
B-L: This is also hard… maybe a power where I could copy someone else? That way I could have someone else’s gifts, like I could be a good fighter like Black Panther or have the savvy skills to have a “dance off to save the universe” like Star-Lord. That way, there’s endless possibilities!
L: If I could have one superpower it would be to have the ability to speak with animals. It’s a talent I like to take when my friends and I play Dungeons & Dragons. Plus, as someone who has four cats, I would like to hear what they have to say, but more importantly be able to tell them to stop doing something and have them understand.