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Team Work Gets the Job Done

Baron Pace, winner of the President's Classified Rookie of the Year Award, advises that team work is critical to success.

People  |  Jul 12, 2017  |  By Diane Russell
Baron Pace portrait

Rookie of the Year Baron Pace paints a little bit of everything on campus. (R. Marsh Starks/UNLV Photo Services)

Baron Pace already had put in 15 years as a painter when he came to work at UNLV in September 2016 because of the opportunities he saw here. Now this painter III/painter supervisor has been named the President's Classified Rookie of the Year for 2017.

The Job

We paint outdated office space, refurbish carts. If it needs refurbishing, we paint practically anything from automotive to furniture.

I oversee two other painters. Some other units, like residential life and the Shadow Lane campus, have their own painters.

The Hours

We like to try to get in before the campus wakes. In the summer we work 5 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. because of the heat. In the winter it’s 6 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Most interesting paint job you’ve done

The cannon. (The Fremont Cannon is awarded to the school that is victorious in the annual football game pitting UNLV’s Rebels against UNR’s Wolf Pack. Following the game, the cannon is painted in the colors of the winning school.) We got to paint it red. It was one of the first projects I worked on at UNLV.

The reasons you chose to work at UNLV

Opportunity — the opportunity to further my own education as well as eventually my daughters’ education. I have three daughters, Kyra, who is 8, Joelle, who is 6, and Zyon, 4.

Eventually I plan on studying either business management or construction management — probably construction management.

The best advice you have been given at UNLV

It isn’t that he has given me any specific advice, but Brian Hedrick, my supervisor, has been very supportive, allowing me the freedom to decide and continue to remind our team that we have an awesome opportunity to leave a lasting impression throughout the campus.

Advice for new UNLV employees

Focus on what you are bringing to the table and not on what’s already on it. Also, I believe in team. I know I wouldn’t be half of who I am without (fellow painters) Rick Agrellas and Casey Sierra. We’re a small team, but we pack a punch. I tell my guys, “We’re all we’ve got.”

Before UNLV

I was a painter in the union. I did a variety of jobs through the union. I’ve been a painter for about 15 years.

How long you have been in Las Vegas

My whole life. I graduated from VoTech (now known as Southeast Career Technical Academy.)

First paying job you ever had

That was cutting lawns when I was about 12. I think I charged $5 a yard. I went out and lined up the jobs myself. What I learned was that if I didn’t have a yard to cut, I didn’t have money to spend. I mowed the lawn at home, too, but I didn’t get paid for that.

It was interesting living at my house. My mother is a carpenter. I would wake up and a wall would be missing. We did a lot of remodeling.

Couldn’t make it through the day without

Thanking God.

Most daring thing you’ve done

Getting married? (said with a laugh.) Shimiaka and I have been married nine years.

What you do for fun

Watch sports, particularly the 49ers.

You share a name (albeit with a different spelling) with first son Barron Trump

I hear that — that and Barron Hilton.

Which one you are more like?

Probably Barron Hilton, but I haven’t met either of them. (said laughingly)

Dream vacation

I would love to travel the states. I have seen a few, particularly in the South, but I haven’t seen the Midwest or the North. I want to travel by car, driving the highways and stopping at all the little diners.

What the Person Nominating Him Had to Say

Adriana Burnett, Administrative Assistant IV in the Graduate College

Baron is a real go-getter. He goes above and beyond the call of duty. Around campus, I have seen him giving people directions, picking up trash, smiling and waving at visitors, students, and staff. He always has time for a quick chat between jobs and makes sure everyone he interacts with feels like they are important and worth spending time listening to.

During the flurry of activity leading up the Presidential Debate in October, Baron brightened up our red sign holders, fire hydrants, etc. If it was metal and paintable, Baron was out there taping off and brightening it with a new coat of paint.

His positive attitude, natural leadership skills, can-do/will-do attitude are the perfect addition to the UNLV family.