Michael Maltese, District Manager in our Corrections Line of Business, discovered a culture of caring at Aramark. Whether it’s a healthy work-life balance, the limitless career opportunity, or the chance to make a difference in people’s lives, Mike has found a home and a career that brings out the best of what he has to offer.
Having always been eager to capitalize on his opportunities, Michael joined Aramark hoping that he could build a life and a career with the company. However, before committing to any life-changing decisions, he had to make sure that he could trust the organization to put him and his family first.
“I remember in one of the interviews I had early on, the gentleman who hired me asked what I wanted to do with my career, and whether or not I would be willing to relocate to make that happen. And I said I would absolutely be willing to relocate, just not out of the gate. I needed to get a feel for the company, its culture, and its people before putting that trust in Aramark.”
As it turns out, after a couple of years with the company, Michael’s healthy cautiousness turned to a deep sense of trust in his manager, his team, and Aramark as a whole.
“There’s just a ton of growth potential in corrections, and so with that, after a couple of years in, I was kind of tapped on the shoulder to oversee some larger, more complex business, and it required a move and it was just fantastic. The company moved me and my family out here and set me up with this great book of business, this new client family, and it was awesome.”
When chasing opportunity, however, there is always a certain level of risk or uncertainty involved. Later in his Aramark career, Michael was set up to take on yet another new, exciting role. When things didn’t pan out as he had planned, Aramark was there to make sure that disappointment turned into an opportunity for something even better.
“Several years later, there was some growth and some things changing in the correction space. And long story short, I had already informally backfilled my position. And the job that I was supposed to be going to which was out to bid didn’t come to fruition. So I was kind of that person without a seat on the bus. Instead of letting me go, Aramark sort of floated me around for a little bit, some special projects with new business, gave me a small role up in another area to kind of help bridge the gap until eventually we said, we got to figure something out.
At that point, I started looking outside the corrections space, and when the president found out, he came to me and said, ‘Hey, what’s going on? Why are you talking to other lines of business? This is your home.’ And I was kind of taken aback that he even knew I was looking elsewhere. I said, well, I need to find a role for me, to which he replied ‘Well, I heard you wanted to go out west, I heard that’s your long term goal. If I can make that happen for you, you gonna stay?’ I couldn’t believe it. I was like, thumbs up. This is great. So, they ended up kind of creating a role for me out here in the West. That was the most humbling experience to see them kind of redistrict and reshape to keep me on board. I’m obviously out here in the West Coast now, and I couldn’t be happier as a result.”
To hear more from Michael about the positive impact of our corrections business, his personal career goals, or the work-life balance that saved his family life, check out the Q&A on this post!
— Michael Maltese, District Manager
How did you hear about Aramark?
I was leading a family business in the Midwest and burning the grind in the restaurant and banquet business. I just didn't see the light at the end of the tunnel and had decided to consider doing something different. At some point, I happened to be in the market for a swing set for my daughter, and I bumped into a gentleman by the name of Tim Campbell, who was at the time the President of Aramark in the Correctional Services Division, while we were shopping for swing sets and I started some conversations with him. I was also in grad school studying Criminal Psychology at the time so I was in food and I was in criminal justice. He and I spun out a couple of conversations and he connected me with the senior VP of HR at the time, and from there, I ended up coming on board with Aramark in 2004. So, it all came from a swing set for my daughter.
What makes the work you do meaningful?
One of the most satisfying things that I find in my job, and that corrections puts forward in the market, is our In2Work program. The ability to train some of the inmates is so great, and in many cases, we provide them with the ServSafe certification and will put them through the formal food service training. When you're part of a graduation process, and they're getting their certificate, and we're celebrating, it's pretty cool. We've seen instances where you've made a positive impact in somebody's life, and they're able to get a job in food service and progress with their careers when they leave the facility. It gives them a fighting chance at life, so it is pretty darn cool to be to be part of that process.
What makes working in Corrections unique?
It's special to me because of the the people, from the clients that we work with to our managers on the ground, everybody is very passionate about what they're doing. It takes a special person to work in the corrections space, you've got to have a higher degree of caring, and that doesn't come easily with some folks because it takes a different skill set of motivating and accomplishing. So, I call it a positive challenge.
Have you felt supported to grow your career at Aramark?
If you start as a frontline supervisor in an hourly position, you absolutely can be a Regional Vice President. The organization will facilitate and help folks all the way through so the opportunity is yours. It's a great work life balance, a great culture, a great group of people. You're given the right tools and resources to be successful. I'm a big advocate of anybody that is scared about working for a big fortune 500 company, diversity being key. I will absolutely go way out of my way to look for individuals who bring a different skill set, a different background, different beliefs and values to the team that just help continue to challenge process and continue to elevate the platform.