Red Star

Celebrating 35 Years of Dedication: Mary Jones Embarks on a New Adventure – Retirement!

On May 18, 2023, the management team at Challenge Enterprises gathered to commemorate a remarkable journey that began on a crisp autumn morning, Monday, October 3, 1988. It was on this significant day that Challenge Enterprises embarked on its first-ever AbilityOne/SourceAmerica work contract, and Mary Jones embarked on an extraordinary career with our organization. As one of three supervisory personnel assigned to THE DEPOT at NAS JAX Naval Aviation Depot, NARF, Mary Jones’s indomitable spirit, and unwavering commitment became the driving force behind our success. 

THE DEPOT, the largest janitorial and grounds maintenance contract awarded to a nonprofit agency in the SourceAmerica South Region, posed a formidable challenge. Recognizing the urgency, Mary Jones fearlessly tackled the task at hand, moving with unparalleled swiftness that earned her the reputation of someone who walks fast. With her expertise in janitorial services and exceptional customer care, Mary Jones led her team in transforming the facilities into spaces of pristine cleanliness. It was under her leadership that Challenge Enterprises earned the respect and appreciation of the federal employees, prompting additional funds to be allocated for this vital endeavor. 

Mary Jones’s dedication extended beyond her role at THE DEPOT. She served as the go-to person whenever a new local project was presented to Challenge Enterprises. Her unwavering advocacy for individuals with disabilities created a work environment that not only fostered their growth but also expanded our agency’s mission. Her passion was contagious, and her knowledge of the 29 buildings and nearly 70 acres of property was unparalleled. Mary Jones effortlessly managed personnel and work schedules, adapting to fluctuating contract hours and additional workload with ease. 

Throughout her illustrious career, Mary Jones garnered the utmost respect from all the Captains at NARF/NADEP/FRCSE. Even in retirement, her impact remains, as Retired Captain Marty Kosiek, who now serves on the Challenge Enterprises Board of Directors, continues to inquire about Mary Jones and many of the workers by their first names. Such is the lasting impression she has made on all those she encountered. 

Now, after 35 years of exemplary service, Mary Jones is ready to embark on her next adventure: retirement. A new chapter awaits her, filled with cherished moments spent with her beloved grandchildren, whom she will undoubtedly teach the art of walking fast. Mary Jones’s profound influence on Challenge Enterprises is immeasurable, as she played an integral role in creating a meaningful and inclusive work environment that has shaped our organization’s journey. 

On behalf of everyone at Challenge Enterprises, we extend our heartfelt gratitude to Mary Jones for her unwavering efforts, her unparalleled pace, and her ability to collaborate seamlessly with government employees and military personnel within this secure command.  

Working alongside Mary Jones has been an incredible privilege, witnessing the growth of young adults within her facilities and celebrating the retirement of those she helped pave the way for. No words can adequately express our appreciation for her remarkable achievements, and few can ever keep up with her pace. 

Mary Jones, you have exceeded all expectations, leaving an indelible mark on the history of our agency. Your dedication, compassion, and unwavering commitment will forever be remembered. As you embark on this well-deserved retirement, may your days be filled with joy, fulfillment, and the contentment that comes from a career lived with purpose. 

Mary Jones recieves retirement acknowledgement from Nancy Keating
Contracts Team at Challenge Enterprises
Katie Vineyard, Mary Jones, Nancy Keating