Loving a Job that Helps ‘Our People’
Pat Verdugo turned 78 years old in May, but she’s not showing any signs of slowing down.
Pat has spent the past two decades with Alaska Housing, working in a variety of roles for AHFC’s Public Housing Department in Fairbanks. That includes the last nine years as property manager for Golden Towers, which serves senior residents and individuals with disabilities.
Not Ready for Retirement
“I fit right in with the seniors,” she said. “I’m older than many of them. But I just love my job. People keep asking me when I’m going to retire, I tell them 10 years. And I keep saying that every 10 years.”
In her role as the property manager, Pat has a variety of responsibilities. That includes official duties such as filling out paperwork and ensuring the building is maintained well. But she also serves as a sounding board for residents, listening to their thoughts, suggestions – and about their lives in general.
“My job is versatile. I like the fact that I’m not sitting in my chair all the time. I can get out and interact with the clients. It’s not all paperwork, it’s not all physical work, it’s all blended well for me. My favorite part is moving someone in. They’re excited to move in. For most of them, it’s a place they’re going to be living for the rest of their lives.”
– Pat Verdugo, Property Manager for Golden Towers
A Unique Path to AHFC
While a seasoned housing professional, Pat’s pathway to AHFC took many twists and turns.
A native of Los Angeles, she moved to Alaska with her family when she was 7 years old in the early 1950s. The family moved back to Los Angeles five years later, but Pat returned to Fairbanks in 1969 – this time with a husband and kids.
After having her youngest child at the age of 35, Pat decided to take care of other people’s kids as well and started her own childcare business. Frustrated by having to pay someone to do her taxes, Pat learned how to do it herself and eventually began her own income tax business. She also had rental properties, which gave her property management experience.
‘They’re our people’
“Paperwork is my calling,” she said with a laugh. So when she saw ads in the newspaper for job openings at Alaska Housing, Pat thought she could be of service.
Two decades later, she remains committed to ensuring Alaskans have access to safe, quality, affordable housing.
“All of them have a need to be here. Some had a home, some didn’t have a home at all before they came here,” she said. “We’re a hodgepodge. But they’re our people.”
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