Mirna Ruperto makes it her business to learn everyone’s name. The security guard at 885 Third Avenue is the first person workers see in the morning, and she makes an effort to put them in a good mood. She likes being a listening ear and getting to know the people in her building.
Her infectious positivity has given her quite a reputation. The owner of the company on the 29th floor recently told Ruperto that he comes to work for her smile. “People like to be respected and acknowledged,” said Ruperto. “I just try to give that positive feedback.”
Meeting new people and interacting with her regulars is what Ruperto likes the most about her job. She has worked at 885 Third Ave., also known as the Lipstick Building for its iconic three-tiered shape, for fourteen years. Before that she did a stint at the United Nations where she received a pin from the Secret Service for her exemplary work.
Another memorable moment was when Bernie Madoff worked on the 17th, 18th and 19th floors of the Lipstick building. “It was intense,” said Ruperto. “He would claim he didn’t want anybody to bring food upstairs because he had an expensive oriental rug.”
Her years of experience have taught her to make it her business to know the surrounding area as people often come in with the wrong address and run-ins with tourists are common. “New York being New York, I don’t ask a lot of questions,” said Ruperto. “I just try to steer them in the right direction.”
Knowledge of the city comes as second nature to the New York native who was born and raised in the Bronx. She still lives there today, spending her time off from work with her family: two daughters and three grandchildren, ages 18, 17, and 5. “They keep me entertained,” said Ruperto, with a laugh.
Family is important to Ruperto and she loves spending time with her loved ones. They take trips outside the city and they’ve also recently gotten into knitting and painting.
In her free time during the Christmas season, Ruperto makes coquito, a coconut-based Christmas drink that means “Little Coconut” in Spanish. She has a wide customer base, including people at her building.
Ruperto’s love for brightening people’s day comes from her commitment to bringing the same attitude to work every time she walks through the doors of 885 Third Ave. “If you’re consistent about doing the same thing every day, it becomes second nature and you don’t even realize you’re doing it,” said Ruperto.
As more people are coming back to the office after working remotely during the pandemic, Ruperto has been happy to catch up with old faces and of course, meet new ones.
“If you’re consistent about doing the same thing every day, it becomes second nature.” Mirna Ruperto, Security Officer of the Year