Company's Maid of the Year honor goes to 61-year-old Oahu man
THE MAID of the year is a man. Really.The Maids Home Services
named one of its Honolulu team leaders, Ellis Finch, 61, as the company's national maid of the year for 2005 -- and recognized him at its annual convention aboard the Royal Caribbean Majesty of the Seas cruise ship last month.
"They'd asked me to run a few times, but I was reluctant," Finch said. In October, when it was entry time again, he relented.
"But then I kind of forgot about it," he said.
When he was informed earlier this year that not only had he been named Maid of the Year but would receive a $1,000 cash prize and a cruise to the Bahamas, "it was such a shock," he said. "I never dreamed anything like this would ever happen to me ... I was just doing my job," he said.
"It was great. We got to fly to Miami for the ceremony and did a three-day, two-night cruise to the Bahamas ... it was fabulous!"
Finch is the working supervisor of a four-person crew cleaning six to seven homes a day in East Honolulu, five days a week.
"I see some beautiful homes" in Waialae Iki and Hawaii Loa Ridge, he said. Occasionally he looks up from his work to glimpse "the beautiful view."
Finch has been a supervisor for most of his 18 years with the Maids, and has drawn praises from clients in unattributed testimonials on the company Web site.
"It is a privilege to write you and finally put on paper, thoughts and acknowledgments regarding your remarkable employee, Ellis Finch," wrote one customer of 15 years. "Ellis Finch is a man who has a work ethic I wish we could bottle and share with America," the customer continued.
Before joining the Maids, he worked forRainbow Exterminators. His wife, Georgia, was working at the Maids and encouraged him to apply.
"I'm kind of a cleanliness freak myself," which helps him do his job, he chuckled.
His wife is no longer with the company, but "she got to go on the trip with me," as did Mira and Arun Savara, who own the Maids of Honolulu franchise.
The Maid of the Year distinction has caused some ribbing, by his guy friends and some of his clients' husbands, "but it's OK, I do my job and know it's just in good, clean fun," Finch laughed. Yes, he really said, "good, clean fun."
New KGMB news boss
Local television station KGMB, still on the block, has landed a new news director who will join the company early next month.
Chris Archer will succeed Tauna Lange, who left KGMB in March for XETV in San Diego.
Archer comes to Hawaii from KRON in San Francisco, a newsroom he joined as a production assistant in 1997. He worked his way up, contributing to newscasts that won multiple Emmy Awards for best overall newscast in a large market.
He turned down the news director position at KRON to accept the KGMB gig.
"I really think the men and women of (the KGMB) newsroom ... added greatly to his decision to join us," said Rick Blangiardi, KGMB's senior vice president and general manager.
Archer's resume says he led KRON's transition from traditional reporter newsgathering to video journalist newsgathering.
That sent a cacophony of aah-ooh-gah horns and other siren-type sounds blaring in your columnist's head.
Video journalist newsgathering is common in small markets where a reporter also has to lug around a camera and shoot and edit video -- and in some cases, anchor the newscast.
They're called "one-man bands" in the business.
In larger markets it is a major cost-cutting ploy, but that is not the future for KGMB, Blangiardi said.
"This is about improving the quality of television for the people of Hawaii," he said.
Feedback from news staffers "and my observation of his interaction with everyone confirmed everything I felt about Chris during our interview. He is the right person for the right job at the right time," Blangiardi said.
KGMB Executive Producer Mike Weir, formerly of KRON, made the initial introduction. Ironically, Weir will be leaving in early June to return to San Francisco and a job at CBS affiliate KPIX as senior executive producer.
is a reporter with the Star-Bulletin. Call 529-4302, fax 529-4750 or write to Erika Engle, Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., No. 7-210, Honolulu, HI 96813. She can also be reached at: email@example.com