By Rusty Goe and Marie Goe
Southgate Coins’ owners Marie and Rusty Goe find great pleasure in honoring their valuable team members on special occasions. March 7, 2013 marked the celebration of another milestone in the life of Maya Jones, the Goes’ longest-serving employee ever. Maya started working at Southgate Coins on that date in 2007, and Marie and Rusty take turns, in the following tribute, in honoring Maya on her sixth anniversary with the company.
I (Marie) know that a lot can happen in a person’s life in six years, and in Maya’s case, there’s been no exception. Rusty and I hired her, an 18-year-old UNR student, who had grown up in Las Vegas, in March of 2007. When she started, we were working on Rusty’s second full-length book, James Crawford: Master of the Mint at Carson City, and things were hectic around Southgate Coins. Maya received a crash course in dealing with a fast-paced work environment. Because of certain circumstances, I took a direct role in training her, something that we usually let other employees—our senior staff members—do. During Maya’s formative days, one of our senior girls worked alternate days than her, which gave me an opportunity to put Maya on the fast track. I have always been grateful that I had the chance to do this. I liked her right away, mainly because Maya has a sweet nature and she always tried hard to catch on—she paid close attention to what I told her.
In June of 2008, after one of our senior girls abruptly and unexpectedly quit, Maya stepped right up and tried her best to fill that departed girl’s shoes. I swear she transformed from a junior assistant into a committed lead-employee with a mission, overnight. It was as if Maya had been waiting for months for such an opportunity to show us she was ready to take on more responsibility.
In looking back, we see that Maya has never shirked that responsibility since she came of age, so speak, in 2008. Her time at Southgate Coins over the past six years has brought her smack in the middle of many projects. The past two years saw us caught up into a whirlwind of activities, and at the same time struggling to fill openings on our employee roster. Maya was there for us all the way.
We had barely caught our breath after our 10-year anniversary celebration in 2011, when we suddenly found ourselves pressed to the max in our involvement with the whole Battle Born phenomenon. This twelve-month project, which began in early fall 2011, included Rusty’s writing of four Royalty Quartet articles about Carson City coins for Coin World. Rusty also contributed promotional articles for Stack's Bowers (the auction company), and we designed ads for both the store and the Carson City Coin Collectors of America. Rusty capped off everything with his contribution to the incredibly magnificent Battle Born auction catalog, for which he sacrificed much blood, sweat, toil, and many tears. Maya did her best to keep up with the frantic pace. She typed the 120,000 words Rusty wrote for the Battle Born catalog, and then checked off the multiple (and I mean multiple) editing corrections that Rusty made during his revisions.
Maya set up a streaming video feed and a recording program so while Rusty was participating in the Battle Born auction in Philadelphia in August 2012, we at Southgate Coins could sit in front of a PC monitor in “Jamaica” (the name of one of our workstations) and watch and record all the excitement. We saw Rusty give his introduction-presentation to the packed room just before the auction began, and then we watched each of the 111 coins pass into numismatic history as bidders competed for them.
Within weeks after the Battle Born auction concluded, Maya announced that she was pregnant with baby #2, and Nicole, who was graduating from UNR in December 2012, told us she would be leaving sometime soon thereafter to pursue her career in geriatric health. Rusty’s and my heads were spinning, as we were trying to find solutions so we could keep our business and other duties (running the C4OA for example) on course, in spite of Maya’s imminent maternity leave, and Nicole’s approaching farewell. Just in time, our newest employee, Emily, joined the team, as if sent from heaven.
I’m just so grateful for my knowledge that Maya and Nicole care about Rusty and me, and are willing to do anything they can to ease our burden.
Maya has proved this to me in hundreds of ways during her six years with us.
So many things occur daily that Maya and I share in; things that are interesting, funny, significant, exasperating, heart-warming, fulfilling, you name it. I wish I could recount them all. One thing I think she will agree with me on is our time working together is never boring.
Dear Maya, you have shared in so many special events with Rusty and me, and you have become such an integral part of our business and our lives. I hope you will continue to share in our adventures as we turn the next corner in the history of Southgate Coins, and you write another chapter in your book on motherhood. Thanks for the memories.
I love you,
Now, it’s Rusty’s turn.
Okay Marie, here are my comments to add to yours.
Maya will soon take an eight- to ten-week maternity leave. It will be the second one she’s taken in the past three and a half years. Marie and I will miss her while she’s gone, just as we did from late December 2009 to early March 2010, when she gave birth to her first child, little daughter Embry. To say Maya has become a permanent fixture at Southgate Coins is an understatement. Our many clients and friends, and coin-dealer colleagues and business-service providers would verify this.
Time flies, and as incredible as it may seem, Maya’s six years of employment with us represents half the time we’ve had our store in Reno. Maya has seen many other employees come and go. She’s seen the price of gold and silver double and then triple. She’s seen us handle some of the rarest coins in existence. She’s seen new customers become satisfied and loyal clients; and she’s seen other clients move on and disappear. She’s rejoiced with us in our triumphs, and she’s grieved with us over the loss of two of our beloved Yorkies. One constant through all of our mutual experiences has been Maya’s faithfulness to us. We have cherished her for the support she has given us along the way.
We needed that support this past year. Because just when it seemed as if we were due for a break, from the torrid pace we had maintained in our first ten years in Reno, the biggest event of our long career in numismatics happened. All of us (Marie, Maya, Nicole, and me) spent most of 2012 absorbed in the excitement that embraced the Year of Carson City Coins, which culminated in the auction of the Battle Born collection in Philadelphia in August.
The demands of my stressful writing schedule in 2012—for the Battle Born auction catalog and the four articles in Coin World—pushed Maya to the limits of what she had learned as a typist over the previous five years. In addition, there were airline and hotel reservations to schedule and monitor, meetings and lectures to help me prepare for, and dozens (if not hundreds) of other details to direct.
We encountered some turbulence at times, especially when it was all over—in October. Yet, in the end, Maya remained committed. She exemplified the dedication that has defined her six years at Southgate Coins.
Over the past 30 years, Marie and I have learned to adapt our strategies around the plans, schedules, and vicissitudes in the lives of our employees. We shifted into adaptive mode last fall when Maya announced she was pregnant again. She and her husband Matt are preparing for the coming of their second child—it’s hard to believe, but their first child, little Embry, is three years old already. Maya expects to deliver a new playmate for Embry in June.
To help us prepare for her next maternity leave, Maya has teamed with Nicole over the past four and a half months, to train our newest employee, Emily. This is a task Maya has excelled in during her time with us (so has Nicole). The results have been amazing; Emily has advanced as fast and as well as any new girl who has ever donned a Southgate apron. (Thank you Maya—and Nicole—for the exceptional job you’ve done in mentoring Emily.)
Marie and I, with the help of Nicole and Emily, will brace ourselves for Maya’s temporary departure. And, while she’s nurturing her new baby, we will inevitably remind ourselves daily of how much we have relied on Maya; how we have treasured having her with us to help us meet the challenges of running a business, as well as an international club, the Carson City Coin Collectors of America. Many of the members of that organization (familiarly called the C4OA) view her as a pillar, too. They expect her to always be available to answer their phone calls, their emails, and to assist in the preparation of the club’s journal, Curry’s Chronicle. They will have to adjust, just as Marie and I will do, when Maya is on maternity leave.
I think it’s only when you lose someone meaningful in your life—even if it’s just for a short spell—that you realize how important she is to you, and how much you depend on her. I know that will happen to me (and Marie) when Maya has her baby. I’m just glad that after her six years on the job with us, I (we) can feel that way about Maya. It’s called appreciation.
Thank you Maya, for giving us the opportunity to appreciate you during your six years of service at Southgate Coins.
With all my love,