Employee Spotlight: Mason Tarr
With a bachelor’s degree in marketing, Mason started a career in landscaping. When the physical demands of that career became too much for Mason, he decided to put his handyman skills to work and shifted his career into maintenance.
Mason Tarr has been working with CFCC’s facilities department since 2019. You may have seen Mason scampering around campus as he responds to calls to assemble office furniture or repair something in an office or classroom. His friendly and quick responses to requests prompted one of his co-workers to comment.
“Mason is amazing at his job. There’s no task, small or big, he can’t accomplish. He’s always in a good mood, and I think he deserves to be recognized.”
Even if you haven’t noticed him darting around campus, you may have noticed one of Mason’s prized possessions – his green, classic Ford pickup in the Nutt Street parking lot.
Mason joined CFCC as part of the landscaping crew. However, he found North Carolina’s heat and humidity challenging work environment. Fortunately, Mason was able to transfer to an indoor maintenance position. He appreciates working in air conditioning but still loves gardening, particularly growing bonsai trees.
For over four decades, Mason has been “training” many species of trees to grow into bonsai trees. Now, he teaches the art of bonsai trees in his spare time. Recently, he instructed a group lesson for a CFCC department team-building project.
We were able to catch up with Mason for a Q&A session.
PLEASE TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF.
I am married and have two children. I am a maintenance technician, and my wife is a private chef. In 2006, we purchased a Bed & Breakfast in Sampson County. We sold the B&B in 2014. I had prior experience in horticulture and secured a job at a wholesale plant nursery in Wallace.
WHAT YEAR DID YOU START WORKING AT CFCC AND WHAT BROUGHT YOU HERE?
I started at CFCC in 2019 with the landscaping maintenance department. After a year, I transferred to facilities as a maintenance technician. I love gardening and landscaping. However, heat has become my nemesis. I needed a job that allowed me to work in climate control. I am grateful that I was able to transfer to my current position, where I mostly work on interior repairs.
WHAT DO YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT YOUR WORK?
It is satisfying being a behind-the-scenes person fixing things for staff members. I especially enjoy the smiles and thank you’s I get for just doing my job.
WHEN YOU’RE NOT WORKING, WHAT DO YOU DO?
I like spending downtime with my wife. We go to the beach, ride bikes, and hang out with our friends. I also enjoy gardening and metal detecting.
WHO HAD THE GREATEST INFLUENCE ON YOUR EDUCATION AND/OR CAREER PATH?
My mother worked for a university that allowed me to attend college tuition-free. My father introduced me to horticulture and an appreciation for plants, which led to a career in wholesale nursery management.
WHAT’S THE BEST ADVICE YOU’VE EVER RECEIVED?
Two bits of advice come to mind. First, treat others as you wish to be treated. Second, work hard and play hard because life is short.
WHAT IS SOMETHING NOT MANY PEOPLE KNOW ABOUT YOU?
I have been growing bonsai trees for 46 years. I recently started teaching bonsai beginner classes.
DEGREES & CERTIFICATES
I have a business administration bachelor’s degree with a marketing major from Temple University.
I spent 8 years serving as chairperson for the Sampson County Tourism Board. I was also a member of the Sampson County Chamber of Commerce. I joined the Professional Association of Innkeepers International when my wife and I owned a Bed & Breakfast. I was also previously a Residents of Old Wilmington and the Historic Wilmington Foundation member. I was a regional representative for Ryder Truck Rental.