Published September 12, 2019 / All Stories
AbbVie is made up of 30,000 employees across the world, contributing in diverse ways to one collective purpose. In this series, we take a closer look at some of the incredible people who embody our company's Principles.
In our third in the series, a conversation with Michael Mendoza, manager, environmental health & safety, construction safety.
On his role current role with AbbVie …
As the manager of the construction safety program, I am responsible for ensuring our external construction and maintenance contractors work according to AbbVie’s Environmental Health Safety (EHS) standards. I help regulate several areas including working at heights, excavations, health hazards, confined spaces, welding, electrical and more.
On which AbbVie Principle he finds to be the most meaningful and why …
Transforming Lives. In my 12 years with AbbVie, I have always felt a sense of pride knowing that the place I work is making a difference in patients’ lives all around the world. I feel a unique sense of responsibility to keep my fellow AbbVie colleagues safe at work so that they can return home and enjoy spending time with their loved ones. It is an important part of my job and I do not take that responsibility lightly.
On more of a personal note, a huge reason why I am passionate about this Principle is due to my daughter, Abigail, who was diagnosed with a childhood cancer called Neuroblastoma when she was just 3½ years old. I vividly remember receiving the call regarding her diagnosis and feeling completely numb inside; it was terrifying. Although those first few days and weeks were a bit of a blur, we eventually came together as a family to fight for our daughter’s life alongside a team of dedicated doctor’s laser-focused on helping her get better. We were lucky enough to have a health care team devoted to helping us stay positive and informed through an intense 14 months of hair loss, chemotherapy, surgeries, stem cell transplant and immunotherapy. I am forever thankful that this story has a happy ending; my daughter is now a healthy, thriving 16-year-old. This experience was life-altering and ultimately helped me to better appreciate our own AbbVie doctors and scientists (and other fellow colleagues) who dedicate their lives to helping find cures and treatments for those in need … just like my very own daughter.
One of my favorite organizations to donate to is the St. Baldrick’s Foundation, a charity committed to helping find cures for childhood cancers. For the past 5 years, I have shaved my head at their annual fundraising event on the far northwest side of Chicago. The name of the team … of course, Team Abigail, in honor of my daughter … whose resilience, beauty and strength never cease to amaze me.
On what motivates him to come to work every day …
Working in construction gives me the unique opportunity to interact with several groups across the organization and assist with anything and everything construction-safety related. My work has even taken me across the globe, inspecting safety and regulation practices at our manufacturing facilities in locations such as Singapore, Puerto Rico and Ireland. Every day is a new challenge and a new opportunity to make sure everyone at AbbVie remains safe!