With a healthy mix of long-term employees as well as those fresh out of school, ABACORP prides itself on creating a family-like atmosphere. But for Tawnie Frankel, who handles administrative duties in the office, it truly is family. Tawnie grew up in Santa Clarita and the West Valley, where she graduated from El Camino High School. After a quick stint in cosmetology, she decided to study Child and Adolescent Development, earning her BA from California State University Northridge in 2014. It was her brother Taylor, who was born with cerebral palsy and then developed Autism, who helped her realize that she always had an affinity for children, and he was her inspiration in pursuing this as a career.
After working in the field for several years, and successfully running an after-school program as part of a Saugus Unified School District, things quickly came to a halt this spring, due to the COVID outbreak. Coincidentally, ABACORP had a need for some help, and Tawnie joined the family business. “It’s definitely different but has been fun transitioning to administration,” she says. “Learning the in depth processes has helped me understand what makes ABACORP great”. “It is such a blessing working with so many great people”
Although she grew up around it, Tawnie finds it remarkably interesting to learn how the business works. She says she never truly got an inside glimpse, but now sees the blueprints, and the processes that make the company great and the wide variety of parts they make. And she gets to work closely with her mentor. “My mom has been there with me every step of the way, leading and guiding me,” she says.
While still hoping to get back to Child Development, for now she is happy where she is. And, just like the other team members at ABACORP, she appreciates the close-knit crew. “Everyone gets along and is super friendly. We are a team and we have each other’s back and are supporting one other.”
For 16 years, Miguel Santillan has been a valued member of the ABACORP team. Starting out unloading and loading deliveries, and operating, Miguel has since done a little bit of everything. Currently he is a set-up machinist and operates CNC equipment.
Miguel grew up in Pacoima and, upon graduating from high school, he immediately joined the workforce. He met ABACORP COO Rob Frankel through one of his jobs, and when things started to change there, he reached out to him. That was September 2004, and Miguel has been at ABACORP ever since.
Miguel says working at ABACORP is satisfying. He knows what to do from the moment he gets to work. “I know the board is already written – we have our names on what we have to do.”
He’s also gained great experience and knowledge over the years. As he explained, “There is always someone I can ask questions of, always someone that knows.” Including COO Rob, who always takes time to guide him through problem solving and finding solutions.
But one of the things Miguel appreciates most is the atmosphere at ABACORP, which is one of the biggest reasons he is still there after 16 years. “We all show up every morning and get along with each other,” he says. “Some of the younger guys hang out after work. The environment is good, so that has a lot to do with sticking around.”