You’ve probably spotted him and his facilities crew members working throughout the Blue Skies of Texas community, but if you’re unfamiliar with the man with the cool name, let us introduce you.
Meet Facility Services Manager, Ace Escalante.
What’s in a Name?
Aciano Escalante Jr.’s nickname “Ace” dates back to 1996 when he first started working at Blue Skies of Texas West Campus (formerly Air Force Village II).
“I had a retired Air Force chief who was a dispatch guy, or maintenance coordinator as it’s known today,” says Ace. “He was from Wisconsin; it was difficult for him to pronounce my name, so he started calling me Ace.”
While the nickname was a solution for one individual at the time, it quickly caught on with residents too.
“From 1996 to today, it’s been that way,” he explains. “It was fun because, back then, Air Force Village had retired Air Force officers. Even though other branches were present on campus, the majority were Air Force. Being an Ace in the Air Force is a positive thing.”
All in a Day’s Work
When asked what a typical day looks like, the effervescent facilities manager quickly pointed out that no two days are ever the same for him or his crew.
“The general idea is we take care of our residents,” he explains. “Whenever they move into a house, apartment or cottage, because of how the process works, after about 60 days, we basically take care of them from that point on. We create a really good bond, and we do anything that you would normally do at your home.”
From mechanics to air conditioning and general maintenance, Ace and his trusty crew have you covered. Need a plumber? Having roof issues? Need your paint touched up? Whatever the ask, facility services is ready to answer the call for all 600 residents.
“Anything that concerns home improvement, we’re doing it for the residents,” says Ace. “But we also have a good partnership with some general contractors to help us out and delegate some of that work, because you have to remember we’re a crew of 16 looking after many residents.”
To Ace and his team, those service calls aren’t just requests for help. They also offer opportunities for facility services to connect with members of the community.
“You’re not just a number here,” says Ace. “You’re going to get our full attention. I tell my department all the time to show up and be eager, be present and pay attention because I really want to convey to residents that this community is a tight-knit network. We have a really good group here on staff, and I’m proud of all of them. We’re like one big family.”
For Ace, walking into the community is more than just a job. He says it never feels like work because the residents feel more like family. Ace shares that even though not all residents are former military, it’s still “a pleasure to be serving the residents who served for us even before my time here. I appreciate that, and I think it’s a two-way street.”
When Ace isn’t on-call or on-campus, the Gilmer, Texas native enjoys spending time with his wife, Eleanor, and their two daughters, Grace and Leyla.
“Eleanor has been with me through thick and thin, and she’s my best friend,” says Ace. “The job can be demanding, and she’s supported me through it all. It just takes a strong person to be that patient.”
Although his daughters might be young adults, Ace says he still wants to hang out with them.
“But only if I’m wanted. Grace is the one going to college right now, getting her MA. And then Layla, she’s my artist. It’s funny how you have two kids with the same parents and they’re totally different. Layla does a lot of artwork, so we do a lot of pop-ups and vending stuff. And they’re both into anime, so we go to conventions. I think I embarrass my children a little,” he says with a grin.
When he’s not visiting conventions, checking out the Austin art scene or spending time with his wife, Ace says he likes to fish.
“I find it relaxing,” he says. But no matter how fun or challenging fishing the murky Gulf water can be, Ace adds that nothing compares to the time he gets to spend with immediate and extended family members.
“Growing up, I was so close to my grandmother and to all my aunts and uncles,” says Ace. “We shared food and celebrated different things together and, given the multigenerational household, there was always someone around in the home. I want to continue that tradition with my girls.”
That Hometown Feeling
Want to know more about the tight-knit community Ace described? Reach out to one of our senior living advisors today at 210-673-2761 or visit our website to learn more.