It might sound clichéd but Junior Toleafoa was born to serve. From a young age, JT was taught to serve others, to work within a team and to help develop people in a positive way. Such values are obvious in his chosen career path.
JT is a NZ-born Samoan, the youngest of 10 and a graduate of Mount Albert Grammar School. He kick-started his career with the NZ Police force as a Police Sergeant, working on the front-line work for 20 years JT thought he’d be in the Police force forever but, in 1997, he took a leap of faith and joined SKYCITY.
“SKYCITY was a very different place then to how it looks now... it’s growing all the time. I found the transition from a disciplined, regimented workplace to a commercial outfit quite enjoyable, and a lot of the work I did in the Police has set me up for the work I do now.”
JT has held a number of roles at SKYCITY, starting as a Duty Manager at Sky Tower. He then landed the role of Employee Advocate which focused on the welfare of employees and he helped set the scene for the existing ‘Connect’ team; Connect provide free, confidential advice and support to any SKYCITY employee who’s experiencing issues at home or in the workplace. A few years later, he became Group Manager of Host Responsibility, then went back into employee advocacy, before stepping up to manage Surveillance, Security & Host Responsibility.
Twenty years on, he’s still at SKYCITY and a well-respected, familiar face playing his part as Manager of Security & Host Responsibility. JT’s team include the highly visible Security Officers who ensure a safe, fun place for customers and employees, and the Host Responsibility Executives who work with customers to minimise harm from our products.
His humble, humorous and dedicated personality is popular amongst his co-workers, but he prefers the description “Calm under fire!”
When asked about what keeps him at SKYCITY, JT says “You’ve got to build a good team beneath you to support you. You have to empower them to make decisions and to give them the resources to do their job. I’m part of a fabulous team and the work is interesting enough to keep me in it.”
JT finds the successes in his area and the variety and diversity of the business very rewarding, especially the people! “I want to leave this role saying that I’ve done my best and that I’ve left it all there. That’s my goal. To do the best I can.”
Although JT dedicates a lot of time to his career, life outside of work also involves a lot of family time. He enjoys travelling to Rarotonga and Samoa, attending cultural functions, watching his daughter dance and cheering his son on who’s at flying school.
JT doesn’t ‘play’ sports but he actively watches rugby...well...the Auckland Blues, and hopes that they win a season soon!