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Joe Herrera: Former UPS Driver Delivers World Class
Photo by Joanie Harmon

Joe Herrera: Former UPS Driver Delivers World Class
Employee Relations Skills to AEG

When Joe Herrera (Class of ’99, B.A., Labor Studies) was a driver for the United Parcel Service, he worked under deadline pressure to get his deliveries to their destinations on time. Hired last fall as the employee relations manager for Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG), he brings a sense of urgency to keep management staff advised on workplace issues in a timely fashion and is responsible for approximately 1000 union and non-union personnel at AEG, Home Depot Center (HDC), Staples Center, and various teams such as the L.A. Galaxy.

“One of my challenges is the rapid growth that the company has had,” says Herrera. “I deal with employee issues as kind of an intermediary between the employee and the manager to make sure that communication is positive and open.”

Hererra did not know much about AEG when he was solicited by a recruiter who was interested in him because of his labor studies background. After he was interviewed, he was impressed with what he learned about the growth plans of the company.

“I saw what they were doing, saw that they were growing, as far as Home Depot Center, the Staples Center, the Sprint Center that they’re building in Kansas City,” says Hererra. “The vibe was pretty dynamic and was something I thought I’d like to be a part of.”

Being a guest at the HDC made an impression on Hererra long before he considered working for AEG.

“It’s a beautiful place,” he says. “I attended games and concerts at the HDC before I started working here and my first impressions were that it was well-run and that it’s a nice place to see a concert. It really translates throughout the whole company, that everything is first-class and geared toward the guest. Whether they are watching a game or a concert, we want them walking away from one of our venues saying, ‘Not only was that a great show, but I was treated well and would go back again.’”

The proximity of the HDC is an advantage for students according to Hererra, who stresses the company philosophy that “Education is important, and we like our employees to take advantage of the university being right here.

“We’ve provided jobs for students in proximity to the campus, where they can go to school and come to work, and still have time to study,” he says referring to approximately 60 students who are employed at the HDC. “They wouldn’t have a lot of travel or commute time, which would dig into their study time.”

The diversity and focus on teamwork that he experienced at Dominguez Hills has played a big part in his new job.

“What was also unique about Cal State Dominguez Hills was that in every class,” he notes, “you’d have at least four or five people from different countries, so you always got a different perspective, both nationally and globally, with a wide range of diverse ideas.”

Hererra underscores the importance of recognizing individual differences while working to meet a common goal.

“The things I learned at CSUDH have really helped me here. We did a lot of team concept projects. A lot of universities were doing that, but here it was prevalent in my classes. Here you have people from all over, different cultures that mesh together to create one huge culture, which is AEG.”

-Joanie Harmon










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Last updated Monday, January 23, 11:15 a.m., by Joanie Harmon