Upon entering the magical grounds of Masonic Village at Elizabethtown, you will notice the historic stone buildings, quaint cottages and lush green gardens. You may also notice blue, black, and red security vehicles driven by security officers keeping watch on these beautifully kept grounds. Valerie Gray, a 10-year veteran with Masonic Villages, assists her fellow officers in keeping the residents and visitors safe and secure.
Born in the Midwest to parents that both made their living as commercial artists, she developed her interest and imagination in creative pursuits. Although, unlike her parents, art is not her full-time career, it is still a passion of the heart that she follows today in everything from woodworking to painting. She has completed art commissions for the Masonic Village Farm Market (visit to see her art panels at the front counters!) and sells to folk art collectors nationwide.
After 13 years living in Florida as a stay-at-home mom of three children, a new marriage, a move to Kentucky and the sudden death of her new husband, she moved to Pennsylvania to be closer to family. Her six-year-old granddaughter is the apple of her eye.
When looking to start a new career, she decided on security because of her experiences as a property manager for HUD while living in Kentucky and as a police officer’s wife.
“I found the work he did to be fascinating and ever-changing,” she said.
She completed all the background checks, interviews and tests for Homeland Security located in the Harrisburg International Airport. She was scheduling the final phase to start her employment with them when she received an offer from Masonic Village at Elizabethtown Security to become part of their team. Considering the possibility to work at this lovely facility, she accepted the exciting position and has never looked back. She credits Dan White, the head of the Security Department, for giving her this opportunity.
As a Security Officer, Valerie performs a variety of responsibilities, from patrolling the grounds, securing the buildings, traffic control, answering 911 emergency calls and assisting the response nurse and EMT personnel.
“Every day is different and that is the best part,” she said.
Valerie’s passions include antiquing, gardening, exercising, creating art and listening to her favorite music – hard rock for the gym and classic R&B\country for everything else.
If you see her or other Masonic Village security staff out and about in their security vehicles, give a friendly smile or wave – and rest assured that they’ll provide serious and professional services in an urgent situation.