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Meet Basilo


Basilo’s work attendance is as reliable as the sunrise, and he has the warm, beaming smile to match. Each weekday morning, he travels on the city bus system to SOAR365 @Westwood, navigating (occasional) unpredictable schedules and making multiple transfers before arriving for his 7:30 am shift. But these obstacles can’t keep Basilo from working — and neither does his disability.

For over 21 years, Basilo has been a valuable employee with SOAR365’s Business Solutions division, and he has no plans to stop. As a current member of the Henrico County Mobile Crew, Basilo has distinguished himself by his cheerful personality and enviable work ethic. Last year, he was part of the impressive effort to remove over 292,000 pounds of debris from Henrico County roads and waterways.

“My doctor tells me I need to keep working and stay busy. I can’t get lazy!” Basilo says with a laugh.

Basilo is prone to seizures, and while his condition is not unsafe, his teammates are always there for added support. “Basilo’s disability is common knowledge amongst the crew, and people really look out for him,” says his supervisor, Randy Britt, SOAR365’s Director of Commercial Grounds. In fact, multiple staff members maintain an open dialogue with Basilo’s family to ensure he receives the same level of support at work that he does at home.

It’s just one example of how SOAR365 accommodates employees with disabilities so that their true talents can shine.

As new skills are acquired and needs or interests change, employees may shift to other positions within the organization. Basilo first started work in the Assembly & Logistics department of SOAR365 in the 1990s. But he quickly began helping in other areas — “doing a little bit of everything,” he explains — including mowing, shoveling snow, and cleaning up around Westwood, before he transitioned to the Henrico County Mobile Crew.

The variety of job positions available at SOAR365 helps ensure we find the right fit for each employee, with a person-centered approach that accounts for everyone’s desires, dreams, and goals. Our employment specialists (or “job coaches”) are also on hand to teach specific job skills, meet any challenges and find creative solutions.

It’s a win-win: long-term employment for people with disabilities, like Basilo, and a wealth of dedicated, talented employees for SOAR365 clients. Plus, SOAR365’s “Best-in-Class” benefits package supports Basilo’s participation in clinical studies that will hopefully foster improved methods to combat his seizures so he can keep doing the work he loves.

Work that also contributes to the community. Basilo’s landscape improvements not only generate civic pride in Henrico County, but they also boost potential for corporate investment and help fulfill the county’s obligations for environmental permits.

His hard work earns him a paycheck and the self-confidence and independence that come with it. But his real gift is spreading his infectious good will. Each day, Basilo arrives to work at Westwood with a big grin on his face and a friendly greeting for everyone.

“Basilo is always uplifting and positive,” says Randy. “He creates such a great environment with his coworkers, but he is always serious about the work and doing a quality job. People rally around Basilo and work to keep up with him. That’s what makes him a great guy to have on our crew.”

To find out how to join Basilo’s team or see how our Business Solutions crews can help companies and municipalities in Richmond, visit the Business Solutions section of our website.

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