Twice a month, we will utilize this blog to showcase some of the employees of Pocono Raceway. Today, we feature Administrative Assistant for Special Events Barbara Arroyo who was hired after an interview with Pocono Raceway co-founder Dr. Rose Mattioli. Barbara has three brothers and six sisters and was raised in a four-room apartment in New York City.
Q: How did you get your start at Pocono Raceway?
BA: I have been working at Pocono Raceway for 10 years now. I started on August 22, 2006. I came in and interviewed with Dr. Rose Mattioli. I guess Dr. Rose was looking for an assistant she could trust because she asked Father Deviney, one of the clergy at Christ the King Church (we attended the same church) if he knew anyone that could fill the position. Sunday morning came and I wasn’t feeling too well and almost didn’t go to church that Sunday. I walked into church that morning and Father Deviney asked me to see him after church. I was so nervous during mass, the catholic guilt, wondering if I had done something wrong. After mass, Father explained about the opening at Pocono Raceway and gave me the phone number. I interviewed for about an hour with Dr. Rose and at the end of the interview she said, “you’re staying Barbara I love you.” So I became Dr. Rose’s Assistant.
Q: What was your first impression of Dr. Rose?
BA: A real lady. I loved her from the start. In our interview we just talked and talked. Such a lady and a good person. I love her and the family very much, they have always taken good care of me.
Q: What are your responsibilities on race weekend?
BA: I used to take care of the Penthouse for Dr. Rose and Michele (Kulick). Now, my focus is on Skyboxes 1 and 2. I make sure they are set up with food and drink and check people in and be a good hostess for them. I also assist in the Drivers Wives Lounge with whatever is necessary.
Q: Were you a race fan before you started working here?
BA: Not really. We have lived here for so many years and could hear the races from our home but never attended. We always thought we should go to a race and when I started working here my husband and I thought it was pretty funny.
Q: Do you have any favorite drivers?
BA: I am a race fan now though. I would say Kasey Kahne is my favorite driver. I have a picture with him. He came into the Penthouse one year to use the restroom and my husband David asked if Kasey would pose for a picture with me. Denny Hamlin is the other. How can you not be a race fan when you’re here and watching the race. The thrill of the cars going around the track, anything could happen! One minute everything is going good and then all of a sudden they are under a caution. I just love working here, the family has been so good to me. I’m here until I retire.
Q: Are you from the Pocono’s?
BA: No. I’m originally from New York City, born and raised. I have been in the Poconos for 27 years but you can’t rid of the New Yorker in me.
Q: What’s your favorite part of the Pocono’s?
BA: The lakes, the relaxing countryside, the restaurants, we made a lot of new friends. We wound up here because that’s where we could afford a house with two daughters. My husband David and I raised our two daughters, Barbara and Stephanie here. It was the best thing we did.
Q: Do you have a favorite racing memory from your time here at Pocono Raceway?
BA: Oh, yes. I’m very patriotic. I love when the military comes out and everyone has their hands over their hearts and they sing the “Star Spangled Banner.” Then all the clapping and cheering after gets me every time. One year, they did this fly over with a military air bus. It was amazing, when it flew over I felt as though I could reach out and touch it. It was so unbelievably close. That was amazing. God Bless America!