Meet Fartun Haji: Translating Team Work into Success

The inside of Turning Stone Resort Casino always looks sparkling and spotless, and we have Fartun Haji and her team to thank.

Fartun, Environmental Services Department (EVS) Team Leader, manages the employees who keep restrooms, floors, carpets, and other interior public spaces clean. She spends most of her time coordinating between porters and project porters, making sure that everyone is working together efficiently.

Specifically, much of Fartun’s job comes down to communication—because her team members speak a variety of different languages, she must translate instructions and expectations in a way that everyone can understand. Fartun, who identifies ethnically as Somali-Bantu, speaks five different languages: English, Swahili, Somali, Spanish and French.

“Communication is key in this life, and it means a lot to me that I can make people’s experiences at Turning Stone better by helping my team members connect,” she said. “People like to work together. Sometimes they just need a little help.”

Fartun is no stranger to the importance of helping others; she remembers what it was like to come to this country and receive assistance herself.

She emigrated from Kenya in October 2006 and arrived in the United States when she was 8.

In 2016, she joined Turning Stone Resort Casino in the Food & Beverage department, but then moved over to the EVS department.

She started in her current department as a porter and spent three years in that role before she was promoted to project porter. She was elevated to team leader one year ago this month [October], and has thrived in the position since then.

One of the things she likes most about her current situation: The diversity of her team.

“EVS is a wonderfully rich group of people with different experiences,” said Fartun, who works from 4 p.m. to midnight. “We are like one big happy family that comes from all over the world.”

When Fartun turned 18, a friend who had been working at Turning Stone recommended that Fartun apply for a job with Oneida Nation Enterprises. She landed the job on the spot. The rest, as they say, is history.

Today, Fartun raves about the benefits of working with Oneida Nation Enterprises—not only the monetary benefits, but also the bonus of working for a company that truly cares about its employees.

When she’s not on the clock, Fartun spends her free time with her three siblings and her parents—all of whom live in the Utica area.

“I love my life here,” she said. “Turning Stone is a big part of why.”

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