By Jason Cohen
Kristinia Bellamy is a fighter. She battled and defeated breast cancer in 2011 and lost her husband in the line of duty 13 years ago.
Bellamy, 49, has worked for 12 years as a cleaner in Manhattan at 919 Third Ave., a 47-story building that houses law firms, a bank and a retail store. About a year ago she became a shop steward as well.
Bellamy was born and raised in Far Rockaway and as a child dreamed of being a flight attendant. While she never got that far, she did fly often when she worked as a ticket agent at American Airlines at JFK Airport in the 90s. Bellamy noted that one of the coolest places she went to was Grenada.
After leaving the airline in 2001, she worked at an office building in Westbury, Long Island. Her supervisor there, Christopher Hughes, connected her to a new job as a floor lady at the Hearst Tower.
She started at Hearst in 2006, which was just a year after her late husband Jeffrey Bellamy, an undercover ATF agent, died on the job. So a job at night with more peace and quiet was better for her.
While she enjoys the stability and the lawyers, it can be challenging.
“Working at night ... messes up your whole system,” she says. “You can’t go to sleep when you get home.”
Bellamy cleans the 19th and 20th floors of the building and learned quickly that if she isn’t friendly with the lawyers there, they may not be nice to her. Many of the lawyers work later than she does, so having a rapport with them really helps, she explains.
She also enjoys talking with many of them and has even become friendly with some over the years. In fact, she is friends with a former tenant of the building, Alec Rothstein, who now lives in London.
“If you don’t talk to the tenants on the floor your job is hard,” she says.
Bellamy, who now resides in Bayonne, NJ, likes to spend her free time with her husband, Steven Cherry, and her two sons, Anthony, 30, and Jason, 27. She also enjoys giving back to the community.
For the past eight years she has volunteered at the Boys and Girls Club in Jersey City, where she mentors young girls. Right now, she is working with two girls in middle school, Azha and Anaya.
“These chicks are like my kids,” she says. “They’re very smart kids, but they come from troubled homes. I enjoy doing it. It makes a difference with these kids.”
As she looks to the future, Bellamy says she is happy with her family and job.