No, that’s not a typo. Gaston’s unusual first name came courtesy of her father.
“He always wanted me to be his ‘little Miss,’ ” she said.
The 32-year-old Wichita native happened onto her future career while a student at Wichita Heights High School, after getting a job in guest services at the mall.
“I was just walking around looking for a job. Luckily I was hired there and kept on after the holiday.”
Gaston said she was especially interested in the “behind-the-scenes” operations of the mall.
“There were people who actually made the mall run, doing things that nobody really saw.”
Gaston worked there while earning a degree in integrated marketing communications from Wichita State University and then a master’s in business administration from Southwestern College.
She moved up through posts as guest marketing manager, area director of marketing and then director of marketing for Penn Square Mall in Oklahoma City. After four years in Oklahoma City and management training with Simon Property Group, she returned to Wichita as assistant manager for both Towne East and Towne West last year. In March she was promoted to general manager of Towne West.
Gaston said she has her hands in just about every aspect of mall operations, from marketing to security.
“The most important thing is to make sure we provide a positive experience for the community.”
Outside work, Gaston enjoys spending time with her daughter, Moriya, who’s 2, and other family.
And she says her job comes with one big perk for somebody like herself who lives to shop.
“Oh my goodness, absolutely. I don’t have to travel back to the mall to shop. I’m here already, right?”