Davis-Monthan, Spangdahlem earn top lodging honors

  • Published
  • By Debbie Gildea
  • Air Force Personnel Center Public Affairs
Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, and Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., took top honors in the 2012 Air Force Innkeeper Award competition, Air Force Personnel Center officials announced Oct. 4.

Annually, Air Force and commercial lodging professionals evaluate nominated organizations for customer service, housekeeping, financial status, facility management and support activities, selecting the best small (285 rooms or less) and large lodging programs.

Small Category Innkeeper Award

Spangdahlem Air Base, with 256 rooms, earned the small category award, exhibiting excellence in every criteria area, said Col. Thomas Joyce, the director of AFPC Services Directorate.

"Spangdahlem (AB) has developed programs and activities to provide Airmen with quality care and facilities, but the team is also working to ensure employees maintain that positive attitude that sets them apart,"Joyce said. "They are breaking ground and setting the example for facilities throughout the Air Force."

Adding pampering to essentials, Spangdahlem AB manages a professional massage and spa program, which earned $35,000 last year.

Teaming with the United Service Organizations and the Frankfurt Airport, Spangdahlem AB's team took care of 667 stranded passengers and, without missing a beat, hosted 126 no-notice groups as well. To ensure traveling service members are able to maintain fitness and resilience levels, staff volunteers constructed and relocated guest fitness rooms and helped themselves as well when they built two employee washrooms.

Leader's focus on employee energy and motivation resulted in a lodging Olympics pitting the competitors against Ramstein AB's lodging teams to identify the gold medal customer service provider. Team spirit competitions also enabled employees to create contests, identify winners and establish awards.

Large Category Innkeeper Award

Davis-Monthan AFB, with 298 rooms, swept the large category competition with attention to detail, an aggressive self-inspection program and exceptional customer service, representative of their motto "always Innkeeper ready."

"The Davis-Monthan mystery guest program is not only a fun way to ensure that every customer gets VIP treatment," Joyce said , "but also helped prepare them for such unexpected guests as President Obama following the shooting of U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords. The team not only rose to the occasion for every visit, they exemplified our wingman philosophy and commitment to caring for Airmen."

In addition to hosting the president and his staff, Davis-Monthan AFB welcomed international military members, aircrew enroute to global destinations, and Air Show Heritage Flight guests, each of whom were treated with the presidential courtesy, dignity and respect, Joyce said.

Small and large category Innkeeper Travelers award winners, lodging employees who exhibit peerless professionalism, attitude, customer service and job knowledge, were also named.

Small Category Travelers Award

Whisper Maxwell from Offutt AFB, Neb., was named the small category 2012 Innkeeper Travelers Award winner, and the large category winner is Hong Tak Kim from Osan AB, South Korea.

Maxwell, previously an F.E. Warren AFB, Wyo., guest services representative, transferred to Offutt AFB in January 2011. After an hour orientation, she was off and running, said Joyce, who called her the "ideal team member." With the goal of becoming a lodging manager, she pursued training in every department and completed formal hospitality, front desk and communications courses.

"Ms. Maxwell is energetic, determined and success-oriented, and she's a consistent guest favorite with an extensive list of kudos and accolades," Joyce said. "Her can-do attitude is setting the example for peers and superiors alike!"

Large Category Travelers Award

Kim, a source of continuity in the ever-changing environment of an overseas lodging facility, is the go-to guy for all general and Osan-specific lodging issues, Joyce said.

"Not only does he have the experience and longevity to serve as a natural continuity of operations advisor, he is a source of guidance and support in a lightening-paced environment. Mr. Kim is the cornerstone at Turumi Lodge,"  the colonel said.

As a liaison between U.S. and Korean employees, Kim works daily to foster a family environment where every team member is valued for their contributions. As a businessman, he keeps his eye on the bottom line and produce and manage a budget focused on mission and customer needs.

"He consistently makes guests and coworkers feel as if they are home, and his professionalism, positive attitude and selflessness are defining characteristics we look for when considering Travelers Award candidates," Joyce said.

Award winners will receive their trophies and certificates during ceremonies conducted by their installation commanders. AFPC leadership representatives will also attend each ceremony.

"What our lodging professionals do every day to care for Airmen has far greater impact than simple numbers can convey," Joyce said. "When Airmen travel, they are far from the comforts and security of home, but our lodging folks work to ease that separation and uncertainty. They provide transitioning Airmen with a home away from home, and that is beyond price."

For information about Air Force lodging facilities, go to www.usafservices.com. For more information about Air Force recognition programs and other personnel issues, visit the myPers website at https://mypers.af.mil.