The simple, yet meaningful words Paulette Lassiter, district manager of the National Mall Kiosks, used to describe her experience with the “100 Units in 100 Days” campaign that took place this past Centennial Year.
Gerry Gabrys and Jeff Marquis’ trip to Guest Services’ various operations on the National Mall would count for just a few on their nationwide tour. This program was conceptualized to commemorate “A Century of Service” by the Guest Services family, help express our gratitude to team members and clients, and, share the organization’s vision for our next 100 years. During our Centennial, it was crucial that we celebrate with the people who made it all possible.
“Right from the start, it was an absolute pleasure to see how thankful, happy, honored and excited everyone was. All of our team members were having a terrific time in celebration of what this moment represented. The visit, the speeches and the small gifts all resonated with a feeling of wholesomeness, like we are all genuinely part of what makes this company complete, no matter our role.”
An engaging conversation flowed throughout the day and into those that followed leaving a remarkable aura of positivity and encouragement. “Managers and employees are still talking about it. They even came together to write thank you notes showing their appreciation and received immediate equally as gracious replies. It really does speak volumes about the character of our company and commitment of our leadership, but perhaps more to the tight-knit community and family feeling of our culture. It wasn’t just the managers, or just Mr. Gabrys and Mr. Marquis, or just the employees; it was everyone – we all absolutely loved it,” said Lassiter.
Stories like Lassiter’s became a staple of the campaign by the end of the year. At Florida Southern College, where we’ve provided more than 40 years of excellence in dining services, a special retirement celebration for a long time 44-year employee, Myrna Parker, was being held during the “100 Units in 100 Days” tour. “Mr. Gabrys found out and personally called me to make arrangements to be here. He rearranged his plans to drive across the state and pay homage to Myrna’s many years of hard work and loyalty as a wonderful Guest Services employee,” said Tim Raible, the food service director at the Florida Southern College.
“Myrna and her coworkers were pleasantly surprised and overjoyed by how many wonderful people came out to celebrate her retirement. This moment demonstrated everyone’s appreciation of how real the people-first philosophy at Guest Services is. Dr. Kerr, the president of the college was also in attendance, along with some longtime associates of the college that worked with Myrna from the beginning. They were all very impressed and moved by this show of love towards an employee. I think everyone making such a point to celebrate with us turned it into an extraordinary and heartening experience for all that were in attendance, but especially for Myrna.”
Guest Services operates with the ingrained belief that despite our broad geographic and operational diversity, we are all one company and one team; every single property and every single team member is essential to our past success as well as our next “Century of Service.”
During their final visit, Gerry Gabrys’ speech mirrored his last 99 in its gracious tone and enthusiasm. He concluded with, “Once again, I want to thank each and every one of you for your loyalty to this wonderful organization and for your consistent commitment to service excellence. Without all of you, there is no Guest Services.”