GEM Reagan

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Employee Excellence in Customer Service

DCA is proud to announce its GEM (Going The Extra Mile) employees for the first quarter of 2014.
What is Gem?  Gem is an awards program that recognizes airport employees for excellence in customer service.
16 employees were recognized by Paul Malandrino, Vice President and Airport Manager, in a ceremony at the airport. Three customer service stories were awarded  “best customer service stories of the quarter.” Please see below for their winning stories.

Photo of all GEM Nominees with Paul Malandrino, Airport Manager


Eileen Kurtz, Jenny Lafaurie, and Linda Vine – USO
The USO at DCA is typically open from 6Am to 10PM daily.  On an evening when the metro area received a big snow storm, Eileen and Jenny – USO volunteers - kept the USO open all night for any troops that were stranded at the airport.  Linda Vine came in around 4:00am to relieve them.  Jenny, Eileen, and Linda could have stayed home or left early and beat the condition but instead showed compassion and selflessness.

Gary McQuaide, River Rescue and Mike Green – USDA
A report came that a dog was running loose on the airfield.  Alaska Airlines reported that they were missing a dog from a kennel. Mike Green from USDA responded and began following the dog until it exited the airfield heading north on the bike trail. 10 – 15 minutes later an airfield electrician reported that the dog was spotted again along river’s edge at the approach end of Runway 33. The dog was now limping and leaving a blood trail. Soon the dog entered the river. The dog having run from gate 18 to hangar 12 to the old north boathouse site to the sand shed and back around the north end of the airfield was now exhausted, injured, and would not last long in the river. River Rescue and USDA responded to the dog’s location and pulled the dog out of the water. The customer was waiting at the south boathouse where the dog was reunited with its owner. The owner was extremely grateful for the effort.  

Dennis Killeen – Sam and Harry’s
Dennis is the General Manager of Sam and Harry’s.  During a snow storm, Dennis asked the manager of Starbucks if she needed help because she was the only one working.  The line was growing and passengers were becoming testy.  Dennis jumped behind the counter and was able to serve pastries and regular coffee with the manager of Starbucks until the line was manageable.  Customers were thrilled that they were able to get their coffee quickly.

We also commend the following employees for receiving nominations for excellence in customer service:

Max Arias – Prime Flight

Susan Drury – Marketplace Development

Patrice Jones – Piedmont Airlines

Catina Negrete – Travelers Aid

Irma Rubio – Motir

Rina Sharma – Paradise Shops

Paul Sickles – TSA

Dorothy Thomas – MWAA

Ron Tranquil – Marketplace Development
If you experience an employee going above and beyond for customer service, please let us know at