Naval Air Station Whiting Field’s Navy Gateway Inn and Suites earned highly sought-after recognition as a recipient of the Admiral Elmo R. Zumwalt award for excellence in lodging management.
The award recognizes the highest level of lodging service standards, and each year, half of Navy installations go through the inspection process. Commands which attain a Five-Star rating are honored with the Adm. Elmo R. Zumwalt award.
Only ten NGIS facilities worldwide were recognized as 2012 award winners, and the NAS Whiting Field NGIS is one of only five in the United States to receive the prestigious designation. It is recognition that greatly excited the facility’s staff.
“It’s always great to earn recognition like that. Just knowing that all the hard work, dedication, and teamwork paid off was terrific,” Betty Wallin, the NGIS manager said about the award. “These employees work hard all the time and they deserve it.”
The Whiting Field NGIS is no stranger to the Zumwalt award with three others hanging proudly over the lobby entrance. The staff earned the five-star designation in 2001, 2003, 2008, and now 2012. Wallin, who stepped into the manager position late in 2012, emphasized that Lemarian Rasberry, the previous manager, established a goal that the facility would always be prepared for an inspection. No matter when the inspection team would come, his aim was that the rooms would always be ready, and it is still a staff-wide effort to be prepared at all times.
“Our goal is to be a five-star facility all the time,” Wallin said. “The staff goes above and beyond to make sure that everything is as perfect as it can be.”
The award was established in 1974 by the Secretary of the Navy to recognize outstanding hospitality within the Navy lodging establishments. NGIS operations receive a rating of three, four, or five stars based on several categories including amenities, service, facility quality, and financial management. A Five-Star rating is awarded to an installation’s entire NGIS operation if they achieve an overall score of 95 percent or higher.
The ratings are established by a Commander, Navy Installations Command (CNIC) accreditation team. The team conducted an unannounced inspection of the entire facility including housekeeping services, rooms, common areas, front desk operations, personnel management, financial and logistics management.
“From top to bottom the Navy Gateway Inn and Suites at Whiting Field is a first rate operation,” Capt. Matthew Coughlin, the base commanding officer stated. “This award only recognizes what I already knew – that we have a fantastic team and a facility we can be proud of.”
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