Fort Myers Beach was well represented at the annual Elaine McLaughlin Outstanding Hospitality Service (or “E”) Awards ceremony held last Thursday and hosted by the Lee County Visitor & Convention Bureau (VCB). In its 16th year, a record 943 nominations were submitted praising almost 500 Lee County hospitality employees who provided outstanding customer service.
Good Samaritan Award
Winning the Good Samaritan Award were six members of the Fort Myers Beach Fire Control District who devoted a day off to making sure a Make-A-Wish child and his family had a perfect carefree day on the beach. The nomination read in part:
“Our team hosted a child through the Make-A-Wish Foundation. His simple wish was to visit the beach to build a sandcastle. He had limited mobility and used a wheelchair. On the day of the sandcastle building, our nominees arrived with a big truck and a beach rover. It was overwhelmingly sweet to see them helping out in ways that were never expected.
They insisted on helping the Make-A-Wish coordinators unload stuff, then set up everything on the beach with a tent, coolers, and chairs—all things needed to keep the child cool and comfortable. Then they came to the front of the hotel to escort the child to the beach. This child has a history of experiencing severe fear and anxiety when people help him stand and assist him with transportation. However, this time he felt very different with our nominees helping him. He was unusually calm and even gave them a few smiles.
To everyone’s surprise, my nominees stayed the entire day. They talked to people on the beach about the importance of the foundation. They moved the child when needed from his beach wheelchair to a beach lounge chair so he could be closer to the ground. They stayed all day and didn’t hesitate to help him with every need he had.
It was only later that we found out the nominees had been scheduled to be off duty that day, but they volunteered themselves to be available.
The child’s family had a reservation at the hotel for the remainder of the week. So one of my nominees provided his personal cell phone number and told the boy’s family to call anytime, 24/7, and they would come help transport him to and from his beach wheelchair.
This is the kind of service that makes us proud to be part of this community. Thank you to our nominees for promoting kindness and love, something that every child deserves. He felt very special that day. Our nominees inspired our staff with their demonstration of selfless service.”
Jeff & Tim Malbon, Best Western Plus Beach Resort:
Best Tourism Boss
It’s always hard to pick just one of the nominees as Best Tourism Boss. “Great leadership, sound judgment, unquestionable support of their team—these are just a few of the traits that kept rising to the top with this winner,” according to the VCB team.
Jeff & Tim Malbon are co-owners of Best Western Plus Beach Resort, located at 684 Estero Blvd, Fort Myers Beach. Recipients of the 2015 M.K. Guertin Award, Champion Customer Care Award and Best Western Green Award, the resort is an annual sponsor for the Surfers for Autism event being held on Fort Myers Beach for the 6th year on November 5, 2016.
The number of nominations reminded the tourism board of the many, many great bosses that model good service and “walk the walk’ with their teams, serving Lee County’s visitors and helping to train the leaders of tomorrow.
Good leaders nurture, encourage, lead by example, guide, and practice the true meaning of servant leadership. Based on these attributes, nominations, and more, the Best Tourism Boss winner is selected by the VCB and personifies these essential qualities.
The VCB listed a few of the reasons why Best Western Beach Resort was selected as the Best Tourism Boss this year:
–They make it a pleasure to come to work every single day.
–They always look out for their employees.
–They treat us like family and always encourage us to strive for more within our work environment, or even to further our education.
–They teach and show by example how to work as a team.
–They are very easy to talk to. If there is a problem, they listen and will offer help and advice.
–They take care of our guests in ways that mean a lot, such as with transportation, returning rental cars, packing up belongings, calling family members, and much more.
–They take care of their employees. Our work environment is a pleasant one that we look forward to coming to each day.
–They give back. They are always helping in the community.
Information and photos provided by the Lee County VCB.