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EN’s 2019 Annual Partner and Employee Award Winners Announced

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_empty_space][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/3″][vc_single_image image=”10452″ img_size=”full” add_caption=”yes”][/vc_column][vc_column width=”2/3″][vc_column_text]Eastern National’s annual awards highlight excellence in performance and partnership. The awards program was designed to acknowledge outstanding individual achievements and contributions that have had a positive impact on an Eastern National operation or an individual park, thus furthering and promoting EN’s unique relationship with its partners. Here are the winners for 2019:

The CHARLES S. MARSHALL UNIT AWARD was presented to the Outer Banks Group (Cape Hatteras NS, Fort Raleigh NHS, and Wright Brothers N MEM) for exceptional teamwork. This included a multi-year collaboration with EN on the Wright Brothers National Memorial Visitor Center renovation project that resulted in a spectacular visitor experience and an FY19 sales increase of 43 percent over FY18. In addition, the America’s National ParksTM Store at Cape Hatteras National Seashore was expanded and was a participant in the Grow Sales Evaluation, and the Outer Banks Group as a whole entered into EN’s first Philanthropic Partnership Agreement—the catalyst for launching Outer Banks Forever.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/3″][vc_single_image image=”10451″ img_size=”full” add_caption=”yes”][/vc_column][vc_column width=”2/3″][vc_column_text]SUPERIOR PERFORMANCE AWARDS recognize outstanding partner management of an EN agency, regardless of agency size. This award recognized the top four outstanding partner personnel. Superior Performance Awards were presented to:

James Lewis, chief of interpretation at Stones River NB, for his contributions to EN, including researching and writing content for the new Civil War Mascots Coloring and Activity Book—part of a new line of products offered by Eastern National in FY19—and providing valuable feedback and assistance for EN’s Grow Sales Evaluation at Stones River NB.

Steven Roberts, chief of interpretation at Castillo de San Marcos NM, for his involvement in new initiatives, new item development, and product selection and his assistance, approachability, and encouragement, all helping to create a cohesive partnership and drive sales.

Kirsten Talken-Spaulding, superintendent of Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania NMP, for her positive guidance, leadership, and commitment to partnership—including working with EN to keep the main park store open during the government shutdown and always keeping the store manager informed about parkwide communications and activities—thereby continuing to grow a stronger relationship between EN and the NPS at this site in FY19.

Vince Vaise, chief of visitor services at National Capital Parks – East, for his willingness to consider new ideas, being instrumental in the reopening of the store at Mary McLeod Bethune Council House NHS, partnering with EN during the Grow Sales Evaluation at Frederick Douglass NHS, and always including EN in discussions and planning for sites.

The HERBERT E. KAHLER AWARD recognizes the EN partner judged to have cooperatively managed the most efficient and innovative agency. The winner of this award is selected from among the Superior Performance Award winners. The Kahler Award was presented to Kirsten Talken-Spaulding, superintendent of Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania NMP.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/3″][vc_single_image image=”10455″ img_size=”full” add_caption=”yes”][/vc_column][vc_column width=”2/3″][vc_column_text]EN President and CEO Kevin C. Kissling presented EN Board Member David Harmon with a Distinguished Service Award.

DISTINGUISHED SERVICE AWARDS recognize significant active service at a high level of excellence that has resulted in substantial contributions to EN. Distinguished Service Awards were presented to David Harmon, whose term on the EN board has ended; Peter Milovcich, systems analyst, who retired after 43 years; and Kathy Sumter, staff accountant, who retired after 16 years. Pete joined EN in 1976 as a staff accountant and later moved to IT, where he helped develop key processes and eventually settled into his role as systems analyst. He has been instrumental in EN’s growth and is the longest-serving EN employee to date. Kathy joined EN as a purchasing assistant before transitioning to her role as staff accountant. We thank David, Pete, and Kathy for their service.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/3″][vc_single_image image=”10453″ img_size=”full” add_caption=”yes”][vc_empty_space][vc_single_image image=”10454″ img_size=”full” add_caption=”yes”][/vc_column][vc_column width=”2/3″][vc_column_text]The CUSTOMER SERVICE AWARD was presented to Steamtown NHS and Stones River NB. This award recognizes the EN store staff with the highest average score in EN’s secret shopper program and recognizes exceptional service through the results of online surveys taken from park store receipts. The program evaluates the overall store appearance, product presentation, and staff professionalism. These two park stores earned a tie score of 99.2 percent.

SPECIAL ACHIEVEMENT AWARDS recognize exceptional performance in the area of store operations and partner relations. Awards were presented to the following EN employees:

Becky Burke, Southeast regional manager, for her ability and willingness to step into a variety of different roles as needed, knowing where to allocate resources to grow sales, and being a strong team player, mentor, and source of support for our staff and partners.

Davina “Deane” Collie, store manager at Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania NMP, for her exceptional customer service and teamwork skills, developing a sales mix that resulted in a four percent increase over prior year, and reenergizing park store operations overall.

Kailyn Danko, site manager at Saratoga NHP, for her creative merchandising abilities, positive attitude, teamwork, and superior customer-service skills, resulting in a 6.7 percent increase in sales.

Wilma Diaz, assistant store manager at San Juan NHS, for stepping in to manage store operations at El Yunque National Forest in September and working with the staff during this time to develop a strategy of communication and cohesiveness—leading through the challenges and remaining committed to making an impact during this short-term position assignment.

Jane Grossman, site manager at Carl Sandburg Home NHS, for her creativity and dedication to sharing Carl Sandburg’s works and home with the public and developing innovative new sales items that convey core park themes—all resulting in extending visitors’ understanding and appreciation of Sandburg and a 15 percent sales increase over prior year.

Amber Houske, training manager at Eastern National Headquarters, for fostering a culture of continuous learning and improvement, including utilizing the Sharepoint training site, developing the Training Digest to connect employees to training and development tools, and serving as principal trainer for the Erply Point-of-Sale software implementation.

Taymí Maldonado, Coastal Southeast assistant regional manager, for taking on the challenge of handling many different projects, including serving as partnership engagement coordinator at San Juan NHS, where she was the conduit that brought NPS and EN staff, volunteers, large corporations, and communities together.

Tonya Michael, store manager at Wright Brothers N MEM, for using the tools she learned in Back to Base Camp training to demonstrate consistent and exceptional performance in store operations throughout FY19, resulting in high secret shopper program scores and a 20 percent increase over the sales goal for the fiscal year.

Tonya Seeley, store lead associate at Cape Lookout NS, for finding new ways to improve efficiencies and help operations run smoothly—including developing a Point-of-Sale register training manual—and encouraging the development of positive relationships between staff and volunteers.

Ashley Shortal, store manager at Castillo de San Marcos NM, for promoting an EN/NPS collaborative team approach to operations at the site by working in partnership with park staff, engaging in park programming, and coordinating with park activities.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_empty_space][/vc_column][/vc_row]