2012 AWARD WINNERS

Teshome Andeta

Teshome Andeta was nominated by two Delta Air Lines Customer Service Agents: Patricia Marrinan and Denise Conner. At the time of his nomination, Teshome worked for G2 Secure Staff as the wheelchair lead on the G concourse. Here are some of Patricia’s and Denise’s nomination comments:

When Teshome was young and working in his father`s store in Ethiopia, he learned that the customer is to be respected and that patience is required to do a good job. He clearly has his personal priorities in alignment with a virtuous life and these values carry over into the workplace. Faith, family, and friends are important to Teshome and he treats Delta employees and his fellow coworkers as an extension of family.

When Teshome is training new wheelchair pushers, he teaches them to understand English words and phrases so that they will be able to provide the best service. He teaches co-workers to be respectful and leads by example. The very best wheelchair pushers in the airport were trained by Teshome.

He always arrives prior to his start time to make sure wheelchairs and staff are in place where they are needed. He regularly checks to make sure that the chairs are safe and in good operating condition.

He met a flight from Los Angeles last October. With each passenger he brought off the plane, he asked what he could do for them. He would wait at the cart stop until the correct concourse cart arrived so he could explain to the cart driver the needs of each passenger. If a cart is not available, he will wheel passengers from one concourse to another to make tight connections.

Last Thanksgiving I watched him invite a fellow wheelchair rep to his house, knowing this person was going to be alone.

Teshome recently became a G2 skycap for Delta where his overall contributions to our customers will now extend beyond the disabled to a larger population.

Teshome makes MSP Airport shine.

Rhoda Christenson

Rhoda Christenson is a Customer Information Assistant for MAC (Metropolitan Airports Commission). She was nominated by three MAC Public Affairs staff: Amanda Greene Guentzel, Kate Molitor and Lisa Ruetten. Their nomination included this information:

Rhoda’s commitment to MSP customers is immeasurable. In her position, she supplies passengers with concise and accurate information in response to all of their questions. To ensure the information she gives passengers is accurate, she spends hours gathering facts and making calls. She can often be found walking the terminal noting changes. Her efforts ensure that each member of the Information and Paging staff is supplying customers with the most up to date information possible.

Not only does Rhoda provide the best information possible to customers over the phone, she also created a Twitter account to communicate information to travelers and better connect with customers. By training Information and Paging staff to use Twitter to answer customers’ questions, Rhoda is showing innovation in customer service.

Rhoda builds a community at MSP Airport by making a point to get to know everyone she comes across, regardless of what organization they work for. When walking through the terminal with Rhoda, you get a feeling of just how many people she has touched. It is impossible for her to not cross paths with someone she knows. She exudes cheerfulness and serves as a friendly face of the MAC when she greets MSP employees with, “Hello friend!” Because she relays information from one group to another she helps form a unified, knowledgeable airport community.

Rhoda serves as the Lead for the Information and Paging Center which means that she often spearheads the center’s efforts. She serves as an example to other employees of the attitude one should have towards others and the high level of service we should all offer to customers.

Overall, Rhoda makes MSP Airport a better place to work with her cheerful, caring and informative demeanor. She works hard to ensure that customers are receiving the best airport experience in North America!

Rick Valentino

Rick Valentino is a MAC employee and serves as the Assistant Manager of Terminal 2-Humphrey. He was nominated by MAC employees Kevin Griffin and Linda Thielen. The following comes from their nomination essay:

Rick has always gone above and beyond to assist not only our external customers but internal customers as well. He is humble and gracious. If you ask him to walk a mile, he`ll walk three miles. His devotion for superb customer service goes above and beyond.

If you are in a hurry, walking through the terminal with Rick can be challenging. I have been with Rick on numerous occasions when we were pressed for time and he still goes out of his way to help passengers and take care of the terminal. As Rick walks through the terminal he picks up garbage. I have seen him go out of his way in a crowd of people to pick up the smallest piece of paper on the floor. If anyone looks out of place or confused he asks if they need assistance. If Rick sees someone looking at the departure or arrival screen for too long he asks them where they are going and points them in the right direction. I once witnessed Rick trying to explain to someone how to get from T2 to T1. The passenger seemed so confused that Rick took it upon himself to personally walk with the person to the Terminal 1 ticket counter from Terminal 2.

On a personal level Rick is very active in his community. He volunteers his time as a youth coach and is active in his church. He also helps organize and raise funds for the Relay for Life fundraiser at MSP. If there is someone who Rick associates with at work and they have a sick family member or death in the family, Rick always passes around a condolence card for everyone to sign.

Rick is also a wonderful leader and treats everyone with the utmost respect. I have never heard Rick raise his voice, change his demeanor, get angry or talk down to someone. Coworkers and tenants at MSP respect Rick and value his leadership—and his type of leadership rubs off on others. Employees say they would do anything for Rick because they have respect for him as a leader and as a person.

Rick takes the time to get to know every employee he comes in contact with at MSP and introduces people to others. He goes out of his way every time, in every situation, big or small, when people are looking and when people aren’t looking. The MSP airport, its travelers and the community are extremely lucky to have someone like Rick Valentino. MSP Airport is a better place because of Rick.