Three Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP) employees were recognized with Airport Foundation MSP’s Airport Employee of the Year Award at the May 15, 2017 MAC Commission meeting.
The MSP Airport Employee of the Year Award was created to honor MSP employees who provide outstanding customer service. Fondly called “The Dorothy” in honor of 60-year MAC employee Dorothy Schaeffer, this award is given annually to three employees nominated by their peers.


Congratulations to this year’s MSP Airport Employee of the Year winners:

Mari Askerooth

Metropolitan Airports Commission - Airport Police

Mari Askerooth is a police officer with the Metropolitan Airports Commission, who teaches the airport community about human trafficking and suspicious behavior awareness. She also created the “Winter Coat Closet” at MSP, where unclaimed coats, boots and other winter items are given to those in need as they pass through the airport.

She also created “Children’s Packages,” handed out to children, helping police  have positive contact with young travelers. Each bag contains coloring books, crayons, stickers, apple juice and other goodies for kids. 

Last November, she helped a family of five that was stranded at MSP when their ride didn’t show up. She and her coworkers raised enough money for bus fare, a taxi to the bus station and food for the trip.

Dereje Demeke


Dereje Demeke is a cleaner with ABM. He is known for his happy demeanor, smile and kind words. He works all over the airport and when passengers stop to ask him questions, he goes out of his way to assist them.

Demeke was nominated by three Southwest Airlines employees, who regularly see him clean the floor in front of the Southwest ticket counter. He will drop whatever he is doing to assist passengers who need help.

He’s been seen jumping off his floor cleaner to help a family struggling with their luggage or needing directions.

Patrick Sullivan

Delta Air Lines

Patrick Sullivan is a below wing lead aircraft loading agent with Delta Air Lines. In addition to his work on the airport ramp, he has taken on several other roles over the years.

Those include chairman of the MSP Airport Customer Service Blood Drive, team captain of the Special Olympics Polar Plunge, chairperson of the Below Wing Employee Fundraiser Team, work as a staffing dispatcher and a mentor to new hires.

Sullivan was nominated by three fellow Delta employees. They described him as the most generous and selfless coworker on the planet.

He’s known for his passion for creating a safe and enjoyable work environment for his fellow employees, and goes above and beyond to make sure the customers’ experience is positive and memorable.