By MAUREEN ROSE
Gold Standard Acting Editor
The Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation Directorate held a town hall meeting for its employees Dec. 3 at the Waybur Theater. Unlike many staid employee-supervisor meetings, this town hall rocked.
The meeting was dubbed an Employeepalooza to kick off the FMWR’s theme for the new year: You Matter! The campaign’s focus is that each employee can make a difference and when employees understand their importance, customer service skyrockets.
To emphasize the importance of each individual, the FMWR leadership, along with Garrison Commander Col. T.J. Edwards and Garrison Command Sgt. Maj. Marcus Robinson, formed a gauntlet that showered attention on the attendees. Many were chauffeured from the parking lot to the receiving line by golf cart, each received a VIP pass, a walk on the “red carpet,” and a photo opportunity. In addition, employees were welcomed with handshakes, hugs and hurrahs.
To get the meeting started, the 113th Army Band’s rock combo, Fool’s Gold, performed several lively numbers. The crowd clapped, danced, batted beach balls over the audience and, in general, cranked up the enthusiasm.
Video clips of leaders were shown; they reminded the FMWR employees how important they are to the directorate, Soldiers and the post.
“I can tell you are rock stars,” said Edwards, “especially the way you care about Families and children.”
Garrison Deputy Emmet Holley added his appreciation.
“Thank you for the tremendous support you provide year round,” he said.
The garrison team added, “You make us proud; when the Army wants to know what right looks like, they call Fort Knox.”
Symbolic of leadership’s commitment to the FMWR employees—who have the most direct customer service interaction with Soldiers and Families—was the employee-customer covenant which was signed by Edwards, Robinson and FWMR’s director, Randy Moore.
“Taking care of customers begins with taking care of you, the employees,” Moore said. “We want to set you up for success.”
The covenant highlights the five pillars FMWR has identified for employee success: well-being, involvement, development, empowerment and recognition. By ensuring each of these aspects is provided, employees will have the tools and training they need.
“This covenant is a win-win, from the smallest child up to the director,” said Robinson.
The town hall included merit awards for employees, as well as recognition for two national awards: the Boys and Girls Club Military Teen of the Year award went to Fort Knox teen Rashaan Allen and the National Academy of Parks and Recreation presented the Gold Medal award to Fort Knox’s FMWR for excellence in recreation.
The meeting concluded with service awards, which Moore said represent long term commitments to Soldiers and FMWR. The awards recognized those directorate employees who have completed 5, 10, 15, 25, 30, and even 35 years of employment. However, one rare individual received his service award for working at the FMWR for 50 years; Ivel Brady Polston, a golf course employee, began working at Fort Knox in 1963.
“Since I have been here,” said Edwards, who assumed garrison command in July, “I have seen you provide the best customer service in the Army.”
But Moore said there is always room for improvement and that’s the goal.
“We’re looking forward to a great year and our focus for 2014 will be ‘You Matter!’”