DeCA Vision Summer 2008 Vol. 17_ No. 4 by wulinqing

VIEWS: 819 PAGES: 72


Patrons, workforce and stakeholders working together to create ‘raving fans.’       SUMMER 2008

 Five stores haul it home in Best Commissary competition:

                                                                                             Summer 2008
                                                                                             Vol. 17, No. 4
                                                                                             decavision is an authorized publication for
                                                                                             members of the Defense Commissary Agency.
                                                                                             It is published by Corporate Communications,
                                                                                             DeCA Headquarters, Fort Lee, Va. Contents
                                                                                             are not necessarily the official views of,
                                                                                             or endorsed by, the U.S. government, the
                                                                                             Department of Defense or DeCA. Printing
                                                                                             is by offset method; printed circulation:
                                                                                             10,000. Readers may submit articles and
                                                                                             photos. Suggestions and criticisms are
                                                                                             welcomed. All pictures are DeCA photos
                                                                                             unless otherwise identified.

                                                                                             Contact editor at: decavision,
                                                                                             HQ DeCA Corporate Communications,
                                                                                             1300 E Ave., Fort Lee VA 23801-1800;
                                                                                             telephone (804) 734-8000, ext. 48768;

              MERCHANDISERS EXTRAORDINAIRE: Bitburg                                          e-mail:
              Commissary, Germany, makes it seem like child’s play
              to win in DeCA’s annual merchandising contest with
  these colorful blocks used in a back-to-school display. The staff
  used a children’s rubber floor mat to create these building blocks.
  See stores who love to entice customers with eye-popping displays,
  Pages 22-23. DeCA photo: Ernestina Ryals Vasquez

           RECORD CASE LOT SALE: Especially in tough economic
           times, savvy shoppers find commissary case lot sales help
           soothe the savage wallet, Pages 27-28.

           FIVE STORES CLOSE: Germany says farewell to some
           longtime commissaries, with four dating back to at least
           1954, Pages 29-33.                                                                                Philip E. Sakowitz Jr.
                                                                                                            DeCA director and CEO

             Mountain Home           Sales records ............................... 24                 Corporate communications
             Commissary, Idaho,      Strategic plan review ................... 34
salutes 14 team members              You’ve got mail .............................. 40       James “Jay” Hudson ................................ director
completing Workforce of the          People ........................................... 48   Sallie Cauthers ........................... chief, marketing
Future training, Pages 36-37.        Heart of the benefit ........................ 60        Ron Kelly ................................. chief, public affairs
                                                                                             Janice Pavlock ................................ Web manager

                           COVER STORY: The five Best Commissary                                               Staff contributers
                           store directors bring home the gold
                                                                                             Rick Brink ..................................... PAO, DeCA East
                           for 2007. From left: Pat Tourish, New
                                                                                             Cherie Huntington .................. editor, decavision
                           River Commissary, N.C.; Robert Collela,
                                                                                             Skarlett Mueller .... student assistant, DeCA Europe
                           Baumholder Commissary, Germany;
                                                                                             Nancy O’Nell ................................ PAO, DeCA West
                           Barney Patsel, Hario Village Commissary,
                                                                                             Kevin Robinson ............................. media relations
                           Japan; Ron Rogers, previously at
                                                                                             Courtney Rogers ......................... “Your Action Line”
                           Patrick Commissary and now at MacDill
                                                                                             Dr. Pete Skirbunt ........................... DeCA historian
                           Commissary, Fla.; and Cindy Six, Key West
                                                                                             Gerri Young ............................... PAO, DeCA Europe
                           Commissary, Fla. See stories, Pages 4-21.
                           DeCA photo: Rick Brink

    Surf VISION online @
       Philosophies, priorities, pride
                   Share my passion for excellence in service
“I don’t know what your destiny will                     that you feel valued as part
                                                         of this team, and that you
be, but one thing I do know: The only
                                                         have access to superior
ones among you who will be really                        mentorship and training
happy are those who have sought and                      necessary to get you as far
found a way to serve.”                                   as you want to go in your
                 Albert Schweitzer, theologian           career.

              Philip E. Sakowitz Jr.                   o Our customers. There’s
             DeCA director and CEO                       no more noble task or
                                                         trade than serving the

         hat’s always been one of my favorite            mothers and fathers, the
         quotes, but now it holds even more              sons and daughters who
         special meaning to me. It brings to mind        protect our freedom.           Philip E. Sakowitz Jr.
         the spirit of dedicated DeCA people             Understanding and
around the world, doing such an amazing job              appreciating your role in this will inspire
serving our armed forces members and their               you to even greater heights of customer
families.                                                service, and these heroes of ours will
      I’ve been here awhile now, getting settled         continue receiving the premier benefit
in, traveling to commissaries and meeting                they deserve.
some wonderful folks. I knew from the start
that I’d be proud to lead such a fantastic             o Strategic planning. It’s another
organization, and though I’ve had some                   passion of mine. As President Dwight D.
wonderful jobs in my career, I have to say I’m           Eisenhower said, “Plans are worthless,
walking on a cloud serving with you. DeCA’s              but planning is everything.” As soon as
reputation is one of excellence, and I couldn’t          a plan is put down on paper, it’s already
be happier to be here.                                   changing, so we must continue planning.
      Clearly, there’s no reason for drastic
change, but hopefully you’ll agree that things         o Financial stewardship. This job belongs
can always get better, sometimes with only a             to all of us, and I thank you for your
little tweaking. I know I can count on you to            continuing hard work in keeping us a
share my passion for excellence and pursuit of           benchmark agency for others to watch,
improvement. Let me tell you about some of               honor and emulate.
my philosophies to help you understand where
I’m coming from.                                       o Business transformation. I’m a pretty
      I believe the key in life is “everything in        mellow guy, but it irritates me to hear
moderation.” We have to keep our priorities              someone say, “I don’t have time for that.”
straight: self, family and work. Self remains            The American way is to get better every
the highest priority, because if you’re not              day, so set time aside to come up with
taking care of yourself, you can’t take care of          innovative ways to serve our customers.
family or work. You have to care for yourself
mentally, physically and spiritually, which in          You have my trust, faith and confidence
turn gives you time for family and enables you      going in, and I’m rolling up my sleeves to
to be proficient at work.                           devote myself to supporting this agency’s great
      My immediate priorities are:                  people, delivering the benefit and showing
                                                    our customers over and over again that the
    o Our DeCA family. If you’re not having         commissary is worth the trip!
      fun at work, we’ve got to work on that. I         See you on the higher ground.
      want to ensure your work is meaningful,


  Commissary champs
                                                           strive for excellence every day around the world.
     Best stores for 2007                                  The winners and nominees who emerged from this
                                                           competition set high standards in delivering the
circle globe with excellence                               benefit, and they did so thanks to the hard work of
                                                           our DeCA teams and the support of our industry
                 Kevin L. Robinson                         partners.”
             Corporate communications                           Runners-up were:
                                                                 Nichols Award runner-up: Marine Corps

      ive commissaries were honored as DeCA’s best         Base Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii
      during the Defense Commissary Agency’s 2008                Paget Award runner-up: Naval Construction
      Conference and Training Event in Richmond,           Battalion Center Gulfport, Miss.
      Va., May 20. Winning commissaries by                       Daniel Award runner-up: Kadena Air Base,
category for the competition were:                         Japan
      Marine Corps Air Station New River,                        Rivers Award runner-up: Izmir Air Station,
N.C., Bill Nichols Award for Best Large Commissary         Turkey
in the United States;                                            Director’s Award runner-up: Naval Air
      Naval Air Station Key West, Fla., Richard            Station Pensacola, Fla.
M. Paget Award for Best Small Commissary in the
United States;                                                  Winning stores excelled in four criteria:
      U.S. Army Garrison Baumholder,                       accountability, unit cost, commissary customer
Germany, Dan Daniel Award for Best Large                   service survey and sales. Under the accountability
Commissary Overseas;                                       criteria, all departments in the store must be in
      Hario Village, Japan, L. Mendel Rivers               tolerance for the accountable year. The unit cost
Award for Best Small Commissary Overseas; and              criteria states that a store must meet or come in
      Patrick Air Force Base, Fla., Director’s             below the average of previous years. Under the
Award for Best Superstore.                                 commissary customer service survey criteria, the
     “We deliver a commissary benefit to the most          store must exceed the DeCA average or its sales band
deserving customers in the world, the men and              average. The sales criteria states that stores in the
women in uniform and their families,” said Rick            continental United States must show a positive sales
Page, DeCA chief operating officer. “Our stores            growth averaging last year with previous years’ sales.
                                                                DeCA’s Best Commissary awards recognize
Left, Flo Agustin, produce manager at Baumholder           overall excellence in commissary operations
Commissary, Germany, likes to teach her staff to put a     and service. The awards are named in honor of
personal touch on produce displays. The commissary         legislators who protected the commissary benefit and
won Best Large Store Overseas for 2007. DeCA photo:        championed quality-of-life issues for the military and
Skarlett Mueller                                           their families.

          DeCA                        D  eCA’s annual awards bear the
                                         names of honored patriots,
                                      renowned for their support of the
                                                                              of the House Armed Services
                                                                              Committee from 1968 until his
                                                                              death at age 70 on

        patriots                      commissary benefit.

                                      Bill Nichols Award
                                                                              Dec. 13, 1988. He served
                                                                              as chairman of its panel on
                                                                              nonappropriated funds, and
                                      Best U.S. store, large                  the panel on commissaries and
      Annual awards                                                           exchanges. He also chaired two
   honor memories of                  First elected to the U.S. House         subcommittees, those on military
                                      of Representatives in 1966,             personnel and compensation,
     great statesmen                  Congressman William Flynt
                                      Nichols, D-Ala., was a member           (Continued on Page 71)


      Registers: 15 in-lane, four self-checkout
      Employees: 99
      Fiscal 2007 sales: $41.9 million
      Age: built 1993, renovated 2004
                                                            Kaneohe Bay Commissary, Hawaii, and he
      Zone: 4                                               started his commissary career in 1976. He retired
                                                            from the U.S. Air Force with 20 years of service.
      Store director: Ron Rogers
      (now store director, MacDill                          Current store director: Jerry Copenhefer
      Commissary, Fla.)                                     Store administrator: Susan Gutierrez
      Rogers became store director                          Produce work leader: Elsie Johnson
      in 2003 after serving as store                        Grocery manager: E.C. Best
      director at Beale Commissary,                         Meat manager: Waylon Chappell (retired)
      Calif. He previously served as                        Customer service manager: Patricia Johnson
      store administrator at Travis                         Zone manager: Max Kraftchick, Eglin
      Commissary, Calif., and             Ron Rogers        Commissary, Fla. (now Zone 2 manager)

                                              Patrick Commissary’s produce department welcomes customers with a
                                              festive fall display. DeCA photo: Susan Gutierrez

      6   decavision!Summer 2008
Best U.S. superstore:
Patrick Air Force Base, Fla.
                                                                                    Left, Patrick’s former
                                                                                    store director, Ron
                                                                                    Rogers, center,
                                                                                    and former Zone
                                                                                    4 Manager Max
                                                                                    Kraftchick, left, accept
                                                                                    the commissary’s
                                                                                    trophy from Chief
                                                                                    Operating Officer
                                                                                    Rick Page. Rogers
                                                                                    is now store director
                                                                                    at MacDill Air Force
                                                                                    Base, Fla., and
                                                                                    Kraftchick serves as
                                                                                    zone manager for
                                                                                    Zone 2. DeCA photo:
                                                                                    Rick Brink

                                                                                    Below, Arlene Rolfes,
                                                                                    sales store checker,
                                                                                    starts her day with a
                                                                                    smile as she assists
                                                                                    early-bird customers.
                                                                                    DeCA photo:
                                                                                    Susan Gutierrez

What do your customers love about your store?
Many of our customers consider shopping at
the commissary one of their favorite benefits.
That knowledge motivates our entire team to
remain committed to ensuring the shelves are
stocked, that we sell high-quality products and
our employees are courteous to everyone. Team
Patrick Commissary does the best to provide
the “Premier Commissary Benefit” to our military

Do you have a motto or inspirational saying?
“Patrick Commissary – It’s Worth the Trip!”

What’s a story illustrating how your team              What does this honor mean to your team?
creates raving fans?                                   We’re very proud of this accomplishment, and
On day, a customer locked his keys in his sport        you can sense the feeling of pride throughout the
utility vehicle as he got out to load his groceries.   store.
He also left the SUV running. Without hesitation,
Assistant Grocery Manager Mary Giles drove the         What else would you like everyone in DeCA to
customer home to get his spare keys and returned       know about your store?
with him to the store so he could unlock his SUV,      The entire team here at Patrick truly cares about
put his groceries in and go home.                      our customers and enjoys the job they do for those
                                                       customers. Team Patrick has a brotherhood and
                                                       camaraderie that is unsurpassable.

     New River                                          Best large U.S. store:
                                                        Marine Corps
(Second consecutive win)
                                                        Air Station
Registers: five in-lane, four self-checkout
Employees: 44                                           New River, NC
Fiscal 2007 sales: $16.7 million
Age: built 2002
Zone: 29

Store director: Pat Tourish
Tourish became store director
in 2005 after serving as store
administrator, grocery manager
and store manager starting in
2000. She previously served at
Camp Lejeune, N.C., as produce
manager, supervisory accounting
technician and management
assistant; she started her
commissary career in 1981.            Pat Tourish

Store administrator: Charlita Covington
Store manager: Greg Thigpen
Produce manager: Elizabeth Myers
Meat work leaders: Ray Jenkins, Larry Young
Customer service manager: Cheryl Cole (acting)
Zone manager: Alan Jones, Seymour Johnson
Commissary, N.C.

What do your customers love about your store?
Most customers say it is a clean store with friendly         Store Director Pat Tourish accepts the store’s trophy
employees.                                                   from Chief Operating Officer Rick Page. DeCA photo:
                                                             Rick Brink

                                              New River Commissary’s holiday mass display makes it convenient for
                                              customers to find all the traditional meal necessities. DeCA photo

8   decavision!Summer 2008


     Do have a motto or inspirational saying?                 have such a wonderful team of employees who never
     We have several: “Team New River,” “Stack it high        fail to take the baton and run.
     and watch it fly,” “Teamwork makes the dream
     work,” and “Git ‘er done.”                               What else would you like everyone in DeCA to
                                                              know about your store?
     What’s a story illustrating how your team creates        We are proud of our military and work hard to
     raving fans?                                             provide the commissary benefit to them. The staff
     One elderly customer purchases large orders that         at New River works toward one common goal – to
     he donates to various homeless shelters. The staff       serve those who serve.
     compiles his orders and has the product ready for
     pickup. He has always been very grateful for the
     help. This year he brought pizzas for the staff on two
     different occasions to show his gratitude.

     What does this honor mean to your team,
     especially since it’s a consecutive win?
     At first we were shocked and then really honored.
     To win this award two years in a row validates
     everyone’s hard work. I personally feel blessed to

  Best large overseas
       store: U.S. Army
 Garrison Baumholder,
Registers: six in-lane, two self-checkout
Employees: 57
Fiscal 2007 sales: $12 million
Age: built 1977
Zone: 32

Store director: Robert Colella
Colella became store director
in 2006 after serving as store
director at Naples Commissary,
Italy. He previously served as
store administrator at Aviano
and Vicenza commissaries, Italy.
He started his commissary career
in 1991.

Deputy: Scott Conrey              Robert Collela
Store manager: James Harkins
Produce manager: Florian Agustin
Customer service manager: Sabine Keller
Zone manager: John Campbell, Ramstein                  Storeworker Bryan Boatner ensures bread shelves are fully
Commissary, Germany                                    stocked daily at Baumholder Commissary. DeCA photo:
                                                       Gerri Young
What do your customers love about your store?
Baumholder is a close-knit base located in a green,    down-home atmosphere where we have the selection
hilly area populated with young Army families. The     of a large store and the personal service of a small
soldiers are frequently downrange, leaving their       store, where customers are treated as individuals,
families behind. The commissary is a place where the   friends and neighbors, not as statistics. We also
spouses and children come frequently to shop, see      provide fun things for the kids to do that are close to
people they know and stop to chat. The store has a     home and easy to get to from housing.

                                                       Do you have a motto or inspirational saying?
                                                       “Where are the customers?” when we are anxious for
                                                       the day to start. “Another day in paradise!” when we
                                                       are dealing with the excitement of the commissary
                                                       business. “Night shift rocks!” covers the night crew
                                                       when they remind us of their importance to the

                                                       What’s a story illustrating how your team creates
                                                       raving fans?
                                                       Many times customers will come in with last-
                                                       minute requests. Instead of telling them they should
                                                       have come in two days ago, we make phone calls

10   decavision!Summer 2008


to Ramstein and Vogelweh commissaries or
even the distribution center in Germersheim, if
necessary. Often we have made the 30-mile drive
to Kaiserslautern to pick up items for the customer.
Additionally, we plan events aimed at entertaining
and educating our customers and their children.
Recently, Florian Agustin, our produce manager
who is Filipino, was the driving force behind an
Asian-Pacific American heritage event at the store.
We had hula dancers, a customer lunch of Asian-
Pacific foods cooked by employees and vendors,
and the garrison commander attended. About 75
customers joined us for the festivities and we got
many good comments.

What does this honor mean to your team?
We consider our customers our “inspectors.” If we
pass inspection every time, we are happy. This award
is public recognition of the hard work and dedication
our staff provides every day.

What else would you like everyone in DeCA to
know about your store?
BAUMHOLDER ROCKS! We might not be as big or
as new as some other commissaries, but we believe
no task is too great for us to handle.                  Robert Colella, store director, and Terry Clay, teller, chat
                                                        before the day's business begins. DeCA photo: Skarlett Mueller

                                                              Key West
                                                              Best small U.S. store:
                                                              Naval Air Station
                                                              Key West, Fla.
                                                              Registers: three in-lane, three self-checkout
                                                              Employees: 23
                                                              Fiscal 2007 sales: $5.7 million
                                                              Age: built 1990, renovated 2007
                                                              Zone: 4

                                                              Store director: Cindy Six
                                                              Six became store director in 2008
                                                              after serving as general manager
                                                              at Rock Island Arsenal, Ill. She
                                                              previously served as meat manager
                                                              at Rock Island; perishable
                                                              manager, Fort Buchanan,
                                                              Puerto Rico; and quality assurance
Team Key West celebrated their top U.S. small store victory
                                                              evaluator, Fort Belvoir, Va. She
with a cookout. DeCA photo
                                                              started her commissary career in
                                                              1992, and she served in the U.S.      Cindy Six

                                                              Deputy store director: Artie Wiltshire
                                                              General manager: Kris Spadt
                                                              Meat manager: Andre Garcia
                                                              Customer service manager: Blesilda Bolden
                                                              Zone manager: Max Kraftchick, Eglin
                                                              Commissary, Fla. (now Zone 2 manager)

                                                              What do your customers love about your store?
                                                              The customer service is outstanding, and the store
                                                              environment is bright, clean and inviting.

                                                              Do you have a motto or inspirational saying?
                                                              “We’ll make it work – that’s what we do.”

                                                              What’s a story illustrating how your team creates
                                                              raving fans?
                                                              We use the fact that we are a small store to our
                                                              advantage. The employees are able to develop
                                                              relationships with customers who are stationed here,
                                                              and the snowbirds who return each year during the
                                                              winter months. All of our customers know they can
                                                              count on us, whether it’s for everyday needs or special
Potatoes hit the water with their own inflatable watercraft
in Key West’s display for the annual potato merchandising
contest . DeCA photo: Artie Wiltshire

       12    decavision!Summer 2008

                                                      KEY WEST COMMISSARY, FLA.

                                                      Below, Andre Garcia, meat market
                                                      manager, and Roger Reindeau,
                                                      meatcutter, have the department in
                                                      tip-top shape for the morning’s first
                                                      customers. DeCA photo


What does this honor mean to your team?
This honor shows our team that hard work and
dedication to the Defense Commissary Agency’s goals
and mission do not go unrecognized.

What else would you like everyone in DeCA to
know about your store?
We are a true team, a family. It shows in our
daily work and in our commitment to the military
members and families we serve. We are very proud to
be part of the DeCA tradition and benefit!


Hario Village                                                  Best small overseas
                                                               store: Hario Village,
Registers: three in-lane, two self-checkout
Employees: 23                                                  U.S. Fleet Activities
Fiscal 2007 sales: $3.2 million
Age: opened 1995                                               Sasebo, Japan
Zone: 35
                                                         many items on display and on sale. They also love the
Store director: Barney Patsel                            friendly, helpful employees.
Patsel became store director
at Hario and Sasebo                                      Do you have a motto or inspirational saying?
commissaries, Japan, this                                We like to say, “Hello, we hope that you are having a
year after serving as store                              great day. Is there any way we can improve your store?”
administrator at Hario. He
previously served as manager                             What’s a story illustrating how your team creates
at the Kanto Plain Central                               raving fans?
Distribution Center, Japan,                              A customer needed special baby formula that was
from 1998 to 2006. He started his                        not carried anywhere in the Far East. We worked
commissary career in 1994, and         Barney Patsel     with our region office to get it added to our listing of
prior to that he served in the Navy                      products so we could order it. Since it takes about six
for 28 years, retiring in June 1993.                     weeks from date of order to receiving it, they mailed
                                                         enough formula to hold her over until we would
Store administrator: John Smith                          receive our first order.
Grocery manager: Raymond Mans
Zone manager: Bruce Graf, Sagami Depot                   What does this honor mean to your team?
Commissary, Japan                                        It shows that the employees’ hard work and
                                                         dedication to providing the best service they can is
What do your customers love about your store?            recognized by our customers and peers.
They love that it’s a clean, fully stocked store, with
                                                         What else would you like everyone in DeCA to
                                                         know about your store?
                                                         Look out. We are looking to take the award again this

        TEAM HARIO

14   decavision!Summer 2008


                                                   Runner-up superstore:
            Pensacola                              Naval Air Station Pensacola, Fla.
Registers: 14 in-lane, five self-checkout            are provided when they shop in the commissary. In
Employees: 98                                        this day and time when there seems to be no end to
Fiscal 2007 sales: $46.3 million                     escalating prices, our customers know their dollar
Age: built 1997                                      will go further when they shop at the commissary.
Zone: 4
                                                     What’s a story illustrating how your team creates
Store director: Mark Crump                           raving fans?
Crump became store director in                       As a store director, I feel that creating raving fans
January 2007 after serving as                        takes more than just a one-time event. It is more
store administrator at Quantico                      important to provide the best day-to-day shopping
Commissary, Va. He previously                        experience for each customer. Some days that is
served as store director of Incirlik                 easier said than done, but it’s the dedication of
Commissary, Turkey; his                              each employee to work through the difficult days
commissary career started in 1989.                   that creates raving fans, resulting in our customers
                                                     understanding that coming to the commissary is
Store administrator: Lee McKinley                    worth the trip. Little things like a smile, a kind
Customer service manager:         Mark Crump         greeting, handshake or simple question like, “Can
Sun Guthrie                                          I help you find something?” go a long way toward
Grocery manager: Renee Washington                    creating a raving fan. In our area, a large portion of
Meat manager: Sean Reed                              our shoppers are retirees. We have several customers
Produce manager: James Childress                     who routinely come in and get a cup of coffee and do
Zone manager: Max Kraftchick, Eglin                  some shopping; but more important, they interact
Commissary, Fla. (now Zone 2 manager)                with many of our employees they have come to know
                                                     over the years as they shop at Pensacola Commissary.
What do your customers love about your store?
I think it goes without saying that most of our      What does this honor mean to your team?
customers recognize the outstanding savings they     It truly is a team effort to even be considered for a
                                                     Best Commissary award. It takes the cooperative
                                                     effort of all our employees to make our store a
                                                     success. As DeCA team members, we work daily
                                                     toward our specific goal, which is to provide the
                                                     best benefit possible for our customers. We are truly
                                                     honored that all the dedication and hard work of our
                                                     employees has been recognized.

                                                       Runner-up large U.S. store:
       Kaneohe Bay                                     Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii
Registers: 10 in-lane, six self-checkout               What’s a story illustrating how your team creates
Employees: 72                                          raving fans?
Fiscal 2007 sales: $30.6 million                       We have a store associate, Danalyn Kepaa, who
Age: opened 1993                                       receives frequent customer compliments regarding
Zone: 13                                               her warm and friendly greetings and personality,
                                                       which epitomize the “aloha spirit” of Hawaii.
Store director: Jeffery Dusich
Dusich became store director this                      What does this honor mean to your team?
year after serving as store director                   It validates that the tremendous effort and sacrifice by
at Yokota Commissary, Japan.                           the Kaneohe team was well worth it.
He previously served as store
director at Kaneohe Bay from                           What else would you like everyone in DeCA to
2001 to 2006. His commissary                           know about your store?
career started in 1993.                                We are very proud to have been nominated and
                                                       selected as runner-up for Best Store and will
Assistant store director:                              definitely try again, hopefully going all the way next
Don Wong                              Jeffery Dusich   year!
General managers:
Joseph Kenwolf, John Tilson
Supervisory store associate, grocery:
Elizabeth Smith
Supervisory store associate, produce: Sila Veavea
Supervisory store associate, front end: Alice Mateo
Supervisory store associate, night operations:
Pat Yap
Zone manager: Benjamin Wainwright, Hickam
Commissary, Hawaii

What do your customers love about your store?
Customers are very happy and excited about the         TEAM KANEOHE BAY
latest store renovation. The nearly $9
million project provided an architectural
upgrade, including the new décor package
and replacement of all refrigeration

          Store Director Jeffery Dusich, right,
          helps a customer in the Hawaiian
          specialties section. DeCA photo

16    decavision!Summer 2008
                          Kadena                      Runner-up large overseas
                                                      store: Kadena Air Base,
Registers: 13 in-lane, four self-checkout             Okinawa
Employees: 101
Fiscal 2007 sales: $37.9 million                      the volume we handle, there’s rarely a line at the
Age: built 1981                                       checkout; and if there is, we handle it promptly.
Zone: 35
                                                      What’s a story illustrating how your team creates
Store director: Rene Francisco                        raving fans?
Francisco became store director in                    It’s too hard to single out just one event. We treat
2006 after serving as commissary                      every customer as part of our family. We don’t take
management specialist for Zone                        criticism or complaints as negative but as advice for
35 in Japan for two years. His                        improvement. We provide one-on-one customer
commissary career started in 1981                     service and ensure we promote an environment in
while he was on active duty with                      which customers enjoy their shopping experience and
the U.S. Navy. He retired in 1994                     come back. Our team maintains a positive attitude
with 25 years of service.                             – the prevailing attitude is that they want to come to
                                                      work, not just that they have to come to work.
Store administrator:             Rene Francisco
Kalani Patsel                                         What does this honor mean to your team?
Store manager: Cynthia Blair                          This is a great honor for our team and family, and it
Customer service manager: Antoinette Shealey          shows that our hard work and dedication have not
Grocery manager: James Ball                           gone unnoticed – and that what we do day in and day
Meat manager: Yun Suk Jones                           out has meaning. Our Kadena team has used this as
Produce manager: Tomas Lorenzo                        a stepping stone and motivating factor to strive to
Zone manager: Bruce Graf, Sagami Depot                become the best and not the runner-up, because we
Commissary, Japan                                     feel that what we do each day can and will allow us to
                                                      achieve top Best Commissary honors.
What do your customers love about your store?
I would have to say they love the vast number         What else would you like everyone in DeCA to
and variety of items offered; the size of the store   know about your store?
– on the island, we are called the “Big Store”; and   The Kadena team has tasted Best Commissary honors
most importantly, checkout speed. At Kadena,          and now is motivated to get the rest of the pie. Watch
we emphasize getting the customer in and out          out, because this is just the start of the Kadena
as smoothly and quickly as possible. Even with        Commissary legacy.


                                Gulfport                Runner-up small U.S. store:
                                                        Naval Construction Battalion
       Registers: five in-lane, four self-checkout      Center Gulfport, Miss.
       Employees: 39
       Fiscal 2007 sales: $11.8 million                 What’s a story illustrating how your team
       Age: built 2000, restored 2006                   creates raving fans?
       Zone: 1                                          Gulfport is always putting the needs of the
                                                        customer first. A few years ago we had a customer
       Store director: Walt Taylor                      who became temporarily disabled and had no
       Taylor became store director                     family to assist her. She called and told me of her
       in 1999. He previously served                    predicament, and I told her I would see what we
       as store manager at Keesler                      could do. I suggested in a staff meeting that we
       Commissary, Miss. His                            check to see if anyone would be willing to find a
       commissary career started in                     way to assist her. Several employees volunteered,
       1980.                                            and we put a plan into works so that we were able
                                                        to get her grocery order delivered to her home
       Store administrator:                             every two weeks until she was able to get back on
       Archie Holland                                   her feet.
       Customer service manager:      Walt Taylor
       Bernadette Hill                                  What does this honor mean to your team?
       Grocery manager: Patricia Tice                   The team here is very proud of the recognition
       Meat manager: Troy Lanham                        it has been given. It shows that hard work and
       Produce manager: Sunim Ankeny                    perseverance do pay off.
       Zone manager: Arnielle Fernandez, Maxwell
       Commissary, Ala.                                 What else would you like everyone in DeCA to
                                                        know about your store?
       What do your customers love about your store?    That I have the best team in DeCA and am very
       The people – comments are often made about the   proud of their accomplishments!
       friendly, helpful store employees.


      18    decavision!Summer 2008

                                                       Runner-up, best small
                                       Izmir           overseas store: Izmir, Turkey
Checkouts: three in-lane                               What’s a story illustrating how your team creates
Employees: 16                                          raving fans?
Fiscal 2007 sales: $1.5 million                        Due to Izmir demographics, we have many European
Age: built 1955                                        customers from NATO, and they can always find
Zone: 37                                               European products stocked on the shelves along with
                                                       American products. Thanks to tremendous team
Store director: Nejat Akin                             effort, we have been open Tuesday through Sunday
Akin has nearly 30 years of                            since January 2008 instead of Wednesday through
experience at Izmir Commissary                         Sunday. We are here to support our community. If
and has been store director since                      customers come in at the last minute before closing, we
1999. He previously served in                          never stop them; they always enter the commissary and
positions of deputy commissary                         shop. If a customer looks for an item we don’t carry, we
officer, office manager, accountant,                   always special order it from Incirlik Commissary
requirements clerk and                                 and the customer can then pick it up here.
                                                       What does this honor mean to your team?
Zone manager: Salah Ud-Din,            Nejat Akin      It is hard to describe how happy and proud everyone
Livorno Commissary, Italy                              feels. We are a close-knit family at the Izmir store,
                                                       and receiving this recognition is the greatest thing
What do your customers love about your store?          that could happen for us.
Our customers always receive courteous, friendly
and helpful service from our long-term staff of        What else would you like everyone in DeCA to
all local national employees. We keep our shelves      know about your store?
well-stocked and always strive for quick checkout.     The staff believes the customer is the most important
Customers who have been stationed in Izmir a long      part of our business. The entire staff goes above and
time know they can come back again and again to        beyond to serve the customer. “Just enough” is not
find the same employees, greet them like old friends   enough for the people of Izmir. We always work hard
and continue to receive good service.                  to do it better.

                                    With honors
     Best store competition highlights noteable achievements
Editor’s note: Staffs in place at    • Whiting Field Commissary,            • Mannheim Commissary,
competition announcement time;        Fla. (second consecutive)               Germany
current staffing may differ           Store director: Jack Spence             Store director: Bernard Ellison
                                      Store administrator:                    Deputy: Patrick Hutchings
HONORABLE MENTION, BEST STORES        Charles Kye                             Store manager: Martin Gilman
United States                         Customer service manager:               Grocery manager:
• Camp Lejeune Commissary,            Diane Grimes                            MacDaniel Rogers
  N.C.                                Meat/produce manager:                   Produce manager: Maria Lugo
  Store director: Mike Dunn           George Lochas
  Store administrator:                                                      • Wiesbaden Commissary,
  Danny Fisher                       Overseas                                 Germany
  Store manager: Pete Martindale     • Camp Carroll Commissary,               Store director: Kevin Kegler
  Customer service manager:            South Korea                            Store manager: Janice Garland
  E.A. McAllister                      Store director: Woo Song               Customer service manager:
  Meat manager: James Scott            Assistant store manager:               John Key
  Produce manager: Mary Wooten         Chang Kim                              Produce managers:
                                                                              Joshua Jackson,
• Cherry Point Commissary,           • Camp Chinhae Commissary,               Marcus Lewis
 N.C. (second consecutive)            South Korea
 Store director: Phyllis Black        Store manager: Ae Ran Kim             • Vilseck Commissary, Germany
 General manager:                     Grocery manager:                        Store director:
 Maureen Burnetsky                    Robert Riley                            Jimmie Holzhauser
 Customer service manager:                                                    Deputy: Scott Harmon
 Wanda Elder                         • Camp Zama Commissary,                  Customer service manager:
 Grocery manager:                     Japan                                   Karin Warren
 Jozette Stewart                      Store manager: Yoko Banko               Grocery manager: Terry Ford
 Meat manager:                        Assistant store manager:                Meat manager: Josef Weiss
 Bill Nethercutt                      Toshinori Ogawa                         Produce manager:
 Produce manager:                                                             Elisabeth Ball
 Pamela Mister

• Fort Huachuca
 Commissary, Ariz.
 Store director: Judy Mendez
 Store administrator:
 Robert Oates Jr.
 Customer service manager:
 Yvonne Ichihara
 Grocery manager:
 Gregory Brous
 Meat manager: Daniel Adams
 Produce manager:
 Donald Redmon

• Rock Island Arsenal
 Commissary, Ill.
 Store director: Gregory Harris
 Store administrator:
 Patricia Umana                      Marines at Cherry Point Commissary, N.C., gather for a game of “Deal or No Deal”
 General manager:                    during Commissary Awareness Month, with prizes ranging from a penny piece of
 Douglas Kaiser                      candy to a gift certificate. Cherry Point, an honorable mention best commissary, won
                                     first place for the Marines in CAM competition this year. DeCA photo: Phyllis Black

20   decavision!Summer 2008
U.S. NOTEWORTHY PERFORMERS        • Ansbach Commissary, Germany     • Ramstein Commissary,
• Bangor Commissary, Maine         Store director: Lorenzo Cherry    Germany
  Store director: Ramon Miller     Deputy: Michael Rodriguez         Store director: Harry Nichols
  Store administrator:             Grocery manager:                  Deputy: Juan Rodriguez
  Keith Biddlecom                  Herbert Ruffin                    Store manager: Heidi Yusko
  Customer service manager:        Produce manager:                  Customer service manager:
  Joanne Matthew                   Klaus Hofmann                     Roberta Jardine
  Grocery manager: Peter Amnott                                      Grocery manager:
  Meat manager: Dana Hopkins      • Aviano Commissary, Italy         David Palmer
                                   Store director: Ron Foster        Produce manager:
• Kings Bay Commissary, Ga.        Deputy: Roberto Miller            Garry Briggs
 Store director: Steven Young      Customer service manager:
 Store administrator:              Julia Roveredo                   • Spangdahlem Commissary,
 Gregory Anderson                  Grocery manager:                  Germany
 Customer service manager:         Belinda Dowdle                    Store manager: George Mann
 Deanna Huff                       Produce manager: Anna Nardo       Customer service manager:
 Grocery manager:                                                    Doris Marxen
 Paula Ballinger                  • Bitburg Commissary, Germany      Grocery manager:
 Meat manager: Todd Saunders       Store director:                   Waltraud Krones
 Produce manager:                  Ernestina Vasquez                 Produce/meat manager:
 Clifton Mitchell                  Deputy: Dwight Waterman           Alwine Sesto
                                   Grocery manager: Phyllis Price
• McConnell Commissary, Kan.       Meat manager:                    • Vogelweh Commissary,
 Store director: Joan Countee      Manfred Stockemer                 Germany
 Store administrator:              Produce managers:                 Store director: Connie Tallon
 Pamela Benson                     Janice Johnson,                   Deputy: Joseph Warwick
 Customer service manager:         Edmund Schiefers                  Store manager: George Wills
 Melita Walker                                                       Grocery manager: Brian Scrivens
 Meat manager:                    • Camp Casey Commissary,           Meat manager: Jerry Gentry
 Richard Gormally                  South Korea                       Produce manager:
 Produce manager:                  Store director: Yong Baez         Kahlon Rajinder
 Michael Howell
                                  • Darmstadt Commissary,           • Yokosuka Commissary, Japan
• Memphis Commissary, Tenn.        Germany (closed Aug. 8)           (second consecutive)
 Store director: Patricia Sykes    Store director: Alvin Lim         Store director: Totolua Ripley
 Store administrator:              Grocery manager:                  Store administrator:
 Yol Chu Hall                      Alexi Vazquez                     Joseph Miller
 Customer service manager:                                           Store manager: Mike Crippen
 Rosie Holloway                   • Kunsan Commissary, South         Customer service manager,
 Grocery manager: Lisa Smith       Korea                             acting: Helen Bautista
 Meat manager: Gene Rippe          Store manager:                    Meat manager, acting:
 Produce manager: Bert Kelley      Michael Durrence                  Takahiro Sato
                                   Customer service manager,         Produce manager, acting:
• Patuxent River Commissary,       acting: Levon Horton              Gertrude Hunt
 Store director: Debbie House     • Patch Barracks                  • Yokota Commissary, Japan
 General manager:                  Commissary, Germany               Store director: Michael Auderer
 Ricky Potteiger                   Deputy: Ron Trimble               Store manager: Donald Mitchell
 Grocery manager:                  Store manager:                    Customer service manager:
 Eloise Cervenak                   Marites Pennington                Miyako Tashiro
 Meat manager: Ralph Gough         Customer service manager:         Grocery manager:
 Produce manager:                  Jae Steele                        Delores Magallanes
 Joseph Messina                    Grocery manager:                  Meat manager: William Hicks
                                   Christopher Felder                Produce manager:
OVERSEAS                                                             James Kirchner
• Ankara Commissary, Turkey
 Store director: Arthur Tellers
 Grocery/meat manager:
 Ayhan Tuzcu                                                                                     21

Creative displays take benefit                               • Large U.S. store – Fort Eustis, Va.;
                                                             • Large overseas store – Bitburg, Germany;
    to ‘world-class level’                                   • Small U.S. store – Naval Air Station Patuxent
                                                           River, Md.;
                  Kevin L. Robinson                          • Small overseas store – Cairo, Egypt;
              Corporate communications                       • Overall region – DeCA Europe; and
                                                             • Overall zone – Zone 37, DeCA Europe.

        ix stores took top honors as this year’s best in
        DeCA’s 13th Annual Merchandising Contest.             “Although the savings offered to our customers
        The contest takes place over five weeks and        speaks for itself, our store team members take
        rewards commissaries for their originality and     the commissary benefit to a world-class level by
creativity.                                                promoting these products with terrific and creative
   Winners by store size and location are:                 displays,” said Rick Page, chief operating officer.
   • U.S. superstore – Lackland Air Force Base,
   • Overseas superstore – RAF Lakenheath,

22    decavision!Summer 2008

                                                                               Left, Patuxent River Commissary,
                                                                               Md., won a national Pepsi display
                                                                               contest with this salute to
                                                                               NASCAR driver Jeff Gordon. DeCA
                                                                               photo: Debbie House

                                                                               Far left, Lackland Commissary,
                                                                               Texas, promoted the delights of
                                                                               grilled summer produce in this
                                                                               charcoal display. DeCA photo:
                                                                               Mike Mena

“This year’s merchandising award recipients                The staff at Cairo Commissary, Egypt,
fashioned masterpieces that grabbed our customers’         is reknowned for its artistic approach
attention – that’s the essence of good promotion.”         to merchandising, but look closely:
   Criteria for the competition called for excellence in   There’s a real child checking out the
several key areas: mass displays, end caps, back-to-       scene in the center of this fall display.
school promotions, club pack, case lot promotion and       DeCA photo: Rosario San Nicolas
promotion of the DeCA “Savings Spectacular.”

                          HOT STORE-LEVEL RECORDS
 Albany MCLB, Ga.             Mar            Meat, produce record sales                             $59,236, $36,344
 Alconbury, England           Jul            Record sales day                                       $42,028
 NSAC Annapolis, Md.          Mar            Record sales day                                       $49,794
                              May            Record sales; grocery, produce record sales            $1,368,320, $1.1 million, $155,716
 ARDEC, N.J.                  May            Produce record sales, produce record sales day         $24,185, $1,908
 Arnold AFB, Tenn.            May            Case lot, meat record sales day                        $93,548, $7,614
 Aviano, Italy                Mar            Record sales; bakery, deli, salad bar, produce,        $16,346, $81,978, $18,357,
                                             meat record sales                                      $160,871, $207,864
                              Jun            Salad bar record sales                                 $18,886
 Bangor ANGB, Maine           Feb            Record sales day                                       $53,269
 NAS Bangor, Wash.            Jul            Record sales day                                       $163,875
 NAS Brunswick, Maine         May            All-time record sales; meat, produce record sales      $1.2 million, $104,668, $107,960
 Camp Lejeune, N.C.           May            All-time record sales                                  $3.9 million
 MCAS Cherry Point, N.C.      May            Produce all-time record sales, grocery record sales    $164,330, $121,671, $136,668
                                             day, case lot record sales first day
                              Jul            All-time record sales day                              $$141,679
 Columbus AFB, Miss.          May            Grocery all-time record sales                          $874,728
 Croughton, England           Jul            Record sales day                                       $21,929
 Davis-Monthan AFB, Ariz.     Mar            Produce record sales                                   $330,073
 Eglin AFB, Fla.              Jun 30-Jul 5   Meat, produce record sales                             $83,688, $86,351
                              Jul            Record sales day                                       $233,798
 Fairchild AFB, Wash.         Jul            One-day sale, produce record sales day                 $144,922, $13,054
 Fort Belvoir, Va             May            All-time record sales; meat, produce record sales      $9.2 million, $622,971, $979,545
 Fort Benning, Ga.            May            Record sales                                           $4.9 million
 Fort Bragg North, N.C.       May            All-time record sales                                  $4 million
 Fort Bragg South, N.C.       May            All-time record sales                                  $6.5 million
 Fort Buchanan, Puerto Rico   May            Record sales                                           $4.2 million
                              Jul            Record sales day                                       $240,063
 Fort Detrick, Md.            Apr            “Store only” record sales day                          $65,080
                              May            Record sales                                           $1.2 million
 Fort Eustis, Va.             May            Record sales                                           $4.2 million
 Fort Jackson, S.C.           May            Two-day case lot record sales                          $200,986
 Fort Knox, Ky.               Jun            Single transaction record sale                         $4,500
 Fort Lee, Va.                May            Record sales                                           $3.3 million
 Fort Leonard Wood, Mo.       Mar            Sunday record sales, first day case lot record sales   $127,635, $210,942
                              May            All-time record sales                                  $3 million
 Fort Lewis, Wash.            Jun            Produce record sales                                   $509,000
 Fort McPherson, Ga.          May            Record sales day, two-day case lot record sales        $72,300, $125,269
 Fort Myer, Va.               Mar            Meat record sales day                                  $24,097
                              May            Produce record sales                                   $667,972
 Fort Polk, La.               Jul            Record sales day                                       $125,622
 Fort Rucker, Ala.            May            Record sales, produce record sales, record sales day   $2.8 million, $230,215, $168,000
                              Jul            Record sales day                                       $155,919
 Fort Sill, Okla.             May            Record sales                                           $3.1 million
 Fort Stewart, Ga.            Mar            Outdoor plant record sales                             $18,000
                              May            Record sales; grocery, meat, produce record sales      $2.9 million, $2.4 million,
                                                                                                    $308,615, $220,391
 Goodfellow AFB, Texas        May            Produce record sales day                               $3,299

24    decavision!Summer 2008

Grafenwoehr, Germany       Mar   Produce, meat record sales day                         $5,254, $5,264
                           May   Record sales                                           $1.5 million
NCBC Gulfport, Miss.       May   Record sales, record sales day                         $1.3 million, $77,468
Harrison Village, Ind.     May   Case lot record sales day; grocery, meat, produce      $121,826, $1 million, $119,826,
                                 record sales                                           $95,001
Heidelberg, Germany        Mar   Produce record sales                                   $220,923
NAS Jacksonville, Fla.     Apr   Record sales                                           $5 million
                           May   All-time record sales                                  $5.5 million
Kadena AB, Okinawa         Jul   Record sales day                                       $205,248
Keesler AFB, Miss.         Jul   All-time record sales day                              $82,137
NSB Kings Bay, Ga.         Apr   Produce record sales                                   $85,158
                           May   Record sales; grocery, meat, produce record sales      $1.3 million, $1 million, $133,268,
                           Jul   Record sales day; meat, produce record sales day       $84,612, $11,543, $6,491
Lakenheath, England        Mar   Meat record sales day                                  $16,531
                           Apr   Record sales                                           $3 million
Langley AFB, Va.           May   Record sales; three-day meat truckload, meat,          $5.8 million, $104,000, $42,909,
                                 produce record sales (see photo, next page)            $25,118
NAB Little Creek, Va.      May   Record sales, sushi record sales day                   $5.8 million, $1,034
Little Rock AFB, Ark.      Jul   Record sales day                                       $178,760
Livorno, Italy             May   Record sales                                           $358,433
Maxwell AFB, Ala.          May   Three-day case lot record sales                        $500,000
Menwith Hill, England      Jun   One-day record sales                                   $44,363
NAS Meridian, Miss.        Jul   Record sales day                                       $10,554
Minot AFB, N.D.            Jul   Produce record sales day                               $6,050
Moody AFB, Ga.             May   Record sales                                           $1.4 million
Mountain Home AFB, Idaho   May   Record sales day                                       $107,360
Naples, Italy              Apr   Produce record sales                                   $146,672
                           May   Record sales, produce record sales                     $2,066,442, $153,850
NSB New London, Conn.      May   Record sales                                           $2.1 million
                           Jul   Produce record sales day                               $10,118
NS Newport, R.I.           May   Record sales                                           $1.6 million
MCAS New River, N.C.       May   Record sales; grocery, meat, produce, first-day        $1.6 million, $1.4 million,
                                 case lot record sales                                  $140,556, $141,915, $130,677
NB Norfolk, Va.            May   Record sales                                           $4.2 million
NAS Oceana, Va.            May   Record sales                                           $6.7 million
Ord Community, Calif.      Jul   Record sales day                                       $103,000
Osan AB, South Korea       May   Produce record sales, produce record sales day         $178,878, $15,046
MCRD Parris Island, S.C.   May   Meat, 12 consecutive months record sales               Over $100,000 monthly
Patch Barracks, Germany    May   Produce record sales                                   $208,832
Patrick AFB, Fla.          May   Record sales                                           $3.8 million
NAS Pensacola, Fla.        May   Record sales                                           $4.5 million
                           Jun   Meat record sales day                                  $22,603
                           Jul   Meat record sales day                                  $34,751
NNSY Portsmouth, Va.       May   Record sales                                           $2 million
Ramstein AB, Germany       Mar   Produce record sales                                   $327,000
                           Apr   Record sales                                           $4.6 million
                           May   All-time record sales, produce all-time record sales   $4.7 million, $375,346

Redstone Arsenal, Ala.         Apr      Produce record sales                               $229,856
Robins AFB, Ga.                Apr      Record sales day; grocery, meat, produce record    $222,999, $177,526, $20,730,
                                        sales day; three-day Easter weekend record sales   $24,743, $351,380
                               May      Three-day case lot, produce record sales           $496,552, $225,381
Rock Island, Ill.              Jul      Record sales day                                   $37,980
NB San Diego, Calif.           Mar      Produce record sales                               $560,000
                               May      Produce all-time record sales                      $608,514
MCB San Onofre, Calif.         May      Produce record sales, produce record sales day     $51,116, $3,303
NSU Scotia, N.Y.               May      Record sales                                       $355,917
Scott AFB, Ill.                May      Record sales days                                  May 2, $298,016; May 3, $272,543
                               Jul      Record sales, produce record sales                 $236,977, $23,317
Seymour Johnson AFB, N.C.      May      Record sales day                                   $141,000
NIOC Sugar Grove, W.Va.        May      Record sales                                       $48,717
Travis AFB, Calif.             Mar      Sidewalk sale record sales                         $17,657
Tyndall AFB, Fla.              Apr      Wednesday sale record sales                        $25,000
                               May      Record sales                                       $2.4 million
Vogelweh, Germany              Mar      Produce record sales                               $253,000
                               May      Record sales, produce all-time record sales        $3 million, $286,405
Whidbey Island, Wash.          Jul      Record sales                                       $170,665
NAS Whiting Field, Fla.        Apr      Produce record sales                               $534,982
Zone 28, Fort Lee, Va.         May      Record sales, surpassed Zone 4 by nearly           $32.1 million
                                        $346,000, 1st time as DeCA’s top zone in sales

     Where’s the beef?
     Langley Commissary, Va., made the three-day Memorial Day weekend one to remember with a record-
     breaking meat truckload sale that included a refrigerated semitrailer of meat items. The store achieved
     sales of about $104,000 for a 17 percent increase over last year’s event. DeCA photo: Tammy Mullins

26     decavision!Summer 2008

Former commissary cashier Kathleen Shepherd, center, and her husband, David, at the May case lot sale at
Cherry Point Commissary, N.C., know good deals when they see them by the looks of these loaded carts ready
for checkout. DeCA photo: Phyllis Black

                                       All-time sales records
  May case lot sale draws raving fans
        Cherie Huntington               said DeCA Director and Chief        products, and in some cases,
              Editor                    Executive Officer Philip            fresh meat, seafood and produce.
                                        Sakowitz Jr. “In these tough        With the first worldwide case lot

        ommissary shoppers              economic times, this benefit        sale held in September 2001, this
        turned out in droves for        gives our military members and      May’s event takes its place in the
        May’s worldwide case lot        their families more buying power    record books, posting a nearly
        sale, setting all-time sales    with their hard-earned dollars.”    25 percent increase in sales over
records as they enjoyed savings                                             last May. That doesn’t surprise
of up to 50 percent over retail         Eight years and counting            Sakowitz.
prices.                                     The biannual event, held             “With prices so high off base,
    “Our customers know the             in May and September, offers        commissary shoppers appreciate
commissary is worth the trip,”          shoppers bulk quantities of their   the benefit more than ever,”
                                        favorite products at increased      he said. “Considering current
                                        savings, such as canned goods,      fuel costs and people choosing
                                        beverages, paper products, pet      to eat more meals at home, the
                                        supplies, cleaning and laundry

convenience and value of the
commissary helps customers
meet their tighter budgets.”

Doing great things
     DeCA’s promotions manager,
Charlie Dowlen, said the
May sale represented a great
partnership of the agency’s sales
directorate, industry and each
participating commissary. “We
all work together to do great
things for our customers,” he
     As usual, shoppers loved the
club packs offered – bulk-sized
packages of items such as toilet
paper and paper towels similar
to large-quantity items sold in
commercial warehouse “club”
outlets. “Club packs are a little
smaller than cases, so customers
are more apt to buy those,”
Dowlen said. “They make up 50         Shoppers at September’s case lot sale at Incirlik Commissary, Turkey, get down
to 60 percent of sales in the May     to serious business. See the next issue for news on September’s success. DeCA
and September events.”                photo: Ibraham Isler

‘Sticker shock’ protection            five months ahead of special           higher every day, commissary
     Another plus for the             promotions, locking in prices.         shoppers are protected from
customer is that DeCA and             “They make commitments, so             some of that immediate ‘sticker
industry work together four or        even though grocery prices get         shock,’” said Dowlen.
                                                                                             For shoppers
                                                                                        looking ahead to
                                                                                        the September sale,
                                                                                        Dowlen had more
                                                                                        good news. “We’ll offer
                                                                                        about 387 items in
                                                                                        the bigger U.S. stores,
                                                                                        compared to 260 in
                                                                                        the May sale,” he said.
                                                                                        “Though not all stores
                                                                                        will carry that many
                                                                                        – and stores in Europe
                                                                                        typically offer about
                                                                                        one-third of the items
                                                                                        – I think customers
                                                                                        will see a favorable
                                                                                        increase in the variety
                                                                                        of products available in

“I think I need a bigger cart,” could be the customer’s words when considering great
prices and selection at May’s Worldwide Case Lot Sale at Langley Commissary, Va.
DeCA photo: Byron Floyd

28   decavision!Summer 2008

The staff at Würzburg Commissary, Germany, bade a fond farewell to customers as the store closed in August.
DeCA photo: Gerri Young

                     End of an era
                        Five stores close in Germany
                   Dr. Pete Skirbunt                     transactions that amounted to $26,734,310. Four of
                    DeCA historian                       the stores were in Zone 31, the Wiesbaden zone; the
                                                         other was in Zone 32, the Ramstein zone.

         ue to the continuing global realignment             These commissaries had been in business for a
         of American forces, five DeCA stores in         long time. Four of the five had roots dating back at
         Germany recently ceased operations and          least to 1954, and probably went all the way back to
         closed their doors.                             1945, at the conclusion of World War II. Four of the
    Together, they totaled 58,335 square feet of         five had delicatessens, while two had on-site bakeries.
 sales area and had 32 registers, which in fiscal 2007   Two stores were built in the 1930s, while the other
 combined to ring up a total of 680,284 customer         three opened in the late 1980s. Two of these more
                                                         recent stores had replaced older facilities.

                                                            First to close, in early August, were the stores
                                                         at Würzburg (Wuerzburg is the Americanized
                                                         spelling) at Leighton Barracks, and Darmstadt,

                                                                 on the local economy. Meanwhile, of the
                                                                 American citizens employed at the store, those
                                                                 who were military dependents transferred
                                                                 with their families to new duty stations. Three
                                                                 Americans who were permanent, full-time
                                                                 employees transferred to Grafenwöhr and

                                                                     At Darmstadt, the old commissary building
                                                                 had been constructed in 1952. Last year it
                                                                 conducted 114,652 customer transactions, and
                                                                 did more than $5.6 million in sales. It had
                                                                 11,088 square feet and six checkouts. In 2007
                                                                 the store staff consisted of 17 U.S. citizens and
                                                                 two local nationals.
                                                                     Anna Conner, a German native who
                                                                 married an American soldier, has shopped
                                                                 at the Darmstadt store (and occasionally
Würzburg Commissary, Germany, circa 1980s. DeCA                  at Hanau) since 1967. She gives the store
historical file photos

serving Nathan Hale Depot and Kelley Barracks.*
In 2007, both Darmstadt and Würzburg conducted
more than 100,000 customer transactions per month
and had more than $5.5 million in sales.
    Years ago, Würzburg had taken care of two
branches, located at Wertheim (closed in 1992)
and Kitzingen (closed in 2006). The original store
at Würzburg was replaced with a structure designed
and built as a commissary by the U.S. Army Troop
Support Agency in 1989. The new store had 16,331
square feet of sales area and nine registers. As of
2007, it had 14 U.S. citizens and 23 local nationals on
the payroll.
    Marie-Luise Glaser, who temporarily came
from Illesheim to oversee the Würzburg store’s final
weeks, says that Würzburg’s store personnel were
reluctant to leave without a proper send-off, so they
planned a German-American farewell party. Most            Darmstadt Commissary, Germany, circa 1980s
had a lot to celebrate, despite the store’s closure:
all but three of Würzburg’s local national store          high praise: “never, not one time” in all those years
personnel wishing to remain with DeCA were able to        has she ever encountered anyone working at the
get jobs in nearby commissaries at Schweinfurt,           commissary who was unfriendly. “They have all been
Illesheim and Ansbach. Five local employees who           very nice,” she said.
were within a year or two of retirement were granted         Her shopping experiences have been nice, too.
retirement incentives.                                    Although the store has been in the same building all
    At press time, three local nationals who were         this time, upgrades improved it, and the increasing
temporary employees were interviewing for jobs            numbers of products on the shelves have made it
                                                          even better. Now that Darmstadt is closing, she’ll
* This Kelley Barracks was named for Captain              shop at Wiesbaden, even though it is a 45-minute
Charlie Kelley, a U.S. soldier killed during World        drive from home. She’s a smart shopper, and even a
War II. It should not be confused with the Kelley         smarter driver: “The traffic is easier on Sundays, so
Barracks at Stuttgart, Germany, which was named           that’s when I’ll go,” she said.
for American Army Staff Sgt. Jonah E. Kelley, who
had been posthumously awarded the Medal of
Honor in 1945.

30    decavision!Summer 2008

Hanau Commissary, Germany, circa 1987

Hanau                                                         The present Hanau store opened at Wolfgang
   The original Hanau store, located at Pioneer           Kaserne on Nov. 12, 1987, and was renovated
Kaserne, was built inside a horse training facility       by DeCA 10 years later. It featured home meal
built by the Germans in 1938. It probably opened as       replacements, a deli and a bakery. It covered 21,120
a commissary shortly after the end of World War II,       square feet and used 12 checkouts. Easily the largest
although the first records we have of a store located     of the five closing commissaries, in 2007 it had a staff
there are from 1954. By 1976 it had an annex at           of 29 U.S. citizens and 51 foreign nationals.
Fliegerhorst, which lasted until December, 1993.

                                                             Commissary holds special place
  Hanau’s special memories                                   in DeCA leader’s heart

       oe Green                         groceries definitely helped me       Hanau as store manager, and
       served as                        support my family.”                  became commissary officer
       the Hanau                             After his Army service          from 1998 to 2000. He was
   store director                       ended in 1982, he remained           Ramstein’s store director in
   on several                           in Hanau working for morale,         2000, and in 2001 he returned
   occasions,                           welfare and recreation as a          to the states as store director
   and probably                         club manager and truck driver.       for Fort Bragg South Post
   knows the                            He couldn’t seem to stay away        Commissary, N.C. In 2002 he
   place better                         from the commissary, though,         became zone manager for Zone
   than anyone.                         and he went back in 1988 as          2 in Georgia.
       “I don’t     Joe Green           a volunteer meatcutter on the             But “Hanau always had my
   have any                             weekends. Eventually, he got a       heart,” he said. “It’s where I
   old photos,” he said, when           job there as a paid meatcutter,      married my first wife, and both
   contacted about this story, “but     becoming the meat manager in         of my sons were born there.
   I have some great memories!”         1990.                                In 2005, my first grandchild,
        Joe was a soldier at                 Two years later. Green          Jason, was born at the same
   Hanau from 1979 to 1982, and         accepted a position as grocery       hospital as my sons.”
   he bagged groceries on the           manager at Lowry Air                      Joe made the decision to
   weekends at the old Hanau            Force Base, Colo., where he          leave his zone manager position
   Commissary, which was                advanced to the position of          and returned to Hanau as store
   located on Pioneer Kaserne.          store manager. Then he moved         director one last time. He then
        “In those days,” he said,       to Seymour Johnson Air               moved on as store director at
   “having a family and being           Force Base, N.C., in 1994,           Sigonella, Sicily, before the
   lower-ranking enlisted, bagging      as the deputy commissary             Hanau store closed its doors for
                                        officer. In 1995 he returned to      the last time.


     Idar Oberstein
     Germany, circa

Idar Oberstein                                                  Harry Nichols, currently the store director
    Idar Oberstein, located in and known as the            at Ramstein, was once the store director of
Strassburg Kaserne Commissary, has been in                 Baumholder, Idar Obertstein’s parent store. He has
business at least since 1954. For years, it was an annex   fond memories of the Idar store, and remembered
of the Baumholder store. It was housed in another          that it was the first store to receive an inspector
horse stable built for the German Army in 1938 or          general score of more than 100 percent – a record
1939. It had 2,627 square feet of sales area, with two     they held alone for a considerable time. He also
checkouts. DeCA renovated the store in 1998. This          recalls that prior to a renovation in the late 1990s,
was a tiny store, and in mid-2007 it needed only two       store employees and customers alike had to wear
people to run it at any given moment.                      heavy clothing in the store during the winter, because
    Ramstein Zone Manager John Campbell                    of the lack of heating in the facility.
recalls visiting Idar Oberstein many times over the
years. “I was always amazed with their involvement         Dexheim
within the community,” he said. “Each employee                  The Dexheim store, located at Anderson
seemed to know the customers’ names, and they              Barracks, was the “youngest” of the five locations. Its
discussed family and school activities as if they were     first documented store didn’t come online until 1987.
old friends. The patrons were loyal to the Idar store,     Two years later, a new commissary opened with three
and would special order items not normally carried         checkouts, a 7,169 square-foot sales area, and a deli.
so they could pick it up at ‘their’ store. I will miss     In 2007, nine U.S. citizens ran the store.
visiting this store, very much.”

      Germany, circa

32    decavision!Summer 2008
                     Farewell, Darmstadt
           Four-month contract turns into 26 years of service
         Gerri Young                                                           jokes. I always tried hard to take
DeCA Europe public affairs officer                                             care of my customers. Even on
                                                                               my days off, I would show up at

          hristiana Schwer, a                                                  the store to make sure everything
          local national employee                                              was okay.”
          of the Darmstadt                                                         Showing up at the store took
          Commissary, Germany,                                                 special effort for Schwer. She
was sad to see it close on Aug. 8. “I                                          possesses no driver’s license,
signed a contract in 1982 to work                                              but lives an eight-minute bike
for four months,” remembered                                                   ride away. No matter what the
Schwer. “I stayed for 26 years!”                                               weather, that’s how she made
    Smiling and quick to laugh,                                                it to work. She earned a forklift
Schwer put her enthusiasm to                                                   driver’s license and, when tasked
work for the Americans from the                                                to meet a truck at the gate, would
very beginning.                                                                be seen chugging slowly across
    “I didn’t speak a word of                                                  the base on the forklift.
English then,” she said. “I              Christina Schwer                          In spite of its small size,

worked as a meatcutter with nine
other cutters, and only one was         out all the time.)
American. The rest of us were
German with no English. We cut
                                            Sometimes things got crazy.
                                        “A long time ago, we had a bunch
                                                                                It’s sad. We
carcass beef from Germany and           of cigarette thefts,” she said. “One    are a close
England at that time. I remember
once we had a program in which
                                        person cut a hole in a wall right
                                        behind the cigarette case so he         family here
we had to give away subprimals
of beef (smaller cuts of meat from
                                        could take out one carton at a
                                        time. One guy came in through
                                                                                ... This is a
larger primal cuts) to customers
with ration cards. That was
                                        the roof but dropped his wallet
                                        so the police caught him pretty
                                                                                hard day.
exciting! Sometimes we would            easily.”
make sauerbraten and package                Schwer moved from the              Darmstadt Commissary
it so all our customers had to do       meat department to freeze and          was once the parent store to
was take it home to cook.”              chill some years ago and earned        Aschaffenburg, Babenhausen
    Soldiers managed the store          a reputation for keeping her           and Bad Nauheim. Schwer
in those days, she recalled.            stock in perfect order. “The           saw them all close. When talking
“We’ve had a lot of managers,           managers never worried about           about the last day of Darmstadt,
(some who) helped make us all           my department when it came             her eyes misted over. “It’s sad. We
one big, happy family. My ‘store        time for inventory,” she said. “It’s   are a close family here,” she said.
husband,’ Eloy Preito, the              hard for me to see the freezers so     “I have a whole box of pictures of
assistant grocery manager now,          empty today (the last day).” She       all the people over the years and
was my best buddy and he made           remembered with a laugh the            the fun times we had. This is a
it special, too. Through the years,     time she unloaded a 30-pound           hard day.”
we all treated each other right;        turkey. “I just couldn’t imagine a         Now she works in a nearby
worked hard and helped each             turkey that big! I’d never seen one    German bakery with her daughter,
other.” (Schwer’s co-workers            so large before. I told everybody      but first, the day after closing,
took to calling Preito her store        about it.”                             Schwer flew to Cedar Rapids,
husband because they were such              It was more than the               Iowa, to help her American in-
close friends, helping each other       employees who made working             laws clean up after a big flood
                                        at Darmstadt so much fun for           – still serving America, after all
                                        Schwer. “I love the customers,         these years.
                                        too, especially the retired ones,”
                                        she said. “One woman always
                                        hunted for me so she could tell me


                           Plan 101
Stay on target with
DeCA’s strategic plan
by using this primer
on what’s hot
            n important             actions to

A           companion
            document to
            DeCA’s strategic
plan hit the street in early
this year, representing an
                                    the agency’s
                                    budget via the
                                    Program Objective
                                    referred to as
                                    the POM. In turn,
outline for action as more          initiatives in the
details emerge in ongoing           Strategic Planning
                                    Guidance must remain
“think tanks.”
                                    flexible as they depend
                                    on availability and allocation of
    The Director’s Strategic
                                    funding, which is a constantly
Planning Guidance, dated
                                    evolving process dependent on
Feb. 1, for the period of 2008
                                    developing priorities.
to 2015, can be requested from                                              Goal 2:
                                         Vision will look at the three
store directors. The strategic
plan can be found on OneNet at
                                    agency goals in the strategic plan,     Transform the
                                    continuing in this issue with Goal 2.                                                workforce to
employees/home.htm, then Our                                                become more agile,
    The agency publishes a new                                              knowledgeable
strategic plan every two years,                                             and motivated to
supplemented this year by the                                               provide exceptional
Strategic Planning Guidance,
provided to region, zone and                                                customer service.
store leadership. This “snapshot”
document links objectives and

34   decavision!Summer 2008
    Strategy 1:
    Implement a productive,
    flexible workforce at
    store level.

     Workforce of the
Future maximizes workforce
flexibilities so it becomes more
efficient and effective, and
the new WOF division chief is
Hector Granado, previously
store director for MacDill
Commissary, Fla.
     The deployment continued
through the summer and was
successfully completed as of Sept.
12. (See related story, Pages
36-37.) A special edition Vision
was published in July focused on
WOF and the National Security
Personnel System; contact the
editor for additional copies.
     Conversion of nearly
2,300 DeCA team members
to the NSPS this fiscal year
progresses smoothly; the first
appraisals under the system were
due in October.

    Strategy 2:                      Suzy Orrell, human resources specialist at DeCA headquarters, talks about
    Ensure a fair and                careers in DeCA with a military attendee at a job fair in Myrtle Beach, S.C., in
    equitable work                   September. The fair followed a conference on Wounded Warriors, a program
    environment that shows           the agency supports to encourage war veterans to seek employment with the
    we value our employees.          commissary system. DeCA photo

        The Expanded Early           managers build a better workplace       members achieve progression and
Resolution Opportunity               environment.                            eliminate gaps in the leadership
program will provide immediate                                               talent pool. The new leadership
response to DeCA team member             Improved reward                     development cell, headed by
contacts, facilitate rapid           program.                                Herb Winchester, previously
resolution of disputes, and help                                             deputy director for DeCA Europe,
                                         DeCA’s Center for Learning          will manage the careers of agency
                                     revamped all orientation                leaders in all career fields that
                                     programs, currently available           support DeCA.
                                     on OneNet at http://www.
                                               NSPS will help shape a
                                     home.htm. (See story, Page 38.)         more robust, flexible talent pool.

                                        Strategy 3:                               This has been a sweeping
                                        Establish a cultural                 overview of Goal 2, to provide
                                        transformation that                  you with a summary of major
                                        results in more effective            initiatives important to ensuring
                                        support to stores.                   we deliver a premier benefit to
                                                                             our customers.
                                             A revamped leadership
                                     succession plan will ensure the
                                     best and brightest DeCA team


                                                   ‘Dream Team’:
       he Center for Learning             “Walk a Mile in                       how they all interact with one
       refers to its new Workforce        My Shoes.”                            another.”
       of the Future training as              “Workforce                             He said the comprehensive
       a “Whole Store Training            of the Future is                      training in each department along
Plan,” but the first 14 store             exactly that,”                        with the Web-based training
associates at Mountain Home               said Matern.                          helped him attain additional
Commissary, Idaho, receiving              “Working                              skills and knowledge that have
their certificates of completion          in each of                            proven useful every day. “Most
could call it “a bigger paycheck on       the various                           importantly,” he said, “it helped
my way to a great career.”                departments,                          me provide better customer
     That’s because completion            seeing and         David Matern       service to our patrons.”
of the program, which takes an            doing what                                 Lorna Heinen, store
average of 18 months to two years,        they do, helped me appreciate         associate, also appreciated the
earns a significant reward: the           their daily work, and it provided     opportunity to work in each
grade of GS-4 and long-awaited            me with a better understanding        department. “It helped me
upward mobility for the career-           of each department’s role and         understand what each department
     “These graduates
completed extensive Web-
based training and performed
on-the-job training in every
area of the store,” said
Richard Nuffer, Center
for Learning chief. “They are
prepared to assist others with
on-the-job training now, and
the intent of the program is to
prepare people as multiskilled
    General Manager David
Matern said the training
brought to mind the song,

                                      Mountain Home Commissary, Idaho, took its place in DeCA history when it produced
                                      the first employees to earn Workforce of the Future certificates from the Center for
                                      Learning for completing training in all store departments. In the back row, from left,
                                      are Mildred Scott, Robert Hoover, Rita Stives, David Matern, Franchesca Stanley
                                      and Christel Stockton-Dillard. In the front row are Lorna Heinen, Jolenda Peczeli and
                                      Breanna Roddin. Not pictured are Florene Swanson, Cynthia Ewt, Estephanie Hoffman
                                      and Katherine Cote. DeCA photo: Mike Howell

36   decavision!Summer 2008
                                                    !                                 Strategic
                                                                                      Plan 101
Program creates multiskilled experts
who understand total store operations
    does and how
    we all help one
    another,” she
                                         In his own words:

                                                         ‘A feeling of
    said. “The Web
    training was
    good because

    it explained
    things in detail,
    which in the
    long run will                                                 Michael Howell
    help me serve      Lorna Heinen
                                                             Store director, team leader
    our customers

    better when they have questions.”
         Rita Stives, store associate,          ountain Home Commissary,
    also saw a direct relation between          Idaho, went into the Workforce of
    the training and customer service.          the Future program with aggressive
    “The Workforce of the Future
    allows us to learn skills in all
                                         determination to ensure success.
    departments                              As a result of our aggressiveness, our
    and move                             employees were excited and eager to have
    people                               the opportunity to work and learn in other
    from one
    to another                               The store associates would often ask         Michael Howell

    without                              when it would be their turn to start training.
    lowering our                         We made extensive efforts to keep our employees informed
    service,” she
                                         as part of the process through store meetings, newsletters
    said. “That’s                        and feedback from all involved.
                       Rita Stives
    the most                                 Our goal of developing a more diverse and well-trained
    important thing we can do for        workforce has provided us with a valuable asset. Our store
    those helping defend our way of
                                         associates, armed with the knowledge they now possess,
         The Web-based training          are very flexible and can provide support wherever it is
    modules are found on OneNet          needed on a moment’s notice and they have a much better
    at http://www.commissaries.          understanding of the total store operations. This helps
    at then Careers and Training,
                                         them communicate with the customers much better and
    then Center for Learning. They       understand many store issues that they can help with, thus
    comprise required classes for        making a much more efficient operation that gives the
    store associates, but any person     associate a feeling of partnership in the store operation.
    in DeCA may take the courses to
    learn more about commissary
                                             The program has also helped our managers achieve
    operations.                          not only a reliable workforce, but a better relationship
                                         between management and employee. Each gains additional
                                         knowledge of the other’s environment. Overall, I believe the
                                         WOF program has enabled us to develop a more efficient
                                         and involved workforce that will help us reach our goal
                                         of providing for our customers and taking care of our


        s she begins her first
        day on the job at a
        commissary, “Sally
        Newcomer” can learn
everything there is to know
about DeCA in about an hour
– online.
     Well, maybe not everything,
but certainly a lot about DeCA’s
mission, history, values and
employee information, from the
dress code to safety and security
requirements, said Richard
Nuffer, chief of the Center for
     “We’ve always had an
orientation program, but it was
getting outdated,” said Nuffer,
“so we refreshed it with input
from throughout the agency.”
     A 20-minute, self-guided
lesson, “This is DeCA,” covers
the agency overall, then a 45-
minute lesson, “DeCA Employee
Information,” outlines each
team member’s resources
pertaining to benefits and
training, as well as a review
of responsibilities in safety,         Join us
security, sanitation, equal
opportunity employment, ethics,        Store Director Jeff Rose, Spangdahlem Commissary, Germany,
standards of conduct, and more.        shares his idea for an ingenious recruiting tool: the bowling shirt
     “Anyone new to the agency         he and others wore at his previous assignment at Lakenheath
should complete these lessons,         Commissary, England. DeCA photo
and we’d appreciate your
feedback,” said Nuffer. “It
should help you understand              Nuffer said first-line             http://www.commissaries.
all the pieces and parts of the     supervisors should make sure           com/employees/home.htm,
organization. People who have       every employee completes the           then Careers and Training, then
been here a while might also        orientation, but supervisors           Center for Learning.
benefit from the orientation as a   themselves will find there’s an            For more information, call
refresher.”                         orientation program for them           Nuffer at (804) 734-8000, ext.
                                    as well, called “Supervisor            52786.
                                    Orientation Guide.”
                                        These programs can be
                                    found currently on OneNet at:

38   decavision!Summer 2008
                                                       !                                               Strategic
                                                                                                       Plan 101

                                                                 rs                Instructor
                                                 t ruc                             Training
                             A ins                                                 pilot course
                      or DeC                                                       earns high marks
                ... f                                                              from operators

         ack-to-school bells          The first                                staff to present a top-
         rang for 11 “teachers   phase included                                notch course.
         in training” at DeCA    40 hours of                                        “Thank you for the
         headquarters, July      academics, with                               many long hours you
28 through Aug. 1.               a follow-up phase                             put in preparing for our
    The Center for Learning      to be conducted                               class,” said Teamer. “I
Adjunct Instructor Training      with CFL course                               enjoyed the work and
pilot course prepared new        managers.                                     the people in the class.
instructors to assist with            Attendees                                Thanks for the points
operational courses taught       granted high                                  of improvement and
worldwide.                       marks to the          Michael Pulley          having the
    Attendees were:              training.                                    class give
Claudie Grant, Tyvonia                “I can’t say enough               positive feedback
Ward and Catrina                 positive things about the              to each person.”
Verrett from equal               class,” said Pulley. “I loved               Another
employment opportunity;          that everyone volunteered              instructor class
Necca Teamer, operations;        to be there … and that we              will likely be
Melba Brown, payroll;            had skill levels and grades            scheduled for
Rey Andres, assistant            that stretched across the              sometime the
store director, Hickam           spectrum. I think it added             first of next year.
Air Force Base, Hawaii;          a significant element to the           Contact Rose           Necca Teamer
Arrie Carson, store              class.”                                Roberson for
director, Fort Lee, Va.;              Halterman thought                 more information at (804)
Jeanne Halterman,                the course offered the right           734-8000, ext. 52991.
store administrator, Marine      balance between comfort
Corps Air Station Miramar,       and challenge. “The training
Calif.; David Mitzner,           was very comfortable and
store director, Bamberg,         thus made us at ease,” she
Germany; Michael Pulley,         said. “This increased our
store administrator, Fort        ability to step out of our
Myer, Va.; and Judy              comfort zone and excel
Stapleton, quality               during our presentations …
assurance evaluator, Fort        I wouldn’t change anything
Bragg South, N.C.                about the class at this time.”
                                      Overall, attendees
                                 appreciated the obvious time
                                 and care invested by CFL

                           You've got ...

  The world's best customers salute the world's best employees

El Centro salute                                                                    helpful. He will let you sample
I commend the exceptional professionalism the                                       anything and takes the time to
U.S. Navy Blue Angels received from El Centro                                       talk to the customers. You always
Commissary, Calif., during our stay for winter                                      know when he is on duty because
training. Store Director Velma Siler and her staff                                  samples are out and he keeps the
provided great customer service to the team. The                                    department looking nice. Thanks
commissary was the best I’ve seen in some time.                                     for people like Scott; people can
The great attitude was well received with every visit                               really learn from him. He knows
to your store. Ms. Siler invited us to watch her staff                              the true meaning of customer
provide cooking instructions on different items we                                  service!
could prepare in our rooms and also provided fruit          Scott Winfrey           Sheri Marler
trays for the team. I appreciate the support the team
received from the commissary.                               Scott ‘commitment to service’
Command Master Chief Petty Officer Eric Hodge,              I compliment two people at Scott Commissary,
U.S. Navy                                                   Ill., Kris Cortez and Lloyd Schrage in the produce
                                                            department. I was looking for a type of citrus fruit
Camp Lejeune timesaver                                      I had purchased previously, and Kris was unable to
I was shopping at Camp Lejeune                              locate any in the warehouse. I continued to shop, and
Commissary, N.C., at the case lot                           when I was halfway through the store, Kris brought
sale during my lunch break. I work                          me two bags of the fruit so I could choose which one
on the base, so it’s convenient and                         I preferred. I really appreciate such commitment
a real timesaver for me. I filled                           to service and the customer. Lloyd answered my
my shopping cart in the tent,                               questions and directed me to what I needed, helping
then took my cart back inside                               lift heavy items into my shopping cart. He is a
the commissary to pay. There I                              positive influence in the produce department. He has
was with a cart full of stuff, and I                        a great attitude!
realized I couldn’t wait as long as    Arnetta McAllister   Joan Baldwin
I would need to before my lunch
break ended. I spoke to Arnetta                             Grafenwoehr ‘extra mile’
McAllister in customer service and explained my             What does one call an individual who goes the extra
dilemma, and she allowed me to park my cart there           mile to take care of a customer? Wes Barnes,
until I could return more than two hours later. I am        the gentleman in the bakery at Grafenwoehr
grateful to her for allowing me to do that. That’s what     Commissary, Germany, baked a loaf of bread for
I call great customer service.                              me when it was nearly closing time, rather than
Paula Oats                                                  saying, “It’s getting late, and I have to clean up,” or
                                                            some other excuse. He truly personifies the saying,
Whiteman service                                            “The customer comes first.” Bravo!
Scott Winfrey, produce department storeworker               Tony Horowitz
at Whiteman Commissary, Mo., is always very
                                                            (Editor’s note: Letters are edited for length and clarity.)

40    decavision!Summer 2008
Portsmouth pride                                            and what an excellent way to treat a commissary
I’m always impressed by                                     customer.
the produce department at                                   Leilani Corbin
Portsmouth Commissary,
N.H., especially since it is run by                         Fort Sam perfection
only one person, Mike Bates.                                I’m pleased to tell you of the wonderful shopping
Despite whatever problems may                               experience I had at Fort Sam Houston
arise, he is consistently helpful,                          Commissary, Texas. The sales store associate,
positive and kind, with a great                             Rosalinda Perez, was most helpful and kind. The
sense of humor. In these tough                              store was packed, but Ms. Perez was gracious and
times, you are lucky to have him       Mike Bates           handled our purchase as if it were her own. Kenneth
on your staff.                                              Moss, bagger No. 102, packed our groceries the best
Linda Sorenesen                                             I’ve seen in 20 years! My produce remained whole,
                                                            and I didn’t have a single grape or tomato squashed.
Fort Worth fan club                                         True enjoyment in doing a good job showed through
The new Fort Worth Commissary, Texas, is the                with Ms. Perez and Mr. Moss, and I wish we had
best run commissary that we have ever had here, and         more like them.
I have shopped here for 30 years. It is a pleasure to       Betty Charniak
shop here now.
C.R. Hall                                                   Vance appreciation
                                                            I have shopped at the Vance Commissary, Okla.,
Shaw benchmark                                              for more than 15 years and have always found it to
The Shaw Commissary, S.C., experience is one                be a pleasant experience. Store personnel are always
of the best I have seen in 27 years. The atmosphere         kind, courteous and helpful. They are always eager
is like a hometown, family-owned store. When you            to help me with anything I need. Keep up the good
enter, you are always greeted with a smile. The staff       work!
and management are outstanding. All commissaries            Anonymous
should use Shaw as a benchmark for customer
service. My compliments to the Shaw team!                                     Keesler cashier kudos
Anonymous                                                                     Amy Lewis at Keesler
                                                                              Commissary, Miss., is one of
Fort Sill amazement                                                           the best cashiers I have ever used.
It amazes me that Fort Sill Commissary, Okla., is                             She was very friendly, polite and
always so sparkling clean. People working there are                           helpful. She made me feel like
so polite and helpful, with a great attitude. Even if the                     a No. 1 customer. When I asked
checkout lines are long, the wait is never long. This                         questions, she didn’t make me
point surprises me, as being 15 deep in a checkout                            feel like I was bothering her. I
at a local retailer means about 25-30 minutes of                              have been shopping at Keesler
waiting. Super job! Keep up the standard.                   Amy Lewis          Commissary since 1983, with
Bob Meyer                                                                      a total of 42 years shopping
                                                            at commissaries all over the United States and
Bolling excellence                                          Germany. Amy is No. 1.
Some chicken I purchased at Bolling Commissary,             Ruby Rivers
D.C., smelled funny, and I was convinced it had
gone bad. I called the commissary, reaching Joan            Hail to Holloman
Sanderson, supervisory store associate, and                 I have been a happy customer of Holloman
explained the situation. I was unable to return to the      Commissary, N.M., since 1990. I have traveled all
commissary because I was having guests for dinner,          over the United States and shopped at commissaries
which was the reason I needed the chicken and was           in almost every state, and the Holloman Commissary
in the middle of cooking. Joan told me that someone         ranks at the top in customer service, friendly staff
would deliver a replacement chicken to me on base           and a generally great shopping experience. I am glad
immediately. She and Haryn Singleton, general               you guys are there for us!
manager, arrived a few moments later with the               Master Sgt. W.J. Bentley, U.S. Army, retired
chicken. I compliment both for outstanding service.
All the people at my dinner later that night were
impressed after hearing the story, but none so much
as I. What an outstanding way of resolving a problem,

            You've got ...

The world's best customers salute the world's best employees

                                                                   Dave Corbin           Rosie Saldivar
     Little Rock pro produce
     I use the Little Rock                                     Edwards meat department service
     Commissary, Ark., two or three                            I thank the meat department at Edwards
     times a week primarily for the                            Commissary, Calif. I have always received great
     superb produce department. I                              service. I walk in, ring the bell, and ask for 12 New
     spend about 35 to 40 percent                              York strip steaks, one and a quarter inch thick. The
     of my store budget in produce.                            meat manager, Dave Corbin, stops and cuts my
     Crystal Carranco, storeworker,                            order on the spot; I never wait. Staff members go
     has been extremely helpful. Since                         out of their way to find me in the store and hand
     I’m partially visually impaired,                          me my steak. That is service. I have never had bad
     this is a much appreciated service.   Crystal Carranco    service from them. The meat people, including Rosie
     All the employees are diligent, but                       Saldivar, are one reason I like to shop there. The
     Crystal’s attitude is exceptional.                        whole department is what my benefit means to me:
     William Joplin                                            service.
                                                               Roscoe Tanner
     McConnell special effort
     McConnell Commissary, Kan.,                               Grand Forks birthday bash
     provides great customer service.                          My sincerest thanks go to the exceptional staff at
     Rufus “Slim” Bogan, produce                               Grand Forks Commissary, N.D. My son, Lt.
     storeworker, made a special effort                        Nathan VanLoon, was celebrating his 24th birthday. I
     to get me four beautiful artichokes                       live in Illinois, and it’s a 10-hour drive to his location,
     for a birthday dinner. He has a                           so I was unable to join him. I found the commissary
     helpful, courteous manner.            “Slim” Bogan        on the Web and asked if they could help me plan
     Margaret Lowell                                           a surprise party. Stephanie Crouch, general
                                                               manager, went above and beyond to help me, taking
     Gulfport model store                                      my order over the phone. She had to locate Nathan,
     Being retired U.S. Army, I have shopped at many           since I couldn’t tell her how to find his office. She
     commissaries around the world through the years.          even offered to come in early to deliver the cake
     Gulfport Commissary, Miss., is by far the best            herself. I asked if she could find a particular card and
     of them. This is mainly due to the commitment             some balloons to top off the presentation. Stephanie
     and efforts of the store director, Walt Taylor. The       cheerfully replied that she could visit another store
     staff is unusually friendly and helpful; the store is     and get the exact card I wanted, and the balloons
     always clean. The variety and availability of stock is    were available from the bakery. This was all short
     exemplary. Without reservation, this store is a model     notice, but two days later, Stephanie, Store Director
     for military commissaries worldwide. My thanks and        Irene Apgar and General Manager Lori Looney
     congratulations.                                          delivered the celebration to a very surprised young
     Maj. Ian Shearer, U.S. Army, retired                      man. I can’t tell you how wonderful it was to know
                                                               that I could depend on Stephanie for this personal
     Cannon staff compliments                                  service. Thanks to all involved for such outstanding
     I compliment the staff at Cannon Commissary,              customer service.
     N.M. Everyone is very helpful and pleasant. I enjoy       Susan Smith
     the shopping music; the products are great; the
     store is neatly displayed; and questions are always
     answered promptly. Overall, it’s great. I always look
     forward to my shopping and seeing everyone.
     Bess Kline

     42   decavision!Summer 2008
                                                                           My daughter and I were struggling
                                                                           with a very large meat purchase
                                                                           at Malmstrom Commissary,
                                                                           Mont. Barry O’Connell,
                                                                           specialist, noticed this and
                                                                           hurriedly came to our assistance.
                                                                           I thought that was very nice and
                  Jerry Whitlesey    Carl Ennis         Barry O’Connell    professional. He also showed us
                                                                          how to use the self-checkout to
Little Creek commendations                              save time! I appreciate his kindness and helpfulness.
I commend two employees at Little Creek                 Marcus Alfonso
Commissary, Va., Jerry Whitlesey and Carl
Ennis, in the meat department. On numerous                                Columbus rates best
occasions, they have gone beyond expectations                             Thanks for the great commissary
in providing customer service. Their pleasant                             here at Columbus Air Force
demeanor and considerate concern for the customer                         Base, Miss. It’s always so clean,
is more like that of a neighborhood corner market                         neat and friendly. My husband
than a military commissary. They always make my                           is retired and we are 80 years
commissary visits an occasion to see friends who                          old. We have shopped in many
provide exceptional service.                                              commissaries all over the world,
Gordon Rawlings, U.S. Army, retired                                       and this is the best. Keep having
                                                                          specials for us. Larry Dean,
Mountain Home welcome                                   Larry Dean        supervisory sales store technician,
I have been to many commissaries lately on                                checked us out – what a nice
business, and I compliment the store at Mountain        person. God bless our country.
Home Air Force Base, Idaho. This is by far              Fannie Brown
the best and also my hometown commissary. The
employees, especially the cashiers, make customers                        Tinker truly cares
feel welcome, wanted and very happy to shop there.                       Thanks for having Norma
If there is a question, they all try to help solve it                    Andreas, sales store checker at
for me. Store Director Mike Howell really cares                          Tinker Commisssary, Okla.,
about his store and employees. They all seem like                        working here. She makes our day
one big, happy family. This store is also very clean                     when she is here. Her customer
and perfectly laid out. I’m very impressed and                           service skills are the best I have
happy I have a commissary that I can say I’m proud                       seen in a long time. She is pleasant
of. Thank you for letting me tell you about my                           at all times; she cares about her
commissary.                                                              customers. She is truly customer
Kathy Anderson, spouse of                               Norma Andreas    service oriented with her coffee
Senior Master Sgt. James Anderson, U.S. Air Force                        service and help.
                                                        Patrician Fahrendorf
Fort Bragg’s quality service
I have used commissaries all over the world, and I                        Mayport helpfulness
know quality service, standards and also pride in the                     My lost wallet was turned in to
appearance of a store. Here at Fort Bragg, N.C.,                          Racquel Martin, cashier at
South Post and North Post commissaries are                                Mayport Commissary, Fla.
the best I have seen. I would like to pass on special                     It contained $160 and valuable
acknowledgement to the managers for jobs well                             credit cards and information. She
done. I hope they also pass this on to the workers.                       held it until she could find my
What a nice place they have created for shoppers. I’m                     phone number and contact me to
proud to shop there!                                                      come pick it up. She went beyond
Sgt. 1st Class Dan Ingalls, U.S. Army, retired                            normal duty requirements to reach
                                                        Racquel Martin    me while protecting my goods.
                                                                          For that, I shall be forever in

            You've got ...

                                                                    location, I’m sure you can appreciate what
                                                                    something as simple as purchasing a cake mix
                                                                    and powdered sugar to bake a cake for your child
                                                                    or a colleague means to those of us so far from
                                                                    home. The ability to grill a hot dog or cook up a
                                                                    box of macaroni and cheese are simple things,
                                                                    but for those of us serving in Albania, they’re
                                                                    major treats! Store Director Jim Carnes, Store
The world's best customers salute the world's best employees        Manager Vickie Mills, and customer service
                                                                    representative Massimo DeMarzo were all so
                                                                    fantastic. Even the cashiers and baggers went out
     her debt. Racquel displayed the highest caliber of        of their way to assist me and my colleagues during
     attentiveness, professionalism and helpfulness and        our visit. Knowing we had a four-hour drive plus
     should be highly commended.                               a 12-hour, overnight ferry trip to complete before
     Gar Pillgrim                                              arriving home, Mr. Carnes and Ms. Mills assisted us
                                                               by freezing our meat purchases and allowing us to
     Offutt outstanding attitude                               freeze water in the coolers to ensure our purchases
     I was shopping at the Offutt Commissary, Neb.,            reached home safely. The Naples staff is superb and
     which I do on the first and 15th of each month.           absolutely the best.
     Robin Butts, produce manager, always has such a           Brenda James
     wonderful, professional attitude. My kids love her.
     She is so bright and cheery. The commissary is lucky                          McChord favorite
     to have such a great employee.                                               I have been going to McChord
     Samantha Webb                                                                Commissary, Wash., for a
                                                                                  few years now and had many
     Hanscom personal touch                                                       opportunities to see
     I frequently shop at Hanscom Commissary,                                     Rose Cruz, sales checker. In
     Mass., and cashier Carmen Bell is always                                     my three decades of shopping at
     exceptionally friendly. She always makes it a point to                       military facilities, she is without
     say “hi” to my children and thank me for shopping.                           a doubt the friendliest and most
     It’s always a pleasure to see her. Thank you for                             pleasant person. Being the last
     having such a wonderful woman.                            Rose Cruz          person you see, other than the
     Anna Kosev                                                                   baggers, she leaves a lasting
                                                               impression on all who come in contact with her.
     Luke loyal customer                                       Whatever it takes, keep her on the job.
     I have shopped at Luke Commissary, Ariz., for             Clara Barton
     the past 36 years, and Andrea Rorex, supervisory
     sales store checker, is an outstanding employee. This     Robins superior staff
     young lady always helps me get through the checkout       I commend the director and employees of Robins
     line in an orderly way. Being handicapped, I              Commissary, Ga. My wife and I have been very
     appreciate all her help. This fine employee is a credit   impressed with the courteous, friendly and helpful
     to the commissary as well as to the entire base. Also,    staff. On every visit, we witness lots of smiles on
     checker Jody Phillips is one intelligent and helpful      the faces of employees. Staff members have gone
     employee. She is personable, polite and helpful. I lost   to the back area of the commissary to try to locate
     my cell phone and she found it and turned it in – an      something for us. We always find the commissary
     honest person! She wears a smile “24-7.”                  clean and well-stocked. It is refreshing to visit this
     Master Sgt. Joseph Trovini, U.S. Air Force, retired       store, and we encourage the management and staff
                                                               to keep up the great service.
     Naples touch of home                                      Col. Thomas Adams, U.S. Air Force, retired
     I have just arrived back in Tirana, Albania,
     after an exhausting but fruitful trip to Naples           Goodfellow appreciation
     Commissary, Italy. I cannot tell you how much             For years, I’ve shopped once a week at Goodfellow
     being allowed to use the commissary means to those        Commissary, Texas. I thank you for our new store
     of us who serve in a hardship location. The ability       director, Don Rouse. The store looks clean and the
     to purchase products from home does much to raise
     morale; and, quite frankly, our standard of living on
     every level. Even if you haven’t served in a hardship

     44    decavision!Summer 2008
aisles are clear and easy to navigate. The shelves are     inquiries or suggestions. I commend Mert Capil,
stocked and a notice posted if an item is not available    grocery manager, who is an exceptional member
-- both very helpful. Don is there with a friendly smile   of the team. He makes his presence obvious to
or handshake, yet I have seen him working right            customers, and his smile and demeanor generate the
along with the other employees. He is a breath of          idea, “I’m here to help you if you need help.” Mert
fresh air.                                                 has assisted me with special orders, and his follow-
Mrs. Frank Vogt                                            up actions and personal attention have always been
                                                           prompt and efficient.
Yokota special services                                    David Casey
I have to compliment Donald Mitchell, the store
manager at Yokota Commissary, Japan, for the                                  Moody thanks
fantastic job he is doing. Every couple of years, we go                      Suelynn Scheib, lead sales store
to Japan to shop for food we cannot get in Alaska. We                        checker at Moody Commissary,
were met at the door by Mr. Mitchell and he asked                            Ga., was very helpful to me while I
if he could help us, so we said we were looking for                          was shopping and at the checkout.
Japanese food. He took us to that section and stayed                         She helped me unload my cart
with us the entire time. Once we completed our                               because she could see I was
shopping, he went with us to the checkout counter                            having a hard time, as I had just
and asked how we were going to take this back to                             had surgery two days prior. Her
Alaska. I informed him that we had brought extra                             help was a big surprise and much
suitcases. He advised us to bubble wrap most of the        Suelynn Scheib    needed. Thank you, Suelynn.
items then said he would be right back. He returned                          Christine Huffman
with boxes, tape, scissors, bubble wrap and told
us we could box up the food. We stayed at Yokota           Hill helpfulness
for eight days, and each time we went back to the          We find Hill Commissary, Utah, to be a great
commissary for daily needs, Mr. Mitchell always            savings and always receive excellent service from the
smiled and greeted us in a friendly, professional          staff. Not only are the cashiers friendly, helpful and
manner. We need more people like Mr. Mitchell in           kind, but all the employees we have dealt with have
every commissary.                                          been extremely accommodating. The store is well-
Ron and Nobuko Doebler                                     stocked and has the best hours in the area; the staff
                                                           takes suggestions well and is kind and eager to serve.
Wright-Patterson modernization                             In my estimation, the commissary and base exchange
The Wright-Patterson Commissary, Ohio,                     are A-1, top-notch and “straight arrow” – the very
recently expanded and modernized the front                 best!
end of the store with new self-service checkouts.          Colleen Fechser
Excellent job! It is obvious that someone is watching
the industry and listening to the customer. The            Bangor bonanza
advantages are obvious: lower payroll costs and            Dana Hopkins, meat manager at Bangor
keeping customers happy. I consider this a win-win         Commissary, Maine, always goes above and
advantage for the commissary system. Thank you for         beyond to take care of his customers. I asked him a
pressing ahead with the latest technical edge.             question about a cut of meat and he explained the
Gerald Long                                                best selection for the value. He asked me questions
                                                           to assure he was giving me what I was asking for in
Imperial Beach personal attention                          the type of roast I was buying. Then he showed me
The personnel at Imperial Beach Commissary,                the helpful recipe booklet in the meat department
Calif., including                                          and explained how to use it. He used the same
Store Manager                                              courtesy and kindness for the other customers in a
Alfredo                                                    professional, proficient manner. Also, I discovered
Porto, make                                                my ID had expired, so Joanne Matthes, grocery
shopping                                                   manager, directed me to the appropriate people who
a pleasant                                                 could help. Because of Joanne, my dilemma was
experience.                                                corrected professionally and efficiently. She turned
They are                                                   my hectic day into a pleasant experience. Thank you!
courteous,                                                 Anonymous
helpful, social
and most
receptive to      Alfredo Porto  Mert Capil

            You've got ...

                                                                     Fort Knox fantastic service
                                                                     I’m writing to commend the great service and
                                                                     products I have consistently received from Fort
                                                                     Knox Commissary, Ky. The bakery people
                                                                     always have smiles and a good variety of fresh
                                                                     desserts to sell. Contract worker Brigitte Wells
                                                                     does a superb job preparing special order sheet
                                                                     cakes. I have ordered several for office functions,
The world's best customers salute the world's best employees         leaving decorations to her discretion, and she
                                                                     always does an outstanding job. I always receive
                                                                     compliments on them. The deli contract workers
    Illesheim caring nature                                    are also very friendly and customer-oriented. They
    Bennie Johnson, storeworker                                handle deli orders quickly and present the neatly
    leader at Illesheim                                        wrapped packages with smiles. Cashiers Myra
    Commissary, Germany, and his                               Scott, Juanita Fregiste, Rowena Hammer and
    wonderful staff of professionals                           Charlotte Costner always have a smile and are
    have afforded me and my                                    friendly and efficient. Melissa Edsell, lead cashier,
    co-workers a long history of                               and Matt Powell, store administrator, are always
    professional, “beyond the call of                          willing to answer questions and provide assistance.
    duty” service. Each team member                            Please let them all know that their hard work every
    takes time to provide something                            day is appreciated. They are the reason I have shopped
    special that makes the shopping         Bennie Johnson     at the commissary for more than 28 years and prefer it
    experience memorable and                                   to any other grocery store in the area.
    pleasant. I have made many last-minute requests, and       Cathy Fox
    the friendly staff has always done its best to meet my
    needs. I’m sure others can testify to their unselfish,                         Fairchild praises
    caring nature, but I wanted to take the time to thank                         We have witnessed a dramatic
    Mr. Johnson and his staff for everything they do.                             change in the produce department
    Joseph Gill                                                                   at Fairchild Commissary,
                                                                                  Wash., since Darl Tischer took
    Walter Reed courtesies                                                        over as produce manager. The
    Every time we have requested customer service from                            appearance and presentation
    William Moody, store administrator at Walter                                  of produce have increased
    Reed Commissary, Md., we have never been                                      remarkably, and it is always fresh.
    disappointed. My wife and I have been met with                                We are fortunate to have a person
    exceptional courtesy and respect. Despite his busy         Darl Tischer       of his caliber.
    schedule, he personally takes time to listen to us and                        Anonymous
    promptly respond. He goes beyond the call of duty to
    accommodate the needs of his patrons. Please pass          Patrick well-deserved honors
    along our appreciation and extend a “well done” to a       We returned from a trip to find our great commissary
    most deserving DeCA employee.                              at Patrick Air Force Base, Fla., had been
    John Coulehan                                              recognized as “Best Superstore in the United States.”
                                                               The store is well deserving of this high award. The
    Buckley exceptional cashier                                entire staff, from store director on down, makes this
    I commend Ashley Hrenkoan, cashier at Buckley              a place where shopping is a real pleasure.
    Commissary, Colo. She provided timely product              Col. Donell Mathews, U.S. Air Force, retired
    information and assistance during my visit. She
    instructed me on how to use the self-checkout system,      McClellan produce pleasure
    and her customer service skills are exceptional. As        Ever since the new produce manager took over
    a customer service manager for city transit, I know        at McClellan Commissary, Calif., the produce
    the importance of providing good customer service.         has become outstanding. Michelle Parks has
    Ashley goes beyond what’s required and ensures             brought in a tremendous variety of produce that is
    patrons are treated well.                                  kept fresh and displayed beautifully. The produce
    Lt. Col. James Pinkney III, U.S. Army, retired             in this commissary is equal now to the best stores
                                                               in Sacramento. I thank her for doing such an
                                                               outstanding job – it’s a pleasure to shop here.
                                                               Sharon Jungk

     46   decavision!Summer 2008

                  Mary Lilia Garces   Yoshimasa Ishibashi

Misawa magnificence
I compliment Mary Lilia Garces, sales store clerk,
and Yoshimasa Ishibashi, perishables manager,
at Misawa Commissary, Japan, for helping me
prepare for my squadron’s annual “American Day”
event. They helped me prepare all the food and drinks
needed to make this event a great success. Thanks
again – I couldn’t have done it without you guys.             Prizes for everyone
Jermaine Ramsey
                                                               Dolores Magallanes, center, grocery manager at Yokota
Oceana well done                                               Commissary, Japan, announces prizes for scavenger hunt
Here’s a “well done” to the produce manager and staff          participants on Single Airman Night in March. The event,
for the quality, variety and display of the produce            attended by more than 40 single and unaccompanied
in Oceana Commissary, Va. I have been using                    military members, included a commissary tour and inspired
the commissary for more than six years and never               several attendees to send complimentary “Your Action
before felt compelled to congratulate the people of            Line” cards to DeCA headquarters, praising Store Director
the produce section. Keep up the good work. I’m sure           Mike Auderer for organizing the evening’s activities. DeCA
many shoppers have noticed the improvements and                photo
appreciate using a well-maintained produce section.
The effort shows!
Capt. J.L. Gracey, U.S. Navy, retired                       available within a week. Sue is people-oriented and
                                                            provides immediate feedback to the customer. She
Newport happy ending                                        is courteous and eager to help in any way she can to
I commend Mary Ann Bergmann, store associate                ensure the customer receives the proper service. I am
at Newport Commissary, R.I. I lost my cell phone            a supervisor in a Fortune 500 company that prides
and contacted customer service many times and was           itself on customer service. In recognition of Sue’s
told it hadn’t been turned in, so I didn’t think I’d        customer service, I wanted to advise her superiors
ever see it again. When it was found, Mary Ann took         that they have a quality person of excellent abilities in
extraordinary measures to charge it and contact my          Sue Haskins.
husband’s cell phone to try to locate the owner. She        Al Wiegand
deserves to be commended for going way above and
beyond the call of duty. The story has a happy ending:      Aberdeen impressive support
I have my cell phone back thanks to Mary Ann.               I shopped at the Aberdeen Proving Ground
Marlyce Adams, spouse of Lt.                                Commissary, Md., and the bagger inadvertently
Col. Robert Adams, U.S. Marine                              put one of my bags in another cart. I discovered this
Corps, retired                                              and called the store. Customer service had already
                                                            identified and restocked the bag, creating a receipt
Nellis perfection                                           of the items in the bag. I went to customer service
I compliment Sue Haskins,                                   and promptly received my refund for the purchased
grocery manager at Nellis                                   items. I’m impressed with the customer service
Commissary, Nev., for her                                   actions and thankful for the staff’s support.
outstanding customer service. In                            Sgt. 1st Class Kent Ladd, U.S. Army
researching a product for me, she
was extremely helpful in getting
the requested item and had it         Sue Haskins

                          Creating sweet works of art

                  ‘Cupcake queens’
                                                           Gerri Young
                                                  DeCA Europe public affairs officer

                                                      t could be called cupcake
                                                          Food service workers
                                                      Kaylene Anderson and
                                                 Myrna Perez do a cupcake
                                                 quickstep every morning at
                                                 Vogelweh Commissary,
                                                 Germany. Together they arrange
                                                 containers and fill them with
                                                 dozens of the fresh cupcakes
                                                 they baked earlier. They grab
                                                 pastry tubes and fill them with
                                                 brightly colored butter icing then
                                                 sidestep to opposite ends of the
                                                 long, cupcake-covered table. They
                                                 squeeze just right, two seconds
                                                 per cupcake, striking a rhythm
                                                 they break only when the tubes
                                                 need refilling. Green frosting,
                                                 white frosting, fluted tip, straight
                                                 tip, they twirl on the sweet stuff
                                                 until every little cake is covered.
                                                      Next comes the painting.
                                                 Perez fills an airbrush with food
                                                 coloring and starts at one end
                                                 of the long row to spray a bright
                                                 spring yellow, next pink, then
                                                 blue. In just minutes, more than
                                                 100 cupcakes are ready to sell.

                                                 Achy, breaky cakers
                                                     These two, sometimes known
Above, Kaylene Anderson                          as the cupcake queens, or simply
and Myrna Perez show                             “the cakers,” create 600 cupcakes
off one of their finished                        daily. Their hands often ache with
specialty cakes. The art in                      the effort.
the middle was done with a                           Anderson and Perez have
photo reproduction machine                       helped “cake-ify” the profile of
made especially for cake                         Vogelweh Commissary bakery in
decorating. DeCA photo:                          their time together over the last
Wally Raynes                                     year. Besides the cupcakes, they
                                                 do 40 to 50 special occasion cakes
Right, Myrna Perez puts                          a week, personalizing them by
the finishing touches on a                       order or on the spot. They even do
shamrock cake. DeCA photo:                       wedding cakes. But one particular
Gerri Young                                      kind of cake is getting special

48   decavision!Summer 2008

                                                                                     Perez uses an airbrush to
                                                                                     apply coloring to the tops
                                                                                     of hundreds of cupcakes
                                                                                     baked and staged each
                                                                                     morning behind the
                                                                                     scenes of the Vogelweh
                                                                                     bakery. DeCA photo:
                                                                                     Gerri Young

Spotlight on ‘pull-apart’ cakes       of the customer,” said Perez. “Add          At the main entrance, a
     Pull-apart cakes are cupcakes    words or a photo reproduction if       glass display case full of cake
in disguise. No knives, forks or      necessary and pipe trim around         and cupcake artistry is the first
plates necessary when consuming       the outside edge.”                     thing customers see as they walk
these cakes — just grab a cupcake          While one decorates, the          through the door. While often
from the outer edge, pull and eat.    other gets the add-on decorations      filled with holiday or seasonal
Licking your fingers is half the      ready to place. In just minutes,       cake art, it is never dull. Bright
fun. Grownups and children alike      the cake is ready to pack for the      colors and designs, professionally
quickly get into the spirit.          customer.                              presented, are always enough to
     From the smallest, containing                                           entice the next customer to buy a
15 cupcakes, to the largest, with     Developing successful routine          cake or two.
about 370, the cakes caught the            This speed did not come with           Tallon said changes made to
attention of customers throughout     just a couple weeks of practice.       the bakery in the last two years
the Kaiserslautern area.              Perez began decorating cakes           made significant sales increases
     “We made the biggest one         and cupcakes when she was              possible. “Two years ago, the
with the Korean flag on it for        15 working in a Boston family          Vogelweh bakery did about $400
a VIP transferring to Korea,”         bakery. She enjoyed it so much,        to $500 in sales a day,” she said.
recalled Anderson. “We had to         she later went to school to learn      “Now, a normal weekend sales
put it together in another room       more and has been working in           total will be $1,200 to $1,500.
because we didn’t have space in       the field ever since. Anderson has     These increases have been a direct
the bakery.”                          been at it for eight years.            result of our cake and cupcake
     They start with a foundation          Meeting at the Vogelweh           operation in addition to switching
of cupcakes in the chosen shape       Commissary, they were thrilled         to a self-serve process.
— maybe just a rectangle, maybe       to have all the equipment they              “Since the cake making has
a shamrock for St. Patrick’s Day.     needed. This made it possible          boomed so much at the hands
They dab a bit of white frosting      to create the bakery service           of the cake-making team, we are
under the outside cupcakes to         envisioned by Store Director           planning to create a whole new
anchor them in place, and then        Connie Tallon.                         space in which they can work,”
they cover the top of the cake with        “It took a while for us to work   Tallon continued. “It will be a
thickly piped frosting. Next, they    out the routine,” stated Perez.        larger space, which they really
smooth out the frosting to prepare    “We have a great time and work         need, and it will have a glass
it for decorating.                    well together. We switch off who       wall so customers can watch the
     “Then we air brush the design    bakes and who decorates and            decorating in progress like some
using something we make up            do the mass cupcake decorating         stores in the States feature.”
ourselves, or matching the order      together so neither of us gets tired
                                      of one thing.”

     Come on down
     To celebrate their birthdays, Reba Maxwell
     and Lynette Burks, storeworkers at Fort
     Riley Commissary, Kan., each traveled to Los
     Angeles to vie for a chance as contestants
     on their lifelong-favorite game show, “The
     Price is Right.” Not only did Burks get called
     down, she won her first bid to take the stage,
     winning a set of CDs. She next won dining
     room furniture, then spun the big wheel and
     won again, giving a nationally televised “shout
     out” to the commissary. Burks passed the first
     showcase and bid on the second one, winning
     with a difference of only $3,689. Included in
     her showcase was living room furniture, a trip
     to Portugal that she and Maxwell will take
     together, carpeting and a camcorder. DeCA
     photo: William McNeill

                                                       Malmstrom staff earns praise
                                                       for creating ‘port in the storm’

       hough the intention of                “We were advised there was      giving the commissary kudos for
       an exercise is gaining           a person in battle-dress uniform     how we handled this stressful
       experience for a “real-          and red unit cap with a rifle        situation,” said Contreras.
       world” situation, most           on base,” said Contreras. “All            Some customers expressed
people would probably prefer not        doors were locked and everyone       their gratitude via the Your Action
to face both in the same day.           moved to safety, all within three    Line program, with letters such as
     Such was a normal Thursday         minutes.”                            the following:
in June for Malmstrom                        After about an hour, the             “I want to commend Jerry and
Commissary, Mont., which                store received a phone call with     his staff for keeping us calm and
started out with a 9 to 9:30 a.m.       instructions not to admit anyone     providing us with chairs, bottled
exercise as a “shelter in place.”       else, as the possible gunman had     water, and even chips, sandwiches
     “All the doors were locked and     been seen in the vicinity.           and cookies – kind of like a picnic
everybody moved to the back of               For the next hour and a half,   for us,” wrote Al Cady, a retiree
the store, out of sight of the front    the commissary staff helped make     in his early 70’s. “We commend
windows,” said Jerry Contreras,         its customers comfortable as         Jerry for controlling a very scary
store administrator.                    they waited for an all-clear sign.   incident!”
     That half-hour practice paid       First, the staff dispersed bottled        The base commander and
off, when at 2:10 p.m., a call came     water and sliced watermelon.         the mission support group
in directing the commissary to          After a customer asked about a       commander each presented
assume lockdown condition as a          deli sandwich, the store became      commander’s coins to Contreras,
shelter in place, followed by the       the best place to be in a shelter    secretary Susi Schamp,
dreaded words, “This is NOT an          situation, as a sandwich, chip       supply technician Norma
exercise.”                              and cookie table helped time pass    Bukoveckas, storeworker
     Store staff quickly escorted       pleasantly.                          Kristi Farris, cashier Sheila
about 100 customers and children             At 4:40 p.m., word came that    Auger, and bagger Kelcy
to the rear of the store.               the doors could be unlocked. “All    Auger.
                                        went well, with many patrons

50    decavision!Summer 2008
                    EEO superstars
     Awards honor benchmark accomplishments
                  Courtney Rogers                         exemplified by a workforce in which participation
              Corporate communications                    rates for both African-American employees and
                                                          Asian-American employees far exceeded the relevant

      he Defense Commissary Agency recognized             civilian labor force in the Texas area where the
      three employees and one of its zones for            commissary is located. The civilian workforce levels
      outstanding accomplishments in the area of          were based on census data about the Wichita Falls
      Equal Employment Opportunity during its             area from the year 2000.
annual EEO awards ceremony July 24 at the agency’s             “Michael Cox is the epitome of leadership in
Fort Lee, Va., headquarters.                              cultural diversity,” said Zone 8 Manager Ronald
   This year’s award recipients, cited for their          McMasters. “Mr. Cox’s proactive, equality-based
exemplary efforts to promote a culture of diversity       leadership provided exceptional mentorship and
awareness and acceptance of people of all ages, races,    coaching to women and minorities, crafting a
genders, religious preferences and disabilities, are:     balanced career ladder to shatter (glass) ceilings.”

•   Michael Cox, former store director at                                             EEO Employee
    Sheppard Air Force Base Commissary,                                               of the Year
    Texas, (now Zone 19 manager in DeCA West),                                            Armanda Varnado,
    EEO Leader of the Year                                                            EEO Employee of the
•   Armanda Varnado, store associate at                                               Year, promoted diversity
    Cannon Air Force Base Commissary, N.M.,                                           awareness through her
    EEO Employee of the Year                                                          involvement with the
•   Frank Jenkins, store associate at Fort                                            local community and by
    Monmouth Commissary, N.J., Disabled                                               organizing commissary
    Employee of the Year                                                              events, including a Black
•   Mediterranean Zone, Zone 37, DeCA Europe,                                         History Month luncheon
    EEO Organization of the Year                                                      honoring the last surviving
                                                                                      Buffalo Soldier.
      “Because DeCA is an international organization,     Armanda Varnado                 “Not only does she
it is especially crucial to our mission that we promote                       bring new and fresh ideas for
a philosophy of acceptance and understanding for          outreach projects to store management, but she
individuals of all cultures and backgrounds,” said        volunteers to act as team leader and coordinate these
DeCA’s Chief Operating Officer Rick Page, who             events,” said Cannon Store Director Beth Adams.
presented the awards to this year’s winners. “The         “Ms. Varnado is an extraordinary example of present
recipients of this year’s EEO awards represent one        and future equal employment opportunity in progress
more reason commissaries are ‘worth the trip’ for         and is most deserving of this recognition.”
all our customers and
employees.”                                                                          Disabled Employee
                                                                                     of the Year
EEO Leader of the Year                                                                    Frank Jenkins, DeCA’s
    Michael Cox, DeCA’s                                                              Disabled Employee of
EEO Leader of the Year,                                                              the Year, is a customer
fostered an encouraging                                                              service clerk at Fort
atmosphere in the                                                                    Monmouth Commissary
Sheppard Commissary                                                                  who was diagnosed as a
that contributed to                                                                  quadriplegic at age 15 and
women holding more than                                                              uses his circumstances
61 percent of supervisory                                                            as an opportunity to
and leadership positions.                                                            speak out for the rights
His commitment to                                                                    of all disabled people.
equal opportunity was         Michael Cox                 Frank Jenkins

EEO honors ...
One way he did this was to found POWER, People
on Wheels for Education and Rehabilitation, a
nonprofit organization that provides architectural
consulting to help local businesses design their
buildings to accommodate handicapped customers
and employees.
     “He (Jenkins) strives hard to ensure customers are
treated fairly and courteously at all times regardless
of their disability, race or ethnic background,” Fort
Monmouth secretary Vida Truitt said. “Although
he is humble when it comes to asking for any special
treatment for himself, preferring instead to be as
mainstream as possible, he never hesitates to right a
wrong or stand up for someone else’s rights.”

EEO Organization of the Year
    The employees of DeCA Europe’s Mediterranean
Zone, the EEO Organization of the Year, dedicated
themselves to facilitating understanding of the
variety of cultures that interact with their 13 stores
and five NEXMarts in six different countries across
Europe, Africa and the Middle East. The zone has not
had any EEO complaints or grievances in the last five
years, evidence of the organization’s success in this
    “Extending from the Atlantic in the West to the
Sinai Desert in the East, covering five time zones, and
employing more than 35 major ethnic groups with
varied languages and religions, it is by far the most
culturally diverse zone in the agency,” DeCA Europe       Frank Jenkins, Fort Monmouth Commissary, N.J.,
Director Thomas Milks said. “The Mediterranean            pictured here with Debbie Marsella, store associate,
Zone is testament that diverse cultures, ethnic groups    will represent the agency in Department of Defense
and different lifestyles can meld together into one       disabled employee honors in December. U.S. Army
successful team.”                                         photo
                                                                       Page said each of the award winners
                                                                   demonstrated resourcefulness in reaching
                                                                   out across the barriers of race, gender
                                                                   and disability to make themselves and
                                                                   their teams more effective at serving their
                                                                   customers. “DeCA’s ability to meet the needs
                                                                   of military families,” he added, “depends
                                                                   on people like this now more than ever

                                                                   DeCA Chief Operating Officer Rick Page
                                                                   presents Organization of the Year honors to
                                                                   Mediterranean Zone Manager Salah Ud-din.
                                                                   DeCA photo: Pete Skirbunt

52   decavision!Summer 2008
                           Blackwell honor
                 Mendez takes care of customers, employees
                          with characteristic zeal
         Lynda Valentine
    Corporate communications

        tore Director Judy
        Mendez received the
        Defense Commissary
        Agency’s Michael W.
Blackwell Leadership Award
for 2007 during ceremonies
at DeCA’s annual training
conference in Richmond, Va.,
May 20. Each year the Blackwell
award is given to a DeCA
employee who has demonstrated
exceptional leadership, courage
and integrity in the performance
of his or her duties.
     Mendez earned the award for
her work at the Fort Huachuca
Commissary, Ariz. In addition
to operating a store with annual
sales topping almost $28 million,
her passion for the benefit and
genuine admiration for her
customers led her to create a
mobile commissary to reach
Marine reservists deployed to
the U.S. side of the international
border between Arizona and

Commissary on wheels
     The Marines, who were           Store Director Judy Mendez, Fort Huachuca Commissary, Ariz., was
constructing roads and building      selected as the 2007 Blackwell Leadership Award winner, becoming the
fences in the Arizona desert, were   honor’s 13th recipient. DeCA photo: Rick Brink
without access to the smallest
of amenities, including access       commissary benefit – on wheels      Pro promoter
to stores. Despite a barrage of      – where troops needed it most,          Mendez also used her
summer monsoons, logistical          “at the front.”                     communication skills to promote
hurdles and communication                 At the helm of the mobile      upcoming commissary events
challenges, Mendez and her           commissary, Mendez and her          to Fort Huachuca customers,
team successfully delivered the      team set up their store-on-wheels   both on and off base. She created
                                     twice a week for six hot, dusty     nine commercials in two years
                                     weeks in a remote hotel parking     promoting events taking place at
                                     lot, selling snacks and other
                                     subsistence items to the grateful
                                     Marines. As an added bonus, the
                                     mobile commissary was the first
                                     introduction many of the Marines
                                     had to the commissary benefit.

                   In her own words: Blackwell Award winner
                 Leadership, Mendez style
How would you describe your leadership style in

I believe that all employees WANT to do a good job,
so we train employees on what needs to be done
and then trust them to do the job. Following up with
employees on assigned tasks also gives me a chance
to see if the task was completed and to compliment
the employee on having completed it. This lets folks
know that you are looking at their work, which
most will appreciate. Employees are proud of their
accomplishments, and managers should express
appreciation for a job well done. I would not label my
style micromanaging nor is it completely hands-off
but somewhere in between.

As a store director, what keeps you going day
after day – what inspires you?

My motivator is that we serve soldiers and veterans
who have earned this benefit, and I want to provide it
the best way I know how. Our military members get
up and go to work in far less comfortable situations
                                                           Judy Mendez
than I will ever have to deal with. If they can do this
day after day, I can certainly keep going day after day,
too.                                                       Sometime down the road when you retire, how
                                                           would you like to be remembered?
What’s your advice for a person aspiring to a
leadership position in DeCA someday?                       I would like to be remembered as a store director
                                                           who was good at accomplishing the overall mission,
Be flexible; embrace change. Celebrate the                 appreciated her employees and had a very positive
differences in each employee as an individual. Each        attitude.
one is unique and has special abilities and talents.

Blackwell honor ...                     Seafood Road Show program            leader our stores need for the
                                        to ensure every step had been        21st century. She cares for her
the commissary and participated         accomplished for the event.          employees with the same zeal
in the design, scripting and            After each sale she met with her     she shows to customers, and has
filming of the commercials,             team to discuss what went well       the ability to transform obstacles
working hand-in-hand with the           and opportunities for improving      into successes. Judy steps outside
base television production crew to      or refining the process. That        her defined ‘box’ and creates an
ensure the ads were recorded and        attention to detail helped Fort      atmosphere of learning, doing
then aired well in advance of the       Huachuca Commissary earn the         and teaching in her store – for the
event.                                  No. 1 spot in seafood sales for      benefit of everyone.”
     Mendez developed a “best           DeCA West.                               The Blackwell award program
practice” checklist of milestones            “Judy demonstrates daily her    honors the late Air Force Chief
and held weekly meetings with           ability to effectively articulate    Master Sgt. Michael W.
team members for DeCA West’s            her vision to virtually every        Blackwell, a former senior
                                        stakeholder in her commissary,”      enlisted advisor to the agency
                                        said DeCA Chief Operating Officer    director.
                                        Rick Page. “She is the type of

54    decavision!Summer 2008
                               Workforce Recruitment Program

                Not just another summer job
                      Dr. Pete Skirbunt                        disabled people who are college      Program helps
                       DeCA historian                          students.
                                                                   The program gives its             both students
         his summer marks the 10th year DeCA has               participants an opportunity to        and DeCA see
         taken part in the federal government’s                gain valuable job experience,
         Workforce Recruitment Program.                        along with the possibility of          how suited
         The program helps DeCA recruit young,                 eventually transitioning to          they are to one
  educated people into its workforce by giving                 permanent, full-time federal
  college students with disabilities an opportunity            positions. Participants’ salaries        another
  to demonstrate their talents. The program differs            are paid by the Department of
  from other government hiring initiatives that target         Labor, while the Office of the Secretary of Defense
  people with disabilities in that it specifically seeks out   plays a supervisory role for defense agencies who
                                                               take part.

                                                               Targeted disabilities
                                                                  Technically, participants are known as “individuals
                                                               with targeted disabilities,” a designation allowing
                                                               them to be quickly hired, should any office at DeCA
                                                               – or elsewhere within the federal government
                                                               – require their services. Since they are able to attend,
                                                               and succeed in, college-level classes (they must have
                                                               at least a C average), their disabilities affect neither
                                                               their schoolwork nor their job performance.
                                                                    For example, several of DeCA’s WRP students
                                                               this summer had hearing disorders and used some
                                                               type of hearing aid device, but this did not impede
                                                               their performance. To be sure of this, the students
                                                               completed a series of interviews so the agency could
                                                               find them a position commensurate with their
                                                               abilities, interests, and fields of study.

                                                               Well-qualified cadre
                                                                     All of DeCA’s WRP students were well-qualified
                                                               to do the work for which they were hired, said
                                                               Tyvonia Ward, an equal employment opportunity
                                                               program manager who coordinates the agency’s WRP
                                                               participation. She emphasized that the program’s
                                                               purpose is not simply to provide temporary help at
                                                               no cost to the agency, nor is it “just a summer job”
                                                               designed to give students money for doing minor
                                                               clerical tasks. Instead, she says, the WRP should
                                                               benefit both the students and DeCA.
                                                                     “It gives us an opportunity to see if the students
                                                               fit into a career path,” she said, “ for them to see
                                                               how well they enjoy working here, and for DeCA
                                                               to see how truly capable these people are. Through
John Halsey, Oceana Commissary, Va., served in a local         WRP, the agency and the students can realistically
student work experience program last year, similar to          determine whether or not they are suited for each
the Workforce Recruitment Program. He was soon hired           other.”
as a student worker then as a store associate following              This summer, 14 WRP students worked for DeCA:
his graduation. DeCA photo: Rick Brink                         two at DeCA West, two at Oceana Commissary,

                                                                       Presidential praise
                                                                       Bob Davison, left, meatcutter at
                                                                       Columbus Commissary, Miss.,
                                                                       accompanied by his wife, Maj.
                                                                       Lisa Davison, right, receives the
                                                                       Presidential Volunteer Service Award
                                                                       from President George W. Bush at
                                                                       a White House ceremony on May 6.
                                                                       Davison recently raised more than
                                                                       $350,000 in donations at Scott Air
                                                                       Force Base, Ill., for Operation Home
                                                                       Front, along with a million phone
                                                                       cards for service members overseas.
                                                                       Courtesy photo

Va., one at Port Hueneme Commissary, Calif.,                  Port Hueneme’s Jeremy Alvarez was one of
and nine at DeCA headquarters. All served in jobs        four WRP students hired by DeCA at summer’s end,
matching their education, chosen field of study and      as well as Tanya Johnson, Bolling Commissary,
abilities.                                               D.C.; and Trenée Harris and Courtney Rogers,
Bringing new ideas                                                                  Hazel Ennis, store director at
     In welcoming this year’s headquarters WRP                                 Oceana, has engaged the services
students, Rick Page, DeCA’s chief operating officer,                           of WRP students for several
acknowledged their potential, telling them, “DeCA                              summers. Last year, after the
needs enthusiastic, dedicated people like you, who                             summer WRP funding ended, she
bring us new ideas and new perspectives.”                                      hired two of her WRP people as
     Four of this year’s students actually graduated                           student employees, and they now
at the beginning of the summer. A degree can secure                            work in the Oceana store part-time
students a position classified GS-5 or higher; and a                           and go to school full-time. Their
master’s degree, GS-7 or GS-9. Some graduates at                               jobs are primarily administrative,
other agencies were brought in at the GS-12 level.       Hazel Ennis
                                                                                but they spend a lot of time on the
     Ward believes properly placed recruits gain                                sales floor with pricing, ordering
valuable experience, demonstrate their capabilities,     and inventory duties.
increase their self-confidence, and eventually become         “Some supervisors might be reluctant to
dependable, full-time federal employees. “They are       participate because of the word ‘disability,’ but that’s
bright and energetic, and should be given increasingly   a big mistake,” Ennis said. “So is the idea that these
difficult or complicated work to allow them to show      people are too young; they’re not. They’re adults;
their potential,” she said.                              they’re college students or recent college graduates.
                                                         My experience with them is that they’re smart, hard-
Nothing to lose, everything to gain                      working individuals. We’re always willing to give
    This summer, June Bazile, store director at Port     them a chance, while they see for themselves if they
Hueneme, said she was “very excited” to have a WRP       would enjoy working for us.”
student who worked in accounting and did a little             Ennis feels DeCA has nothing to lose and
light stocking. She also has partnered with the local    everything to gain from the WRP.
school district’s student hire program. “If we can’t          “DeCA essentially gets to audition these workers
give back to the community, we’re in trouble as a        at no cost to the agency,” she said. “I’ve always been
society,” she said. “We have to give opportunities for   very pleased with them. Giving people a chance to
everyone. To do that, we partner with other federal,     get a start in life is a good way for us to give back to
state and local agencies whenever we can. The WRP        the community. There’s a lot of satisfaction in that. I
gave us another opportunity to do that.”                 would definitely say to any DeCA supervisor, ‘Give it
                                                         a try!’”

56    decavision!Summer 2008

                 Fort Hamilton scores
                     a merchandising
                   bonanza by way of
                   this talented artist
                  and her amazing ...

                      Bruce Hill
              Fort Hamilton public affairs

         elieve it or not, the Statue of Liberty was built
         in less than a week – and the Empire State
         Building was done in about the same amount
         of time. The sole architect wasn’t even tired;
in fact, she may just be getting started.
     That’s because the builder, Jacquline
Pulgarin, store associate at Fort Hamilton
Commissary, N.Y., is a skilled and innovative
papier-mâché artist who rekindled her hobby
recently after it lay dormant since high school 18           Store associate Jacquline Pulgarin goes through pounds of
years ago.                                                   newspaper to cover the 10-foot skyscraper at Fort Hamilton
     “I’ve always been an artsy person,” she declared.       Commissary. U.S. Army photo: Bruce Hill
“I do a lot of art projects at home – anything from
sewing to painting – never really just one way of            “craftiness,” management asked her to accept the two
doing things.”                                               merchandising challenges.
     The reawakening took place when the annual                   “We knew she was perfect for the job,” said
New York Apple and Frozen Food Month display                 Carolyn Ferguson, the store’s general manager.
contests began. Because of her well-known                    “She really is a well-rounded, creative worker.”
                                                                  They didn’t have to ask twice, and Pulgarin began
                                                             immediately. The main rule of the frozen food contest
                                                             was to involve penguins, a traditional theme reflected
                                                             in the amber, gold and silver penguin trophies
                                                             awarded for outstanding merchandising in military
                                                             commissaries and retail grocery stores throughout
                                                             the United States.
                                                                  “Delores Hill, the store administrator, and
                                                             I came up with the idea of using penguins as
                                                             immigrants arriving in New York City for the first

time,” she said. “I thought it would be a good
idea to try to tell a story.”
    The first page of her story took shape
in the form of two papier-mâché penguins.
Then it took her about six days to build the
intricately detailed Statue of Liberty, which
stood about 8 feet tall. Then she finished the
Empire State Building, towering about 10
feet, to complete her paper New York City.
    For the average admirer, her work
may look difficult. She admits it requires
patience, tenacity, a lot of cardboard
boxes, crates, layers and layers of shredded
newspaper, paint, plastic foam, flour, water
and other basic household items such as
broom handles to build a city.
    “If I make it up in my mind to get it
done, I won’t sleep well until it’s done,” she
    Her husband Jorge, a sergeant first
class Army recruiter and computer graphics
artist, gave her occasional pointers, but she
performed all the labor. Pulgarin considers
herself a “Jane-of-all-trades” and a master
of none, but she has high hopes that Fort
Hamilton will place well in each contest.
    “I still have a feeling that the Empire
State Building is not going to be my last        Jacquline Pulgarin uses flour and water as adhesive for her
project here at the commissary,” she said.       construction material.

             Shoppers at Fort Hamilton Commissary take their time admiring Jacquline Pulgarin’s paper city as
             she completes the finishing touches right before their eyes. U.S. Army photos: Bruce Hill

58   decavision!Summer 2008
                        Aviano store director earns coveted award

       Commitment to excellence
         Gerri Young
DeCA Europe public affairs officer

       he European Chapter of
       the American Logistics
       Association presented
       the Joel McCarty
Commitment to Excellence
Award for 2008 to Ronald
Foster, store director, Aviano
Commissary, Italy, in August.
    The award was created
in honor of Joel McCarty,
former chief of operations
for DeCA Europe, who died
in January 2000 after a long
and distinguished career with
the agency. It is presented
annually to the employee who
“has exemplified the highest
of standards and commitment
to excellence equal to or above
that which Joel McCarty
    Foster, a native of Florida,
began his commissary career
in 1979 following eight years        Ron Foster, store director, Aviano Commissary, discusses the worldwide case
in the U.S. Air Force and three      lot sale with Belinda Dowdle, grocery manager and Silvana Morandin, deli
years working for the U.S. Navy      supervisor. To make the case lot sale more exciting, the deli offered selected
in Florida. Beginning as a store     products at sale prices during the same days. DeCA photo: Chiara De Conto
worker in San Vito, Italy, he
advanced to store manager,               He was previously                  Eschenbach, Michael
intern, liaison, commissary          recognized through performance         Tallon, Michael Dowling
officer and commissary               and special act awards in 1993,        and Melvin Fox, all former
management specialist                1995, 1998, 1999 and 2000.             or present members of DeCA
positions in Italy, New Jersey       Foster is well known and               Europe, the only area of
and Pennsylvania, with the vast      respected for applying his sense       consideration.
majority of his years spent in       of humor and vast commissary
Italy.                               knowledge to the operation of
                                     the showcase commissary at
                                     Aviano. He and his wife, Maria
                                     Teresa, have six daughters.
                                         Foster became the 11 th
                                     recipient, his name added to
                                     the perpetual trophy residing
                                     in the headquarters building of
                                     DeCA Europe. Previous winners
                                     of the award include Robert
                                     Tate, Shirley Marshall,
                                     Nora Goovers, Gerlinde
                                     Smith, Harry Nichols,
                                     John Campbell, Arthur

                                                           ‘Heart of the Benefit’ celebrates
            Reyna Hall                                     the accomplishments and winning
                                                           work philosophies of three
            Sheppard Commissary, Texas                     outstanding DeCA team members.
Describe your job in computer-assisted ordering.
My No. 1 responsibility is providing good customer          ‘Reyna is a people person. She is
service. As CAO, I maintain DeCA’s Interactive
Business System and CAO system, keeping product
                                                            friendly with all customers and
balance on hand current so proper quantities are            has developed a special rapport
ordered. I order, receive and inventory tobacco             with base members who place
products and I ensure salvage items are handled
properly, either by marking them down for sale or
                                                            large orders for unit functions.
disposing of them. I fill special orders, build displays    Reyna shows our customers
and, when needed, fill in as a cashier and in other         that their needs are her most
departments. I do my best each day to present a
pleasant and positive attitude.
                                                            important mission. When there is
                                                            a reason for the store to celebrate,
What do you like best about your job?                       Reyna takes the reins, and her
Customer relations — I enjoy helping the customers.
I find joy in seeing smiles on our customers’ faces
                                                            enthusiasm raises the morale of
when their needs are met.                                   all store employees.’
How do you create raving fans?                                                           Donna Romolton
I listen to our customers and use every suggestion                                         Store director
as an opportunity to create a raving fan. When
customers are looking for a product, I offer them
as many options as possible. I make sure that our          What’s your career history?
customers know they are the reason we are here by          I’ve always enjoyed helping people. My first job was
giving them my undivided attention.                        a cook in a bowling center, and I realized then that
                                                           I enjoy serving people. After 10 years working as a
                                                           cook and as a cashier for the services squadron at
                                                           Nellis AFB, Nev., and Moody AFB, Ga., I came to
                                                           work at Sheppard Commissary as a cashier. Not only
                                                           do I enjoy serving people in the commissary, I also
                                                           enjoy serving people who are in need. I volunteer
                                                           many hours each year to help those who have been
                                                           impacted by disaster.

                                                           What are your professional goals?
                                                           I want to do the best job I can — I strive to be a
                                                           professional. Someday I would like to become a
                                                           full-time employee, and I want to continue to work
                                                           wherever I am needed in the commissary.

                                                           Who influenced your career most?
                                                           Store Director Donna Romolton has had the most
                                                           influence on my career because she has pushed me
                                                           to try harder and entrusted me with new duties.
                                                           Recently, she got me involved with outreach,
                                                           so I prepare for and help give the commissary
                                                           presentation to newcomers every other Tuesday. She
                                                           also has me opening the store in the morning and
            Reyna Hall                                     closing on Sunday nights. I am enjoying these new

60    decavision!Summer 2008
                                          Angie Novak
                                           Lakenheath Commissary, England

Describe your job as assistant store director.
I promote teamwork and ensure work requirements
are accomplished effectively and efficiently by giving
my employees the tools they need to perform. I lead
by example by walking the floor and making myself
accessible to customers and other employees. I
improve productivity, ensuring all employees are
trained to perform to the best of their ability to meet
customer demand. I demonstrate sound management
practices, which in turn shows commitment to our

What do you like best about your job?
I like that it doesn’t feel like work. It feels like I am
right at home with my family. I love interacting with
my customers and being able to bring a smile to their
faces, informing them of items on sale and stock
location, and providing great customer service. It gives
me a sense of honor to serve such outstanding patriots.

How do you create raving fans?
Bottom line, our mission is to provide the best possible
service to our community. I want all of our employees
to have the same enthusiasm I have, and to experience       Angie Novak
the satisfaction I get when we please our customers.
Each time a satisfied customer walks out of our             becoming a produce manager, grocery manager and
commissary, our team becomes even more unified.             store manager. I’m very happy to have been recently
                                                            promoted to assistant store director.
What’s your career history?
I was hired in February 1994 as a sales store checker       What are your professional goals?
followed by a transition to storeworker and then            My professional goal is to be the best I can be in
support clerk. I joined the “1144” commissary               whatever I am doing at all times. I would like to
management specialist program which led to                  continue my career with DeCA. I have attended
                                                            numerous courses within DeCA and would like to
                                                            seek more of the same opportunities. I hope to be a
 ‘Ms. Novak has an outstanding                              commissary store director some day.
 work ethic and is extremely                                Who influenced your career most?
 dedicated to Lakenheath                                    Maureen O’Connor, former Lakenheath store
 Commissary. She is a great team                            director and now serving in DeCA’s policy and
                                                            performance planning directorate, has exerted
 player who gives 110 percent of                            great influence on my career. She believed in my
 herself and her time to accomplish                         “can-do” attitude. Ernestina Vasquez, now store
 the mission of providing the                               director at Bitburg, Germany, taught me that you
                                                            need to be productive on a daily basis. Catherine
 commissary benefit. Ms. Novak                              Mason, another Lakenheath store director now
 continually goes above and beyond                          assigned to DeCA corporate planning, was helpful in
 to please our customers.’                                  teaching me proper guidelines for store operations.
                                                            Jeff Rose, now store director for Spangdahlem
                                                            Commissary, Germany, taught me how to create
                                 Riccardo Lieffort          exciting displays as well as a stimulating shopping
                                    Store director          environment.

                                    Michelle Wells
                                                  Fort Lee, Va.
Describe your job as store associate.
Maintaining positive customer relations is the most
important aspect of my job. I verify invoices and
receipts and ensure that prices are accurate and
properly displayed. I help maintain a well stocked
produce section and store and rotate produce in
accordance with store procedures. When these
tasks are done effectively and efficiently, they help
maintain the positive bond our customers have with
our store.

What do you like best about your job?
I get great personal satisfaction facing the challenge
of not knowing exactly what to expect from day to
day and being allowed some creativity to accomplish
the job. I really enjoy working with everyone and I’m
always learning new things.

How do you create raving fans?
I start off with a warm, sincere smile. Patience is
also a virtue when dealing with customers, many of
whom are retirees. Knowing the layout of the store
and exercising listening skills are key, because a
lot of times customers want to know where to find
particular items.

What’s your career history?
I began working in the commissary system in 2003
at Baumholder, Germany, as a grocery worker and
became the office support clerk a month and a half
later. My husband is in the Army and we came to Fort
Lee in 2006 where I’ve been working in the Fort Lee
Commissary produce department.
                                                          Michelle Wells
Who influenced your career most?
My husband, Command Sgt. Maj. Jeffery Wells,            Commissary in Germany. He gave me great support
is the epitome of a great husband and the most          and training. Joe Warwick, the former store
influential person in my life. His 30-year career in    administrator at Baumholder, gave me the most
the military has been a truly positive influence in     support and encouragement along with opportunity
my life and in the decisions I                          to advance in my career.
make. Our produce manager,
Leroy Stobert, gives me great
support and shows appreciation
for my work. George Wills, the             ‘Michelle is a hard worker with a can-do attitude.
grocery manager when I was at              Her smile tells it all when it comes to relating to
Baumholder, Germany, is now
store manager at Vogelweh
                                           customers and co-workers. She’s very helpful and
                                         patient, which makes shopping and working at
                                         the Fort Lee Commissary more enjoyable for all.’

                                                                                   Rolando Aplasca
                                                                                 Store administrator

62    decavision!Summer 2008
             obituaries                            MISAO MATSUIE, FA Sasebo, Japan
                                                   SALLY MOORE, HQ DeCA, Va.
                                                                                                   CHONG YONG-CHOL, Camp Casey, South Korea
                                                                                                   CHARLES HARRIS JR., Osan CDC, South Korea
                                                   JOSE PANGILIAN, NB San Diego, Calif.            HEINZ ILLNER, Bitburg, Germany
ROBIN BURCHAM, Fort Rucker, Ala. (May 13)          MARY PATRICK, HQ DeCA, Va.                      PERRY JOHNSON, Fort Jackson, S.C.
RITA DE NIJS, Schinnen, Germany (July 23)          VERNEY PERMENTER, HQ DeCA, Va.                  GABI JUNG, Kaiserslautern CDC, Germany
PAULINE FARRAR, Hanscom AFB, Mass. (May 19)        * DAN PISZCZ, HQ DeCA, Va. (43)                 KONG YONG-IN, Taegu CDC, South Korea
MARIA FERGUSON (retired), Babenhausen,             SANTOS QUITORIANO, NB San Diego, Calif.         HANNI NAHRUN, Baumholder, Germany
  Germany (Aug. 16)                                NORMA RAGADIO, NB San Diego, Calif.             DIETER PRANDZIOCH, Kaiserslautern CDC,
GENE LANDIS (retired), CMPP, Germany (May 19)      DEBRA REID, NOLF Imperial Beach, Calif.          Germany
DIANE PEDRICK, DeCA West, Calif. (March 28)        DAISY REYES, McClellan, Calif.                  WERNER STEFFEN, Bitburg, Germany
CINDY ROBINSON, DeCA West, Calif. (June 2)         GREG ROUDEN, NB San Diego, Calif.               ACHIM WEINGARTH, Kaiserslautern CDC,
JEFFERY SMITH, Fort Rucker, Ala. (May 2)           RUDOLFO RULL, NOLF Imperial Beach, Calif.        Germany
ASHLEY STORY, Redstone Arsenal, Ala. (July 5)      JAMES SMITH, HQ DeCA, Va.                       DALE WIRKUS, USCG ISC Kodiak, Alaska
                                                   WILLIAM “BILL” THOMPSON, Fort Huachuca,

                                                    Ariz.                                          20 years
                                                   GUILLERMO VASQUEZ, NB San Diego, Calif.         CHRISTINE ARNOLD, Grafenwoehr, Germany
                                                   * JUNSAKU YOSHIYAMA, Sagamihara, Japan          HENRY ASHFORD, Dexheim, Germany
* JAMES “ANDY” ANDERSON, DeCA Europe,                (47)                                          RICHARD BAES, HQ DeCA, Lackland AFB, Texas
  Germany (47)                                                                                     WILLIAM BLACKBURN, DeCA Europe, Germany
PAUL AVANSINO, McClellan, Calif.
MANUEL BALANSAY, NB San Diego, Calif.                   anniversaries                              DAVID BOWRON, Schinnen, Germany
                                                                                                   GALE CALLOWAY, HQ DeCA, Va.
CHESTER BERRY, NOLF Imperial Beach, Calif.                                                         GLORIA CORTEZ, McChord AFB, Wash.
* ROLLIN BRIGHT, Zone 15, McClellan, Calif. (43)                                                   DO LIEN-ANH, Chievres, Belgium
CARMELITA CALINDAS, McClellan, Calif.                                                              RALF DIETER DOLLWETT, DeCA Europe, Germany
PATRICIA CALVIN, NAF El Centro, Calif.                                                             PATRICE FUNDERBURK, Grafenwoehr, Germany
* PETER CONRARDY, McChord AFB, Wash. (42)                                                          SUZANNE GAGNE, HQ DeCA, Va.
SU IVY, McClellan, Calif.                                                                          LEROY GIBBS, Grafenwoehr, Germany
                                                                                                   ELLA GRANT, HQ DeCA, Va.
                                                                                                   MARIA HULETT, NAS Whidbey Island, Wash.
                                                                                                   MICHAEL KERNER, Germersheim CDC, Germany
                                                                                                   VIOLET KLAREN, HQ DeCA, Va.
                                                                                                   SHARLEE LaBRECQUE, HQ DeCA, Va.
                                                                                                   CHANTAL LEBLICQ, Chievres, Belgium
                                                                                                   JOSE LEBRUN, Chievres, Belgium
                                                                                                   DWINETTE MARTIN, Alconbury, England
                                                   Yu Hyong-Chong (50)     Pak Chi-Man (40)        LORENZO TASSAN MAZZOCCO, Aviano, Italy
                                                                                                   ANNELIESE McFARLAND, Vogelweh, Germany
                                                   (Mug shots welcomed for those with 40+ years)   CHRISTA METZ, Schweinfurt, Germany
                                                   50 years                                        LAURENCE MITCHELL, DeCA Europe, Germany
                                                   * YU HYONG-CHONG, Yongsan CDC, South Korea      JANIE MURPHY, HQ DeCA, Va.
                                                                                                   JOSEF PRISCHENK, Grafenwoehr, Germany
                                                   40 years                                        HIDEAKI SAIKUSA, FA Sasebo, Japan
James Anderson (47)       Rollin Bright (43)
                                                   BILL BROWN, HQ DeCA, Va.                        ANGELA STEIN, Ramstein AB, Germany
                                                   * PAK CHI-MAN, Osan AB, South Korea             HANS MARKUS STEINER, Sembach, Germany
                                                                                                   ANASTASIA TEODORIDIS, Bitburg, Germany
                                                   35 years                                        LYNDA VALENTINE, HQ DeCA, Va.
                                                   PAUL GRUBBS, Fort Stewart, Ga.                  ISAAC WASHINGTON JR., HQ DeCA, Va.
                                                   JOHN LEONARD, Yongsan CDC, South Korea
                                                   CHRISTIAN LESCOT, Chievres, Belgium             15 years
                                                   WOLF DIETRICH RIEWENDT, Bitburg, Germany        BEATE BRANDSTETTER, Germersheim CDC,
                                                   ALAN SKAW, USCG ISC Kodiak, Alaska                Germany
                                                                                                   OLIVER HOESS, Germersheim CDC, Germany
                                                   30 years                                        MAHMUT IRKILATA, Incirlik, Turkey
                                                   NEJAT AKIN, Izmir, Turkey                       ROSEMARIE KING, Vogelweh, Germany
                                                   BRUCE BERRY, Vicenza, Italy                     GAGE LOAN, Yongsan CDC, South Korea
                                                   DENISE BROWN, HQ DeCA, Va.                      INGRID MURAN, Aviano, Italy
Peter Conrardy (42)       Dan Piszcz (43)          LINDA BROWN, HQ DeCA, Va.                       FATMA OENDER, Germersheim CDC, Germany
                                                   BETTINE CAVANAUGH, HQ DeCA, Va.                 NECATI OENDER, Germersheim CDC, Germany
                                                   PAMELA DENNIS, Lackland AFB, Texas              DANIELA RITTHALER, Germersheim CDC,
                                                   MONICA FAGAN, Davis-Monthan AFB, Ariz.            Germany
                                                   MARIE GIAMMARCO, HQ DeCA, Va.                   BARBARA WIND, Germersheim CDC, Germany
                                                   SHIGERU HAMADA, NAF Atsugi, Japan               AYDIN YAPICI, Incirlik, Turkey
                                                   NESRIN KAYPAKOGLU, Izmir, Turkey
                                                   DOUGLAS KRELLE, Vandenberg AFB, Calif.          10 years
                                                   RICHARD “RICK” PAGE, HQ DeCA, Va.               NADIM AKBABA, Germersheim CDC, Germany
                                                   ROSE ROBERSON, HQ DeCA, Va.                     MELODY ALBERT, Davis-Monthan AFB, Ariz.
                                                   ANTHONY SOUTHER, CMPP, Germany                  LYDIA BECKER-KAMBER, Sembach, Germany
                                                   JACQUELINE WHITEPETERSON, Heidelberg,           SYLVIA BREWER, Port Hueneme, Calif.
                                                     Germany                                       STEVEN COLEMAN, Mannheim, Germany
                                                                                                   RIDA CORTEZ, McChord AFB, Wash.
                                                   25 years                                        DEBORAH COX, Ramstein AB, Germany
                                                   AN TONG-PIL, Taegu Camp Walker, South Korea     McANTHONY FOSTER, Wuerzburg, Germany
                          Junsaku Yoshiyama (47)   MARIA BRASTIANOU, Ramstein AB, Germany
* Pictured
(10 years)                                         Family member memorials                          MONICA NEWELL, USAF Academy, Colo.
CONCEPCION GARZA, Lackland AFB, Texas              Fort Buchanan, Puerto Rico: The installation’s   SHERRIE SCOTT, NAS Whidbey Island, Wash.
STEPHANIE GRAMSCH, Kaiserslautern CDC,             Fourth of July celebration highlighted a
  Germany                                          memorial service and renaming of the main        Employees of the Quarter
BENNY HARPER, HQ DeCA, Lackland AFB, Texas         gate in memory of Spc. Frances M. Vega,          3rd Quarter 2008
KIM HAK-HYON, Yongsan, South Korea                 daughter of commissary computer operator         GLENN COTTON, Fort Greely, Alaska
GLENDA McCAULEY, Lakenheath, England               WANDA BENITEZ. Vega made the ultimate            GARY DELA FUENTE, Hickam AFB, Hawaii
MURAT MESTA, Izmir, Turkey                         sacrifice while fighting the war on terrorism    DIANE GREGORY, Eielson AFB, Alaska
ROBERT JAMES MILTNER, Spangdahlem,                 in Iraq and was one of the first Puerto Rican    CLAUDIOUS JONES, Fort Wainwright, Alaska
  Germany                                          casualties of the war.
ROSALINA MORATA, Vandenberg AFB, Calif.                                                             2nd Quarter 2008
VIRGINIA MUNOZ, Vogelweh, Germany
HEIDRUN OGO, Patch Barracks, Germany                   top employees                                ERNESTO BALOLONG, NB San Diego, Calif.
                                                                                                    MARGARET BOBAK, Fort Huachuca, Ariz.
ARTHUR PATTIS, Davis-Monthan AFB, Ariz.                                                             DESIREE BOLLIG, Okinawa CDC
MARIA FRANCESCA RICCI, Livorno, Italy              Employees of the Year                            KYLE BROGDON, McConnell AFB, Kan.
SUSAN RILEY, Edwards AFB, Calif.                   (Fiscal 2008)                                    NORMA BUKOVECKAS, Malmstrom AFB, Mont.
BERTHA RODRIGUEZ, Edwards AFB, Calif.              * MELVIN SIMMONS,                                GLENN CARARINI, Misawa AB, Japan
TANIA ROUSSEAU, Chievres, Belgium                    Fort Leavenworth, Kan.                         PAMELA COACHMAN, NAWS China Lake, Calif.
JACKELINE TORRES, Schweinfurt, Germany             ARMANDA                                          KENTON CONNER, Iwakuni CDC, Japan
MIGUEL TORRES, HQ DeCA, Va.                          VARNADO,                                       RIDA CORTEZ, Eielson AFB, Alaska
JANEL SMITH, McChord AFB, Wash.                      Cannon AFB, N.M.                               GLEN COTTON, Fort Greely, Alaska
RONALD SMITH, HQ DeCA, Washington, D.C.            JOE YRACHETA, NB                                 ALEXIS DISMAYA, McChord AFB, Wash.
JOSEFINA STEWART, FA Sasebo, Japan                   San Diego, Calif.                              BRIDGETT GOINS, McConnell AFB, Kan.
ANITA TOWNSEND, Port Hueneme, Calif.                                                                JOE GONZALES, McChord AFB, Wash.
SONOK WILLIAMS, McChord AFB, Wash.                 Employees of the Year                            MELINDA GRIFFIETH, Kadena AB, Okinawa
LOUIS STEPHAN WILSON, Wiesbaden, Germany           (Fiscal 2007)                                    BRUCE HEITKAMP, Eielson AFB, Alaska
TORU YOKUDA, MCB Camp Courtney, Okinawa            HWANG CHUN-SOK,                                  HIROMI HIGA, Okinawa CDC
CARL YOUNG, NFA Yokosuka, Japan                      Osan CDC, South                                HISAO HIGA, Okinawa CDC
                                                                              Melvin Simmons
                                                     Korea                                          TETSUYA HIGA, Okinawa CDC
5 years
KIM HYE-I, Osan CDC, South Korea
YONG S LONG, Taegu Camp Walker, South Korea
YI YU-SU, Osan CDC, South Korea

     DeCA warriors
Returning from military service
DeCA East:
contract monitor,
Carlisle Barracks
Commissary, Pa.
Military rank, title and
duty station: Sergeant
1st Class, supply
supervisor maintaining
and controlling
$1.4 million
equipment inventory,
Headquarters and
Company, 213th             Doug Roth
Area Support Group,
Pennsylvania Army
National Guard, Allentown, Pa.
Duty location and inclusive dates: Operation
Iraqi Freedom, April 2007 to May 2008

DeCA West:
store checker, Davis-
Monthan Commissary,
Ariz.                                                MAKING A DIFFERENCE: James Winstead, maintenance storeworker at
Military rank, title                               MacDill Commissary, Fla., checks out a new swing arm for produce bins, an idea
and duty station:
Senior airman,                                     he submitted to the Improve DeCA’s Efficiency and Service program, or IDEAS.
services apprentice,                               His suggestion paid off with a cash award when 267 of the swing arms were
162nd Fighter Wing,                                deployed to commissaries throughout DeCA East, helping make price changes
Arizona Air National
Guard, Tucson, Ariz.                               safer and more efficient, resulting in more than $25,000 in savings. Suggestions
Duty locations and                                 require an outline for a specific area of improvement, possible solution and
                         Jamie Hernandez
inclusive dates: Davis-                            expected benefits. For complete details, visit
Monthan Air Force
Base, Ariz., and Lackland Air Force Base, Texas;   employees/home.cfm then click on “Ideas Program,” or e-mail the program
November 2007 to April 2008                        manager at DeCA photo: Hector Granado
                                                                                                                                    * Pictured
64      decavision!Summer 2008

   LIFESAVING TEAM: Four staff members of the U.S.               and certificate of appreciation for initial response.
Air Force Academy Commissary, Colo., achieved                    Certificates of appreciation and Special Act awards
honors for their roles in saving a customer’s life               were also presented to Pamplin and three others,
in a double medical emergency in the store. Dave                 from left: storeworker James Klein, and tellers
Pamplin, far right, meatcutter leader and emergency              Michelle Reynolds and Amy Dahlhoff. DeCA photo:
medical technician, received a commander’s coin                  Kelly Wentling

HAJIME HONDA, MCB Camp Kinser, Okinawa     1st Quarter 2008                          2nd Quarter 2007
HWANG CHUN-SOK, Osan CDC, South Korea      KENNY BARRY, McConnell AFB, Kan.          JESSICA WART, Chievres, Belgium
ARLENE JAMES, McConnell AFB, Kan.          MARCO DIAL, McClellan, Calif.
ANTONIO JONES, Port Hueneme, Calif.        LORI DISHON, McConnell AFB, Kan.          Employees of the Month
KIM HYE-I, Osan CDC, South Korea           JASON EWART, Mountain Home AFB, Idaho     May 2008
TERRY KLEMENTZ, Malmstrom AFB, Mont.       JOHN MARK GAY, McConnell AFB, Kan.        TSUNEO ARATA, Yokota AB, Japan
ADAM LABATO, MCLB Barstow, Calif.          ASHLEY HARTMAN, McConnell AFB, Kan.       JIMLYN AVECILLA, Port Hueneme, Calif.
DENISE MAPES, Edwards AFB, Calif.          HWANG CHUN-SOK, Osan CDC, South Korea     YONG BORSELLA, Yongsan, South Korea
DIANNE MARSH, March ARB, Calif.            MAKOTO KINJO, MCB Camp Kinser, Okinawa    DACIA BOWDEN, Kadena AB, Okinawa
MARTHA MARTINEZ, NB Pearl Harbor, Hawaii   CASSIDY NOTHERN, Eielson AFB, Alaska      CHOE IN-TAEK, Yongsan CDC, South Korea
BEVERLY MILLER, McChord AFB, Wash.         VERONICA OSTEEN, Eielson AFB, Alaska      CHRIS CRUZ, FA Sasebo, Japan
SAMUEL MINNIX, McChord AFB, Wash.          JACKIE PATAGUE, NB San Diego, Calif.      MAKOTO FUKUCHI, MCB Camp Kinser,
ROBYN MITCHELL, NAF Atsugi, Japan          ELEANOR ROBISON, Fort Huachuca, Ariz.       Okinawa
PAK SONG-KANG, Osan CDC, South Korea       KENNETH TAFT, MCAS Iwakuni, Japan         KRISTENE GAGARIN, NFA Yokosuka, Japan
PAK SUN-HYON, Osan CDC, South Korea        RONNIE WRIGHT, MCB Camp Foster, Okinawa   NAOTO HAMAMOTO, Iwakuni CDC, Japan
RACHEL ROMERO, Hario Village, Japan        YI SONG-POK, Osan CDC, South Korea        UEZU HIDEMITSU, MCB Camp Foster, Okinawa
DRUSILLA SLATE, McChord AFB, Wash.                                                   TADASHI HIRAIDE, Misawa AB, Japan
ANDRE STEELE, McConnell AFB, Kan.                                                    HONG SONK-OK, Osan, South Korea
LESLITA WILLIAMS, McChord AFB, Wash.                                                 HWANG CHUN-SOK, Osan CDC, South Korea
JUNSAKU YOSHIYAMA, Sagamihara, Japan                                                 CONSUELO IMAOKU, MCAS Iwakuni, Japan


  COMMISSARY OASIS: Randolph Commissary, Texas, featured a poster created by the daughter of Kenneth
Dawson, produce store associate, in its display in May for Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month. DeCA photo:
Ruby Ervin

MACHIKO KING, Edwards AFB, Calif.       BEECHER DE LACUESTA, NFA Yokosuka, Japan   KAREN RADKE, Port Hueneme, Calif.
NALKO KUBOTA, Hario Village, Japan      ASHLEY FRAZIER, Heidelberg, Germany        TOMOMARU SHIROISHI, NAF Atsugi, Japan
DAISUKE MIYAGI, Okinawa CDC              Okinawa                                   HIROSHI TERUYA, Okinawa CDC
EMI SAITO, NAF Atsugi, Japan            MISAO HIGA, MCB Camp Foster, Okinawa       SON YONG-HO, Yongsan AB, South Korea
RYO TAMAKI, Okinawa CDC                 HIROMORI HIGASHIONNA, Okinawa CDC
KATSUSHI TSUBOTA, Okinawa CDC           MICHELLE HOSSAIN, Edwards AFB, Calif.      March 2008
HARUE YAMADA, MCB Camp Courtney,        YUN HWA-SIK, Osan CDC, South Korea         STEPHANIE AVILA, FA Sasebo, Japan
 Okinawa                                TOMOKASTU ICHIDA, Iwakuni CDC, Japan       GLENN CARARINI, Misawa AB, Japan
YI HONG-KI, Yongsan CDC, South Korea    SHOJI ISHIHARA, Okinawa CDC                PENNY CARPENTER, Edwards AFB, Calif.
YUN HWA-SIK, Osan CDC, South Korea      KIM SUN-TAE, Yongsan AB, South Korea       CHOE SONG-NAM, Yongsan CDC, South Korea
                                        NOBUKO KINJO, Kadena AB, Okinawa           KENTON CONNER, Iwakuni CDC, Japan
April 2008                              NAOKI KOGA, Yokota AB, Japan               SHOKO EGUCHI, NFA Yokosuka, Japan
ROBERT ARMEL, Okinawa CDC               TAKEMI NAKAMURA, MCB Camp Kinser,          CHOKEN FUKUHARA, Okinawa CDC
MYONG BROWN, Yonsan AB, South Korea      Okinawa                                   MELANIE GARDNER, Yokota AB, Japan
NO CHONG-KU, Yongsan AB, South Korea
HWANG CHUN-SOK, Osan CDC, South Korea

66     decavision!Summer 2008
 Courtney, Okinawa
MASATO KATSUKI, Sagamihara, Japan
 Foster, Okinawa
ALVI ORTEGA, MCAS Iwakuni, Japan
 Kinser, Okinawa
ANA TUCK, NBK Bremerton, Wash.
YI UI-YONG, Osan CDC, South Korea

February 2008
SALLI BURRELL, Edwards AFB, Calif.
CHRIS CHAVEZ, Port Hueneme, Calif.
 South Korea
 Courtney, Okinawa
                                             DRIVING UPSTREAM: Vicenza Commissary, Italy, borrowed a World War II-era jeep
 Korea                                    to promote StarKist tuna in a mass display to grab customers’ attention. The jeep runs
AMY KELSAW, FA Sasebo, Japan              and has been fully rebuilt by its private owner. S & K Sales photo: Romi Sandruck
KIM KI-SONG, Yongsan, South Korea
KIM UN-CHONG, Osan AB, South Korea
LORIE LEAVITT, Yongsan, South Korea             ConAgra Truckload Sale Display           General Mills Cinco de Mayo Display
MAYUDO MAXWELL, Sagamihara, Japan               DeCA East: FORT BENNING, Ga.; NAS        DeCA West: LAUGHLIN AFB, Texas
IONA MELEISEA, NB Pearl Harbor, Hawaii          PATUXENT RIVER, Md.
KIYONOBY NAKAISHI, Okinawa CDC                  DeCA Europe: RAMSTEIN AB, Germany        General Mills Warming Up America
NAOTO NAKAMURA, MCB Camp Kinser,                DeCA West: ALTUS AFB, Okla.; CAMP        DeCA East: McGUIRE AFB, N.J.
 Okinawa                                        CASEY, OSAN AB, TAEGU CAMP WALKER,       DeCA West: NAWS CHINA LAKE, Calif., bands
SHINICHI NUMATA, Misawa AB, Japan               YONGSAN, South Korea; CAMP PENDLETON,    1-4; EDWARDS AFB, Calif., bands 5-6
ANN PALOSCHAVEZ, MCAS Iwakuni, Japan            LEMOORE, McCLELLAN, PORT HUENEME, NB     Idaho Potato Lover’s Display
SIM HUI-SONG, Osan CDC, South Korea             SAN DIEGO, Calif.; FORT BLISS, Texas     DeCA East: McGUIRE AFB, N.J., 1st place;
SOLEDAD SIVUMAKE, NBK Bremerton, Wash.                                                   NAS JACKSONVILLE, Fla.; 2nd place; FORT
EDEN SULLIVAN, NFA Yokosuka, Japan              Dr. Pepper Harley Display                CAMPBELL, Ky., 3rd place
TOMOMI TAKAO, Yokota AB, Japan                  DeCA West: MISAWA AB, Japan              DeCA West: FORT LEAVENWORTH, Kan.,
SANEATSU TSUHA, Okinawa CDC                                                              1st place; FORT RILEY, Kan., 2nd place;
KEVIN WHITFIELD, NAF Atsugi, Japan              E&C News Big Game Display                SHEPPARD AFB, Texas, 3rd place
JAMES WHITMORE, Sheppard AFB, Texas             DeCA East: FORT BELVOIR, Va.
YI MUN-U, Yongsan, South Korea                                                           Keebler Hollow Tree Display
SATOSHI YOGI, Kadena AB, Okinawa                Elite Nut Produce Contest                DeCA East: FORT CAMPBELL, Ky., LITTLE
TAKAESU YOSHIHATSU, MCB Camp Foster,            DeCA East: FORT GORDON, FORT             ROCK AFB, Ark., large; NSF DAHLGREN, Va.,
 Okinawa                                        McPHERSON, Ga.; NAS MAYPORT, Fla.; NSY   small
                                                PORTSMOUTH, N.H. (3rd consecutive year,  DeCA Europe: LAKENHEATH, England, large;
January 2008                                    selling 1,395 pounds)                    SPANGDAHLEM, Germany, small
SUSANA DOCUSIN, NBK Bremerton, Wash.            DeCA West: TINKER AFB, Okla.             DeCA West: DAVIS MONTHAN AFB, Ariz.,
CHARLIE ESCUE, NB Pearl Harbor, Hawaii                                                   MCAS MIRAMAR, Calif., YONGSAN, South
                                                Frito-Lay Super Bowl Sales               Korea, large; MALMSTROM AFB, Mont., NAF
                                                DeCA West: CAMP CARROLL, South Korea;    ATSUGI, Japan, small
       pro honors                               MISAWA AB, Japan; WHITE SANDS MR, N.M.
                                                DeCA Europe: DEXHEIM, Germany            Kellogg’s NASCAR Display
(Other winners from listed contests may have                                             DeCA East: NSF DAHLGREN, Va.; McGUIRE
been published previously)                      General Mills Sand-sational Savings      AFB, N.J.
                                                DeCA East: NAS MEMPHIS, Tenn.            DeCA Europe: RAMSTEIN AB, Germany
Bruce’s Yams Worldwide Display                                                           DeCA West: ANDERSEN AFB, Guam (2nd
DeCA East: EGLIN AFB, Fla., 2nd place           General Mills Back to School Display     consecutive year); NAS NORTH ISLAND, Calif.
                                                DeCA East: McGUIRE AFB, N.J., honorable
Clorox Health and Wellness Sale                 mention                                  Kraft Excellence in Execution
DeCA West: DAVIS-MONTHAN AFB, Ariz.;                                                     DeCA East: NSF DAHLGREN, Va.; McGUIRE
FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas                                                                  AFB, N.J.

LaChoy Chinese New Year Display                NFL Tailgate Display                          Procter & Gamble Special Olympics
DeCA East: CARLISLE BARRACKS, Pa.; NSF         DeCA West: MISAWA AB, Japan, large store      DeCA East: ZONE 2, best region; MCLB
DAHLGREN, Va.; HURLBURT FIELD, Fla.; NS                                                      ALBANY, FORT BENNING, Ga.; MCAS
NEWPORT, R.I.                                  Nestlé Bring Home a Bear Display              CHERRY POINT, N.C.; NSF DAHLGREN,
DeCA West: CAMP HUMPHREYS, HANNAM              DeCA East: NAS PENSACOLA, Fla.                Va.; HANSCOM AFB, Mass.; MCRD PARRIS
VILLAGE, TAEGU CAMP WALKER, YONGSAN,                                                         ISLAND, S.C. ; WALTER REED AMC, Md.
South Korea; MARCH ARB, McCLELLAN,             Nestlé Good Food, Good Life Display           DeCA West: ZONE 35, best zone; KADENA
PORT HUENEME, VANDENBERG AFB, Calif.;          DeCA East: ZONE 26, best zone; NSCS           AB, Okinawa; MISAWA AB, Japan; NB SAN
MISAWA AB, Japan; OFFUTT AFB, Neb.;            ATHENS, Ga.; NS GREAT LAKES, Mich.;           DIEGO, SAN ONOFRE, Calif.; TAEGU CAMP
VANCE AFB, Okla.                               KEESLER AFB, Miss.; LITTLE ROCK AFB, Ark.;    WALKER, South Korea; YUMA PG, Ariz.
                                               SCOTT AFB, Ill.; WHITEMAN AFB, Mo.
Land of the Free Display                       DeCA West: NBK BANGOR, Wash.; FORT            Progresso Soup Display
DeCA West: MCCLELLAN, Calif.                   HUACHUCA, Ariz.; FORT SILL, Okla.; F.E.       DeCA West: FORT BLISS, Texas; KIRTLAND
                                               WARREN AFB, Wyo.; MOFFETT FA, PORT            AFB, N.M.
March Madness Display                          HUENEME, Calif. ; SCHOFIELD BARRACKS,
DeCA East: NIOC SUGAR GROVE, W.Va.             Hawaii                                        Quaker Annual Free Breakfast Display
DeCA West: DUGWAY PG, Utah; FORT                                                             DeCA East: FORT BENNING, Ga.; FORT
CARSON, Colo.; USCG ISC KODIAK, Alaska;        New York/T. Marzetti Display                  LEONARD WOOD, Mo.; GUNTER AFB, Ala.;
LIGGETT, NAS LEMOORE, McCLELLAN, ORD                                                         Mich.
COMMUNITY, Calif.                              New York State Apple Display                  DeCA West: BEALE AFB, Calif.; CANNON
                                               DeCA East: FORT DRUM, N.Y. (4th consecutive   AFB, N.M., honorable mention; FORT HOOD II,
McCormick Grill Season                         year)                                         Texas, honorable mention
DeCA Europe: LAKENHEATH, England               DeCA West: FORT RILEY, McCONNELL AFB,
DeCA West: NAF EL CENTRO, Calif., VANCE AFB,   Kan.; LACKLAND AFB, SHEPPARD AFB, Texas       Quaker/Tropicana Start Your Day Right Display
Okla.                                                                                        DeCA East: COLUMBUS AFB, Miss.; DOVER
                                               Procter & Gamble Hottest of the Hot           AFB, Del.; GUNTER AFB, Ala.
Michigan Apple Display                         DeCA East: NSF DAHLGREN, Va.; FORT            DeCA West: BEALE AFB, ORD COMMUNITY,
                                               Mo.; SCOTT AFB, Ill.; WHITEMAN AFB, Mo.       OSAN AB, South Korea; FAIRCHILD AFB,
Milk-Bone Canine Assistants Display            DeCA West: FORT CARSON, PETERSON AFB,         Wash.; KADENA AB, Okinawa; KIRTLAND
DeCA West: TRAVIS AFB, Calif.                  Colo.; FORT HUACHUCA, Ariz.; FORT RILEY,      AFB, N.M.; RANDOLPH AFB, Texas; TINKER
                                               Kan.; OFFUTT AFB, Neb.                        AFB, Okla.; YOKOTA AB, Japan
                                                                                             DeCA Europe: ALCONBURY, England

  OLYMPIC SPIRIT: A crew of seven people worked from 7 p.m. until 3 a.m. on this Olympics-themed display,
putting up 5,000 12-packs of soda at McGuire Commissary, N.J. DeCA photo: John Zoubra

68     decavision!Summer 2008
                                                                                                                  FORT GILLEM, Ga.: letter of
                                                                                                                  appreciation from outgoing garrison
                                                                                                                  commander, for outstanding support
                                                                                                                  FORT GORDON, Ga., certificate of
                                                                                                                  appreciation from retiree council for
                                                                                                                  support of retiree appreciation day
                                                                                                                  celebration activities
                                                                                                                  FORT HOOD I, Texas, certificates
                                                                                                                  of appreciation from United Service
                                                                                                                  Organization Texas and National
                                                                                                                  Industries of the Blind
                                                                                                                  FORT HUACHUCA, Ariz.,
                                                                                                                  commander’s coin to management
                                                                                                                  and zone manager from deputy
                                                                                                                  garrison commander, for
                                                                                                                  outstanding support
                                                                                                                  FORT MYER, Va., Zone 24
                                                                                                                  Manager Robin Schmidt, Store
                                                                                                                  Director Tony Andre each awarded
                                                                                                                  wall clock from National Institutes
                                                                                                                  of the Blind and Dixon Marketing
                                                                                                                  for achieving highest sales increase;
                                                                                                                  store increased sales for year by 23
                                                                                                                  percent, while Zone 24 had highest
                                                                                                                  zone sales increase of 16 percent
                                                                                                                  FORT SILL, Okla., certificate of
                                                                                                                  appreciation from base commander,
   ICING ANCHORS AWAY: The commissary at Naval Air Station Oceana, Va.,                                           for outstanding support
                                                                                                                  GRAFENWOEHR, Germany,
presents another in its famous series of cakes created since 2002 for military                                    certificate of appreciation,
families celebrating the return of aircraft carriers after overseas deployments. This commander’s coin and Saint
one salutes the returning USS Harry Truman in May. Created on a specially made                                    Barbara’s medallion from base
                                                                                                                  leadership, for outstanding support
table, the cakes are more than 12 feet long and 3 feet wide, made of 39 full sheet                                HANAU, Germany, certificate of
cakes, and usually enough to serve about 2,500 people. Forty-five white chocolate                                   appreciation from National Industries
jets top this cake, purchased by the base homecoming committee for $1,500. DeCA of the Blind, for promotions
                                                                                                                   HILL AFB, Utah, certificate of
photo: Hazel Ennis                                                                                                 appreciation from National
                                                                                                     Industries for the Blind, for promotions
14th Annual StarKist “Charlie” Awards                COLUMBUS AFB, Miss., certificate of             HUNTER AAF, Ga., plaque from clinic director,
DeCA East: BANGOR ANGB, Maine; FORT                  appreciation from S & K sales for National      for outstanding support of health clinic’s 10th
McCOY, Wis., 4th consecutive year; NAS               Industries of the Blind, for product promotion; Annual Black History Month celebration;
PENSACOLA, Fla.                                      commander’s coin to Store Director Keith        certificate of appreciation from Army
DeCA Europe: LIVORNO, Italy, 1st place,              Laughinghouse, in appreciation of support       Community Service, for outstanding support of
GRAFENWOEHR, Germany, 2nd place,                     to base mission and sharing the commissary      Hunter AAF Community Mayors Program
bands 1-6; WIESBADEN, Germany, 1st place,            benefit                                         KEESLER AFB, Miss., employer certificate of
RAMSTEIN AB, Germany, 2nd place, bands 7-            DARMSTADT, Germany, letter of appreciation      appreciation to Gordy Harris, store director,
11. Honorable mention: VICENZA, Italy; CAMP          from Defense Threat Reduction Agency, for       and Alan Brown, store administrator, from
HUMPHREYS, OSAN AB, YONGSAN, South                   outstanding support during closure process,     Biloxi High School Career Technology Center,
Korea; MCB CAMP KINSER, Okinawa                      and from commander, for providing quality       recognizing support as training sponsor in
                                                     products and excellent service                  cooperative education
Unilever-Continental Sarvis Italian American Display EDWARDS AFB, Calif., certificate of             LAKENHEATH, England, certificate of
DeCA Europe: LAKENHEATH, England (2nd                appreciation from National Industries for the   appreciation from National Industries of
consecutive year)                                    Blind, for product promotion                    the Blind, for product promotion; selected
DeCA West: DAVIS-MONTHAN AFB, LUKE                   FAIRFORD, England, letter of thanks from base   installation’s June Public Health Facility of the
AFB, Ariz..; F.E. WARREN AFB, Wyo.,                  chapel, for support of children’s weekly Bible  Month, large food facility category
honorable mention                                    school                                          LAUGHLIN AFB, Texas, award for best base
                                                     NAS FALLON, Nev., letter of appreciation        organization to deli from Flying Class 08-05;
USA Pear Winter Wonderland Display                   from fighter squadron commanding officer, for   Employer of the Year award from Del Rio High
DeCA West: MALMSTROM AFB, Mont.; MARCH               outstanding support, specifically citing Perry  School, Texas
ARB, Calif.                                          Robinson, meatcutter helper, for outstanding    MacDILL AFB, Fla., plaques for Kenneth
                                                     support and commitment                          Cunningham, grocery manager, Theresa
Webco/ConAgra Red, White and Blue Display            FORT BLISS, Texas, two certificates of          O’Rourke, work supervisor, from American
DeCA Europe: HEIDELBERG, Germany                     appreciation from commanding general, for       Logistics Association, Florida Chapter, for
                                                     outstanding support during leadership award     outstanding support of Frozen Food Month
Webco Tree Top Display                               competition, and for outstanding support of     MALMSTROM AFB, Mont., certificate of
DeCA West: FORT HOOD I, Texas                        readiness exercise; certificate of appreciation appreciation from First Sergeants Association,
                                                     from National Industries for the Blind, for     for support of “Operation Warm Heart”
Organizational honors                                product promotion                               holiday meal program; commander’s coins from
ARDEC PICATINNY ARSENAL, N.J., certificate           FORT EUSTIS, Va., two certificates of           base commander and mission support group
of appreciation from garrison commander, for         excellence and Better Opportunities for Single  commander to employees and a bagger for
outstanding support of Army Emergency Relief         Soldiers coin for outstanding BOSS support      their outstanding support of customers confined
Campaign                                                                                             to the commissary during a base lockdown for
CAMP ZAMA, Japan, certificate of                                                                     security police pursuit of an armed suspect (see
appreciation from National Industries for the                                                        story, Page 50)
Blind, for product promotion


  KETCHUP ON A ROLL: Mountain Home Commissary, Idaho,                            the Heinz Golden Ketchup display contest, last year winning
now holds a five-year winning streak for Sales Band 4 in                          worldwide honors. DeCA photo: Michael Howell
     MAXWELL AFB, Ala., letter of appreciation         ROBINS AFB, Ga., plaque from air base wing        WRIGHT-PATTERSON AFB, Ohio, first
     from wing commander, in appreciation for          commander and coin from command chief             time support pin to Store Director Linda
     vendor support during troop deployments           master sergeant, for outstanding support from     Foreback, and certificate of appreciation
     NAS MERIDIAN, Miss., certificate of               vendors during the past year                      to Darlene Oliver, assistant customer service
     appreciation from N.E. Lauderdale High            ROTA, Spain, certificate of appreciation from     manager, at Sexual Assault Response
     School, Miss., for support of school employment   National Industries for the Blind, on behalf of   Coordinator Annual Appreciation ceremony
     program                                           Ability One Program                               and luncheon
     NELLIS AFB, Nev., from Jan. 1 to Feb. 1,          SCHINNEN, Germany, certificate of                 YONGSAN, South Korea, scrolls of
     achieved No. 1 ranking within DeCA for winter     appreciation from installation Equal Employment   appreciation from departing commanding
     club pack sales, with sales of $481,000           Opportunity director for contributions to         general to Kim Sun-Tae, produce manager;
     NSA NEW ORLEANS, La., letter of                   African-American History Month; thank-you         Jose Gonzalez, grocery manager; and Sik
     appreciation from Louisiana Air National          letter from Top IV president of the Joint         Choi-Chu, bagger, for outstanding support;
     Guard’s 159th Fighter Wing, for support of        Force Command Brunssum, the Netherlands,          also, commander’s coins awarded to all
     Family Day                                        for outstanding support of community Easter       managers and store director
     PATRICK AFB, Fla., commander’s coin and           egg hunt; letter from Allied Forces North
     letter of congratulations from wing commander,    International High School, thanking store and     Individual honors
     in recognition of commissary winning “Best        business partners for supporting senior class     KIM ANDERSON, store director, Wuerzburg,
     Superstore” award                                 “High Tea” event                                  Germany, commander’s coin on behalf of U.S.
     NAS PATUXENT RIVER, Md., certificate of           SCHWEINFURT, Germany, certificate of              Army Garrison Schweinfurt
     appreciation from S & K on behalf of National     appreciation from senior spouses group for        LERMA ANDERSON, customer service
     Industries for the Blind, for product support     commissary’s continued support                    supervisor, Fort McPherson, Ga., plaque from
     NAS PENSACOLA, Fla., letter of thanks from        SELFRIDGE ANGB, Mich., certificate of             garrison commander, for serving as guest
     NAS Officers Spouses Organization, for            appreciation from Anchor Bay High School          speaker at installation’s Asian-Pacific American
     support of “Stock the USO Pantry” drive           for dedicated service to career and technical     luncheon
     NSY PORTSMOUTH, N.H., certificate of              education in hiring students in commissary        BERNARD ELLISON, store director, Mannheim,
     appreciation from National Industries of the      USMA WEST POINT, N.Y., certificate of             Germany, commander’s coin from commanding
     Blind, for product promotion; plaque from Kraft   appreciation and commander’s coin from            general, for outstanding support
     Foods, for 2 percent gain over prior year         garrison commander, for vendor donations to       MARISOL HENNESSEY, grocery manager,
                                                       families who lost homes to fire in May            Gunter AFB, Ala., Chief Master Sergeant of the
                                                                                                         Air Force coin, for outstanding support of Senior
                                                                                                         Enlisted Chief Summit

    70      decavision!Summer 2008
KIM SUN-TAE, produce manager, Yongsan,               Army Legion of Merit
South Korea, certificate of achievement              CHIEF WARRANT OFFICER
from commanding general, in recognition of           CECIL MITCHELL, retired,
providing highest quality customer service           HQ DeCA, Va.
PAULA LEWIS, store director, Robins AFB, Ga.,
plaque from base elementary school students,         Army Sustained Superior
in recognition of outstanding school support         Civilian Service Award
SHIRLEY MAGWOOD, storeworker, Maxwell                RISA HIGA, Sagamihara,
AFB, Ala., ROTC unit coin for above and              Japan
beyond customer service on last minute order         ROBERT SMITH, Fort Drum,
for senior class graduation event                    N.Y.
VICKIE MILLS, store manager, Naples, Italy,          TETSUYA TAKIGUCHI,
commander’s coin of excellence from battalion        Sagamihara, Japan
commander, for outstanding service
CLYDE NOLEN, store director, Fort Hamilton,          Air Force Award for
N.Y. (now store director, USMA West Point,           Exemplary Civilian Service
N.Y.), certificate of appreciation from Lillian L.   LYNDA VALENTINE, HQ
Rashkis School to Work Initiative, in recognition    DeCA, Va.
of dedication and commitment to students;
certificate of appreciation from New York            Distinguished Civilian Service
City Department of Education District 75, in         Award
recognition of dedication, support, guidance         JAY MANNING, Retired,
and commitment to Work-Based Learning                HQ DeCA, Va.
Program, 2007 to 2008
MELINDA PARKER, secretary, NAS Mayport,              Meritorious Civilian Service
Fla., certificate of appreciation from               Award
2007 Combined Federal Campaign, for                  RUBY ERVIN, Randolph AFB,
achieving 100 percent of goal as commissary          Texas
WOO SONG, store manager, Camp Carroll,               Superior Civilian Service
South Korea, commander’s coin from                   Award
commanding general, for outstanding support          SEAN BAEK, NAWS China
during bowling center’s grand opening                Lake, Calif.
CHRIS THOMAS, store director, Luke AFB, Ariz.,       BILLY BENNER, NAWS
two commander’s coins for outstanding support        China Lake, Calif.            EATIN’ GOOD IN THE COMMISSARY
ERNESTINA VASQUEZ, store director, Bitburg,          SCOTT FRY, NAWS China
Germany, letter of commendation from Bitburg         Lake, Calif.
                                                                                 NEIGHBORHOOD: Participants in the Better
Middle and Elementary School, for assisting          BRADLEY LOCKHART,           Opportunities for Single Soldiers Program at
during testing week; certificate of appreciation     NAWS China Lake, Calif.     Fort Stewart, Ga., enjoy a free, healthy breakfast
from Red Cross, for contributions to base            LEILANI MANINGAS,
program                                              NAWS China Lake, Calif.
                                                                                 provided by Dunham & Smith in August. DeCA
JOSEPH WARWICK, Vogelweh, Germany,                   STEVE SISK, DeCA West,      photo: Priscilla Echols
certificate of appreciation from Kaiserslautern      Calif.
Middle School principal for outstanding              SUE ANN WILKINS,                              Civilian Career Service Award
support                                              Spangdahlem, Germany (now Maxwell AFB, Ala.)  SALLY MOORE, retired, HQ DeCA, Va.
                                                     JACK YOUNGER, retired, Misawa AB, Japan       DAN PISZCZ, retired, HQ DeCA, Va.

DeCA patriots ... (Continued from Page 5)
Prior to the formation of DeCA,                      the Paget Award for Commissary              best commissary awards for him,
the Army Troop Support                               Excellence.                                 and the Air Force Commissary
Agency named its annual best                                                                     Service named its annual enlisted
commissary awards for him.                           Dan Daniel Award                            awards in his honor.
                                                     Best overseas store, large
Richard M. Paget Award                                                                           L. Mendel Rivers Award
Best U.S. store, small                               In a career closely paralleling             Best overseas store, small
                                                     that of Congressman Nichols,
Paget, a retired Navy captain,                       Congressman Dan Daniel (D-                  Congressman Rivers was
was a member of the first Navy                       Va.) was a member of the House              chairman of the House Armed
Resale Advisory Committee in                         Armed Services Committee                    Services Committee in the
1946, which served as a board                        from his election in 1968 until             1960s and took an active role
of directors for the Navy Ships                      his death at age 73 on Jan. 23,             in preserving the commissary
Store Office. Influential in NSSO’s                  1988. He served as chairman                 benefit. Prior to the formation of
formation, Paget remained on                         of the HASC Subcommittee on                 DeCA, the Air Force Commissary
the board for more than 40 years.                    Readiness, and also chaired                 Service named its annual best
Before DeCA was formed, the                          the subcommittee’s panel on                 commissary awards in his honor.
Navy’s annual best commissary                        morale, welfare and recreation.
awards were named in his honor,                      Before DeCA’s establishment, the
                                                     Marine Corps named its annual

IT’S WORTH THE TRIP: DeCA’s senior enlisted
advisor to the director, Army Reserve
Command Sgt. Maj. Victor M. Garcia, visits
with customer Army Sgt. Josephine Ampley
at Fort Myer Commissary, Va., in September.
DeCA photo: Kevin Robinson

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