PENSACOLA, Fla. (NNS) -- Naval Air Station (NAS) Pensacola's Navy Gateway Inn and Suites (NGIS) was presented with the 2017 Admiral Elmo R. Zumwalt award for excellence in lodging management during an employee appreciation and award ceremony, Nov. 15.
The Zumwalt award is the highest honor that can be earned through the Navy Lodging Accreditation Program. The initiative was established in 1974 by the Secretary of the Navy to significantly improve customer service, financial management, operations, facilities and the overall lodging experience for guests. The focus of the accreditation program is to ensure consistent, superior management in all lodging functional areas.
NAS Pensacola Commanding Officer, Capt. Christopher Martin, presented the award to NGIS General Manager Lemarian Rasberry and addressed faculty and staff consisting of more than 100 NGIS employees.
"It takes a team effort every single day, setting the standard, keeping the standard high, to make you all one of only five installations in the southeast region to get this award," Martin said. "Now that you've set the bar high and have the award in your hand, you have to keep it."
Lodging facilities are reviewed through unannounced inspections conducted by members of the accreditation committee for Commander, Navy Installations Command (CNIC). The evaluators travel to various installations between January and June.
Upon arrival, they check-in as regular guests and do not notify the facility of their presence until the following morning. The evaluation period lasts a total of three days. When complete, the results are presented to the commanding officer of the base. In total, only 15 installations worldwide were awarded this prestigious honor, with five coming from the southeast region.
Commander, Navy Region Southeast, Rear Adm. Bette Bolivar, offered her congratulations to the award-winners within the region via e-mail prior to the award ceremony.
"Please join me in congratulating the following outstanding 'best of the best' bases for receiving the 2017 Admiral Elmo R. Zumwalt Award," Bolivar wrote.
NASP has one of the largest NGIS facilities in the world, with 876 rooms, making this award even more impressive. Rasberry, was delighted with the organization's accomplishment.
"This award means a lot," Rasberry said, "We strive all year and prepare for this evaluation, ultimately accomplishing this goal as a team; that's 135 employees coming together to achieve this."
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