Travis’ Westwind Inn captures best in Air Force award
TRAVIS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. The Westwind Inn at Travis Air Force Base was named Sept. 6 as the winner of the Air Force’s 2019 Innkeeper Award for the first time.
Established in 1981, the honor recognizes excellence among Air Force lodging operations. Travis competed in the large base category for facilities with 286-699 rooms against two other finalists; Osan Air Base, Republic of Korea, and Hurlburt Field, Florida.
“We pride ourselves on being the finest mobility base and our dedication doesn’t start and end with delivering rapid global mobility anywhere in the world,” said Col. Jeffrey Nelson, 60th Air Mobility Wing commander. “We go the extra mile in everything we do, every day to take care of the mission, our Airmen and their families. Our lodging operation and the (60th) Force Support Squadron team truly exemplifies superior customer care.”
Caring for customers is a strong focus for Shereen Mesa, Westwind Inn lodging manager.
“I know I speak on behalf of my team we’re humbled, super humbled, and filled with so much gratitude,” Mesa said. “When you have folks that love what they do and they’re passionate about what they do you see it. You feel the sense of pride that each and every employee has. You see it.”
Rosa Dominguez, the facility’s guest services manager, said the level of care impresses guests.
“When our guests compare us to (five-star, off-base facilities) and sometimes say we are even better then you know we are doing something right,” Dominguez said. “I especially hear how professional and wonderful the whole staff is.”
Dominguez said large groups of guests in particular have voiced praise.
“I especially hear that from those large groups that arrive at our hotel and expect to wait to for a long time in line to check in, when they are taken care of right away it really impresses them,” she said. “I always hear, Well, at the last base we were at, we had to wait for a long time just to check in.'”
Mesa said the team at the facility has a passion for its work and it shows in the results.
“You’ll get a stamp of excellence from my team. You’ll get it,” she said. “I want everyone to come in and experience that. I want them to know how much I love and appreciate them. It’s amazing.”
The Westwind Inn is one of the busiest lodging operations in Air Mobility Command, generating $9.2 million in activity revenue in 2018.
The facility falls under the purview of the 60th FSS. Its commander, Lt. Col. Nate Williams, said the award is meaningful, but is the culmination of the staff’s efforts.
“It means a lot to be recognized as an Air Force-level winner,” he said. “It’s not about the award. It’s about the teamwork and camaraderie that goes into winning the award. The award’s just icing on the cake.
“They do a phenomenal job day in and day out,” he said. “Even when no one is considering them for awards, this is what they do every day.”
The trophy will be presented from Nov. 5-8 during the 2019 Lodging Managers Leadership Training at Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia.
“(Award programs like Innkeeper) are important to instill pride in managers and employees, and to bring out the best in people,” said Daran Steele, Air Force Services Center lodging management specialist, earlier this year when evaluations began in a story published on the AFSVC website.
Travis previously won the Innkeeper Award in 2002, 2008 and 2011 at the major command level.
For more information, visit http://www.travisfss.com/lodging/.
Nick DeCicco assigned to 60th AMW PA wrote this story