[ The Real McCoy Online Home ]                                                                                                               September 26, 2008

McCoy employee selected 
Army Lodging Employee of 2008

By Rob Schuette, The Real McCoy Staff

Good service and good employees go hand-in-hand at the Fort McCoy Lodging operations as another employee has captured Armywide honors for being best in her field.

Photo: Julia Benish, Army Lodging Employee of 2008. (Photo by Rob Schuette)

Julia Benish, the Lodging Hotel Group coordinator, received the award for Army Lodging Employee of 2008 during an August conference in Louisville.

In her position, Benish handles lodging assignments for all Soldiers at Fort McCoy for temporary duty or mobilization support. This includes coordinating lodging needs for Soldiers staying on post or contracted hotels not located on the installation. Her clientele also includes all personnel on official government orders, such as civilians, retirees, and family members.

"We’ve been very busy with mobilization," Benish said. "Last year included work to coordinate the lodging needs of the 181st Infantry Brigade, when they had a mission at Camp Shelby (Miss.) It also included lodging for the 4th Cavalry Brigade when they were at Fort McCoy for mobilization training last summer."

Benish said she is pleased to work alongside other Fort McCoy employees who have been selected as Army Lodging employees of the year. These personnel include: Al Brueggen, chief Support Services, who has won twice in the supervisory category: Mary Hoeft, Lodging Manager, who won in the manager category; and Shirley Rentz, former chief of Housekeeping, who also won in the supervisory category.

Lodging also has had three finalists in the competition during the years.

The Fort McCoy Lodging operation also was selected as the Army Lodging of the Year Award in 2005 for the super category, which included operations with more than 500 rooms.

"It shows what type of management we have," Benish said. "I was shocked when I was announced as the winner."

"I try to make everyone’s stay here as enjoyable and as comfortable as possible," she said. "We try to accommodate everyone to the best of our ability."

Benish received a trophy, a monetary award and a Morale, Welfare and Recreation commander’s coin for winning the competition.

Hoeft said Benish is an employee who is cheerful, enthusiastic, responsible, a self-starter and self-directed. "She has the taxpayers’ best interest at heart," Hoeft said. "She ensures they get the best value for their money."

"She has boundless energy and is persistent," Hoeft said. "If she can’t solve a problem today, she will solve it tomorrow. She likes to have a finished product."

Benish was one of nine finalists for the award from throughout the Army (CONUS and OCONUS). Hoeft said one of the things that made the award special was that Benish’s parents and aunt were able to make the trip.

As with the other Fort McCoy Lodging employees, Benish is a dedicated student of the educational and training opportunities available to Lodging employees, Hoeft said.

This includes both off-site and onsite training.

"Julia likes working with people," Hoeft said. "Some people say they can hear the smile on her face when they’re talking to her on the telephone."

"She consistently provides top-notch customer service to everyone," Hoeft said, "which is what this award is all about."


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