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Delaware North associates go the extra mile at Atlanta airport

A Delaware North leadership group made a visit to Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport on Dec. 22 to join the Department of Aviation in honoring all of the Delaware North managers and associates who helped the thousands of travelers impacted by a recent unexpected power failure at the airport. Also honored during the gathering was a Delaware North associate who earned the airport’s coveted Employee of the Year award.

During the Dec. 17 emergency event, Concourse D was evacuated due to smoke being released from a fire that caused a failure of the power grid and simultaneously damaged the backup systems. As 143 arriving planes sat on the tarmac for periods greater than four and five hours, the airport executed the concessions emergency plan, which included overnight operations for two days.

"Unrelated to an emergency plan, our management team and associates took ownership of caring for the multitude of hungry customers by distributing food and water across the concourses, and coordinated a special commissary delivery to the atrium to distribute over 1,200 bottles of water, bags of chips and cases of fresh fruit," said Scott Knight, assistant general manager for Delaware North at the airport.

During the visit to Atlanta, Delaware North Travel President Kevin Kelly also joined Travel COO Steve Bass and District Manager Robert Filipp in celebration of Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport’s 2017 Employee of the Year, Mulleken "Mimi" Tessema, a bartender for Delaware North at Grindhouse Killer Burgers.

Known as the "face of Grindhouse Killer Burgers," Tessema has built an incredible reputation by providing outstanding service and making the each visit a special experience for guests, Knight said, adding that she averages more than three compliments per week through airport customer service feedback channels and by way of the Delaware Norths Listens program.

"There is something special about being named Number One out of 65,000 airport employees," Tessema said of the honor, which vaulted her above employees from several airport concessioners at the massive airport. "I cannot believe how special my Delaware North management team treats me on a daily basis and creates the opportunity to be honored like this. I have never worked for a company like this or for managers who care for their employees to this extent."

PHOTO CAPTION: Mulleken "Mimi" Tessema (front), a bartender at Grindhouse Killer Burgers, is recognized by (left to right) Mitchell Todman, Atlanta Department of Aviation concessions compliance manager; Scott Knight, assistant general manager for Delaware North at the Atlanta airport; Steve Bass, COO of Delaware North’s travel business; Vincent Tolbert, department manager of Grindhouse Killer Burgers; Kevin Kelly, president of Delaware North’s travel business; Robert "Bob" Filipp, district manager of Delaware North’s travel business; Richard Bolton, executive chef at the Atlanta airport; Nichola Hines, assistant general manager at the Atlanta airport; and Glennisha Carroll, human resources director at the Atlanta airport.