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Craig's Corner: Recognizing our Unsung Heroes

I definitely enjoy mentioning the many awards YVR wins—not because it’s an ego boost, but because these awards demonstrate that our customers are satisfied and that we are doing a pretty decent job.

But recognition goes both ways, which is why we also like to give out many YVR awards throughout the year for a broad range of accomplishments—from environmental excellence to innovation and teamwork. And recently, we kicked off 2016 with a very special event: the first annual YVR Stars Celebration. 

Hosted on February 11, the celebration event recognized the unsung heroes of the YVR community. Over 23,000 people work and volunteer on Sea Island. They work hard to ensure passengers don’t have to worry about the airport functioning while they navigate our airport, use our facilities and relax in our space. 

To recognize this YVR Team, we launched the YVR Stars program in late 2014. The way it works: if anyone at YVR provides you with exceptional customer care you can then nominate them for a YVR Star Award—through our website or by filling out a form from one of our info counters. From these nominations, we recognize a monthly Star in our editorial and provide a YVR prize. 

And at the recent Celebration event, we recognized all of our Stars from 2015. In fact, we had more than 500 nominations for YVR Stars since the program’s inception in late 2014. That’s more than one great story per day. 

The event brought together the YVR Team for an evening of much-deserved recognition. For those unable to attend, here is a quick recap of our winners. 

Harjit Sandhu, an employee at Swissport, won the award in our safety category. In the memory of two co-workers who lost their battles with cancer last year, Harjit initiated a weekly volunteer FOD (Foreign Object Debris) Walk to clear garbage and objects from the airfield. In addition to honouring his late co-workers, these walks play an important role in ensuring the safety of passengers and the Sea Island community.

Doug Wilkinson and Rob Marshall from the BC Ambulance Service are the winners of the teamwork award. These two paramedics were nominated after they attended to a traveller who had hurt her ankle. They gave the passenger food, helped her through the terminal and ensured she was taken care of. 

Dawn Coates from Marquise won our grand prize—the Beyond, Everyday Award, which is given out to a YVR Star who has exemplified an ability to go above and beyond to do something extraordinary for a customer. Dawn received two nominations from passengers: one for helping reunite a passenger with a lost laptop and another for locating a lost piece of jewellery and opening a Customer Care counter early so the passenger could pick it up before his flight. 

Harjit, Doug, Rob, Dawn and all of our YVR Stars—thank you. Thank you for showing that you care and that you are willing to go beyond to help our customers. You demonstrate that the YVR community is a community that cares and deserves to be recognized. And to everyone else, if anyone at YVR demonstrates amazing service please don’t hesitate to nominate them as a YVR Star


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