Dave Mickler, Food Service Officer for the Breeze, details how important preparing for the Hennessy evaluation. Mr. Mickler and his staff started preparing for this year’s event just two weeks after last year’s. Eglin’s facilities won in the multiple facilities category. (U.S. Air Force photo by Leslie Brown)
The Breeze Dining Facility staff poise with Maj. Gen. David Eidsaune, Air Armament Center commander (center), after he congratulated them on their recent win of the Hennessy Trophy. The award is given to the base having the best food service program in the Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo by Leslie Brown)
4/30/2009 - EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- The 96th Service Squadron's dining facilities here won the Air Force Hennessy trophy for 2009.
The John L. Hennessy Award is the oldest military food service award established in 1957, it is named for the late John L. Hennessy, a hotel and restaurant executive who served on advisory boards to improve military food service.
The traveling team of judges evaluated the Appropriated Fund Food Service Operations, to include The Breeze, The Oasis, and the Tradewinds which are vital facilities supporting Eglin units. The team visited Eglin February 2-5, 2009.
The four-person team of judges included Bill Spencer, Chief of the Air Force Food & Beverage support branch at Air Force Services Agency, Senior Master Sgt. Troy Miller, Readiness Plans and Programs Branch at Air Force Services Agency, Greg Hamer, owner of B & G Food Enterprises Inc., and Paul Deignan, consultant management professional in healthcare and college foodservice.
More than 1,300 Airmen at Eglin Air Force Base are on meal cards and rely on the dining facilities for three meals a day. More than 504,000 meals are served annually at three facilities.
Maj. Gen. David Eidsaune, Air Armament Center commander, was impressed with the win and wanted to congratulate members of the team with a personal visit.
"I was extremely impressed by two things," General Eidsaune told those in attendance at the Breeze Dining Facility. "First how much preparation you all put into this important event. The second was the confidence you displayed during the inspection. That positive attitude made the difference."
The John L. Hennessy trophy is an annual award presented in Chicago at the National Restaurant Association Food Service Convention to the Air Force Installation, in single and multiple facility categories, having the best food service program.
The award is based on the entire scope of an installation's food service program exhibiting excellence in management effectiveness, force readiness support, food quality, employee and customer relations, resource conservation, training, and safety awareness. Eglin last won the Hennessy trophy in 2006.
Dave Mickler, Food Service Officer for the Breeze, detailed the work that goes into having a winning program like Eglin.
"A lot of people think you can get ready for the Hennessy (evaluation) in a couple of weeks," he said. "Not true. We started preparing just two weeks after the end of last year's evalutation."
The bases competing in the single category were, Patrick and Tyndall AFBs in Fla., Incirlik Air Base, Turkey, Scott AFB, Ill., Kirtland AFB, N.M., Dyess AFB, Texas and Elmendorf AFB, Alaska. The multiple category nominees Eglin competed against were Ramstein Air Base, Germany, Sheppard AFB, Texas, Nellis AFB, Nev., Fairchild AFB, Wash., and Misawa AB, Japan.
Staff Sgt. Wendell Bowles was selected to compete for the Hennessy Traveler Award. An Award of Excellence is made to an individual selected by the evaluation team from among the installations they visited as the most outstanding food service person. Each base will have one nominee selected to compete. The winning individual is recognized at the Hennessy Trophy Awards Ceremony in Chicago and by a scholarship program that can be used towards continuing education and advancement within industry.
The Hennessy Team also recognized the following individuals as outstanding performers during their visit:
- Staff Sgt. Cinnamon Calloway
- Staff Sgt. Angela Grady
- Staff Sgt. Olrick Johnson
- Senior Airman Karlo Openiano
- Senior Airman Kevin Rucker
- Senior Airman Robert McGonagle
- Airman 1st Class Matthew Tucker
- Airman 1st Class Lydia Paige
- Airman 1st Class Kristen Pujol
- Airman 1st Class Ciera Scott
- Airman 1st Class Christian DeDios Brizuela
- Airman 1st Class Paulette Bundy
- Airman 1st Class Brittney Knight
- Airman Basic Erin Rich
- Brenda Smith
- Angela Durham
- Nora Younger
- Herminia Batilan