2017 winner Adela Miranda, Hampton Inn Holland

Every day thousands of service workers perform tasks that make our days a little brighter, our businesses running smoother, our experiences more memorable. Nine such individuals were recognized with Essential Service Awards during a meeting of the Economic Club of Grand Rapids on Monday, February 5.

The Beverly A. Drake Essential Services Awards highlight individuals who provide critical services that often go unnoticed and unrewarded, such as housekeeping or public transportation. Meet this year’s winners>

One of this year’s winners, Adela Miranda, is the main laundry attendant at the Residence Inn Grand Rapids Airport. Adela exemplifies the spirit of the Essential Service Awards, a “true champion,” according to her nominator, Rachel Kammer, the hotel’s general manager.

When asked to provide an example of Adela’s strong work ethic and habits, Kammer recalled an instance when they had a full house and a washer went down. “Adela was able to keep the one working washer continuously going while drying, folding and stocking the shelves. Because of Adela’s hard work and dedication, we were able to keep up with demand without missing a beat.”

Employers, co-workers, and the community at large submit Essential Service Award nominations in a variety of categories, including hospitality, retail, healthcare, transportation, government, food service, general labor, childcare, nonprofit and custodial, housekeeping or groundskeeper.

2017 Essential Service Award winners: Back row L to R: Tyrone Marshall, Jen Breen, James Fults, Brenda Lutz. Front row L to R: Ana McClain, Jen Joseph, Adela Miranda, Tammy Nottingham

The winners are selected based on a criterion that includes displaying pride in the job, a positive attitude, a strong work
ethic, punctuality, and completion of work on-time.

“We often overlook the significant contributions that a virtually invisible workforce makes to our community and our economy,” said Dave Smith, Chair of the West Michigan Works! Workforce Development Board. “The Essential Service Awards recognize exceptional individuals performing these less visible but essential jobs.”

“I have never been recognized for my work like this,” said Adela. “I give my all and put my heart into everything I do. I am just so happy!”

Ionia Sentinel-Standard: James Fults receives Beverly A. Drake Essential Service Award for West Michigan Works!
Grand Rapids Business Journal: Street Talk: The DIY spirit
WGVU: West Michigan Works! recognizes essential service workers