ATLANTA -- The Atlanta Braves have unveiled a new seasonal award to be given to a game day staffer who exemplifies extraordinary customer service in the mold of longtime Braves employee, Walter Banks, who is closing out his 52nd Braves season. This year's winner will be announced on Thursday, September 21 in a pregame ceremony before the Braves take on the Washington Nationals.
The Walter Banks Hospitality Award will be given to the staff member who embodies the specific qualities of service, dedication, personalization, selflessness and hospitality our guests have come to identify with Banks.
"Walter is truly a Georgia treasure and an example of how we want our staff to interact with our guests and fans," said Mike Plant, Braves President of Development. "We know having this award will inspire our staff to emulate the man it's named after for many years to come."
The finalists are:
Jon Vasquez (retail) - Jon works in the Braves Clubhouse Store and knows every style hat on the 7,000 hat wall - the main attraction inside the store. Not only is he the top salesman, but he has been invited by New Era to provide feedback on designs for the 2018 season. But the most impressive thing about Jon is his interaction with customers. People regularly come to the main door and ask if he's working because he provides such great customer service to all who come into the store.
David "Dave" Williams (security) - Dave works most often at the Third Base Gate and he has a reputation throughout the ballpark of collaboration, teamwork and positivity. Dave makes sure all guests are greeted and feel welcomed as they go through the safety screening process at his gate. His infectious smile and engaging personality helps him create excellent relationships especially with children and guests often request to go through Dave's gate to come into SunTrust Park.
Michael Craig (guest services) - Michael is a supervisor finishing his second season for the guest services team where he offers complimentary wheelchair service to any fan with accessible needs as well as serves as a host for the Exceptional Fan Program targeted for guests with autism. His patience, kind-natured personality and gentle demeanor make guests feel welcomed by Michael, who also regularly escorts Walter to the Uber pick-up zone after games.