Role Model Mr. Paul was featured in the Mountain Democrat the local newspaper in Placerville, California where he lives and works.
Lobby general earns Crew Person of the Yaer By Wendy Schultz April 9th, 2010 Special to the Democrat Monday, April 5, was Paul Voss Day in Placerville by official proclamation. There were balloons and a cake to celebrate; Placerville's mayor, Pierre Rivas, presented the proclamation from the city council and family and representatives from McDonald's Corporation and Mother Lode Rehabilitation Enterprises attended the celebration at the McDonald's restaurant on Broadway in Placerville.
Voss, 47, earned the accolades and his own day for doing something many do every day — his job. It isn't what he does that made Voss the only recipient of the prestigious “Crew Person of the Year” out of more than 22,000 eligible employees representing 560 Mc Donald's restaurants from San Francisco to Reno — it's the way he does it. The “Lobby General” of the McDonald's restaurant on Broadway in Placerville has been a living example of exceptional customer service, being a leader in the restaurant, exceeding McDonald's employee standards, receiving compliments from customers and team members, exhibiting the “I'm Loving It!” motto of McDonald's and being involved with the community, for almost 24 years.
Although McDonald's has more than 30,000 restaurants world-wide, only a handful of employees are honored each year for their exemplary work with the Crew Person award and no one in El Dorado County has ever received it before. Voss was nominated for the award by the owner and operators of the Broadway McDonald's, Dave and Sharon Handler, who have owned the restaurant for 21 years. “ Paul is like the poster child for great employees,” said David Handler, who also owns four other McDonald's. “He exemplifies everything a crew person should be about. Paul earns his check.”
The award was kept a surprise and before the celebration, an unsuspecting Voss was doing his usual job, taking out the trash, keeping the lobby and play area clean and the napkins filled, wiping down tables with one cloth and seats with another. He kept a watchful eye on customers coming into the lobby area, ready to lend a hand with a senior's wobbling tray or guide a busy mom to a table. A client of Mother Lode Rehabilitation Enterprises (MORE), Voss is also an example of just how effective employees with disabilities can be. “ I can't say enough great things about MORE,” said Handler. “I wish more businesses would recognize how functional their clients are. When customers see Paul, they know that we are doing something good for our community, for Paul and for the restaurant.”
<ul><li>“ Paul always has a smile and makes a point of remembering frequent customers,” said Brittany Handler Toft, daughter of the owners and a supervisor for McDonald's. “We have a very busy store and it's a big job to keep the lobby and play area clean, the napkins and other supplies filled. Paul works hard and he deserves this award.” </li></ul><ul><li>Long-time customers, Fred and Joan McKain congratulated Paul as they came in for their afternoon coffee. </li></ul><ul><li>“ We've been coming to this Mc Donald's ever since it opened and we've known Paul for a long time,” said Joan. “He does a fantastic job in keeping the lobby clean and we are delighted for him to have this recognition.” </li></ul>
<ul><li>Voss is also active in the community. He has been an altar server for St. Patrick Catholic Church for almost 30 years and is a member of the Special Olympics swimming, bowling and floor hockey teams with a boatload of medals to prove it. </li></ul>
<ul><li>He recently returned from his annual month-long stay with his sister in Rhode Island where he volunteers in his sister's classroom, reading to her young students. The highlight of this year's vacation was the Harry Potter exposition that Voss visited during a stopover with another sister in Boston. An avid Harry Potter memorabilia collector, Voss has read all seven of the books. </li></ul>
<ul><li>In December, Voss received the Rich Wohler award for his outstanding job performance at MORE's annual holiday award luncheon. </li></ul><ul><li>“ He's reliable and responsible, with an excellent safety record,” said Jill Ruhkala, a MORE job coach who has worked with Voss for more than 10 years. “And he's a sharp dresser. His uniform is always crisp and clean and he carries himself with dignity and pride.” </li></ul><ul><li>In 2008, the Sacramento Chapter of the National Down's Syndrome Information Alliance also recognized Voss's work ethic by choosing him to be featured in a film and a book for new parents of children with Down's Syndrome, said Ruhkala. </li></ul>
<ul><li>Handler presented Voss with a plaque honoring him as “Crew Person of the Year “for 2009. McDonald's Corporation Field Service manager Greg Bakalian presented him with a check from McDonald's in appreciation of his outstanding work, and McDonald's supervisor Ricardo Aguilera presented Voss with a “Crew Person of the Year” pin and a new badge with the title. </li></ul>
<ul><li>Store manager Randy DeBerry flourished a plaque with Voss's picture as “Crew Person of the Year” that will be displayed for a year at the Broadway McDonald's. The two have worked together since DeBerry was in high school. </li></ul><ul><li>Asked what he enjoys about his job, Voss replied, “I like everything. I'm really into it.” He professed to being unsurprised by the award, “The cake gave it away, and says he is just doing his job — and he is. </li></ul>