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Super 8 manager receives top award

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FORT FRANCES—Wanda Barker, manager of the local Super 8 Motel, was honoured with the company’s Manager of the Year award at the company’s international convention in Las Vegas last week.

“It’s a great honour,” Barker said.

The award was presented at the gala dinner at the end of the weekend convention. And though Barker attended with the owners of the local motel, Kevin and Leah O’Flaherty of Kenora, they didn’t tell her she had won.

“I cried. I was totally shocked,” she said of her reaction when her name was called. “It’s an experience I’ll never forget.”

Barker was chosen as the top manager out of the more than 2,000 Super 8 managers in Canada, the United States, and China.

“My staff deserves the award as much as I do,” she noted. “I tell them this is just as much your award as it is mine.”

The O’Flahertys nominated Barker for the award, who had to meet a certain number of criteria, including being an active member of the community and having at least an 8/10 rating for customer service based on customer response surveys.

The local Super 8 has a 9.05 average for customer service, Barker noted proudly.

“We just really strive for customer service,” she said. “I tell my staff, why do the ordinary when you can do the extraordinary? That’s what we try to achieve.”

In addition, each Super 8 is inspected quarterly, and is given demerit points whenever they don’t meet corporate standards.

The local Super 8 averaged 25 points in 2006.

“That’s unheard of. It’s phenomenal,” said Leah O’Flaherty, who nominated Barker for the award back in December.

“People go out of their way to tell me about the amazing experiences they have down in Fort Frances when they stay there,” O’Flaherty added.

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