Employee of the Month

Deerfield’s Employee Of The Month will recognize a team member who – via one remarkable example of extraordinary service, a consistent pattern of delivering exceptional guest service, or both – embodies a genuine and tireless “spirit of hospitality” in the way that he or she engages with our guests. An Employee Of The Month will distinguish himself or herself with courtesy, friendliness, empathy, enthusiasm, hard work and determination. He or she will, by word and deed, make a lasting positive impression on both guests as well as fellow team members each of whom will be inspired to emulate the effort and attitude of the Employee Of The Month. Winners of the Employee Of The Month Award will exemplify the Forewinds Hospitality credo of “Satisfaction Is Never Enough. Guests must be astounded – every visit – every experience – every day.”

2021 Employee of the Month Award Winners

September

Leticia “Lety” Bernal

Lety joined the Deerfield family over 14 years ago.  In her role on our Housekeeping Team, Lety is always one to do whatever is required for the facility to be at its best for a wedding, party, special event, or for our golf guests.  She is very thorough in her efforts, always trying to make sure all the necessary details are taken care of in our common spaces and banquet rooms.

Further, Lety is instrumental in setting up everyone else that works beside her to be their very best.  Her efforts in maintaining office spaces and other “behind the scenes” areas is critical to the overall success of the team.  Lety is always exceedingly helpful in acquiring the supplies we need – or asking for them to be ordered – so that both guests and fellow team members don’t miss a beat in the day-to-day operation of the hundreds of events and thousands of guests we are fortunate enough to host each year.

Another notable attribute that Lety brings to Deerfield each day is her great communication and positive attitude.  Lety enjoys visiting with her team members as she makes “her rounds,” and other employees enjoy and value Lety’s presence as well.  She’ll always get the rundown of what a space might require and will ask about what more she can do to help.  Her vibrant spirit and friendly manner are ever-present for both employees and guests alike.

We received many enthusiastic notes about Lety, who was selected unanimously among Deerfield’s team of Department Heads.   In one, a manager said, “Thorough and consistent are just two of the words I would use to describe Leticia Bernal.  Always cheerful and pleasant – always willing to go the extra mile.  Day in and day out, Lety has the same positive attitude – and a work ethic all Deerfield employees should embrace.” Another said, “What a pleasure it has been to have Leticia Bernal here for nearly fifteen seasons.  We’re extremely lucky to have her as a valued member of our team.”

August

Maryann Verna

Maryann is one of Deerfield’s most tenured employees, with nearly ten years’ service to our guests and her fellow team members.  As a key member of our Dish & Utility Team, Maryann is an integral part of keeping our kitchen, and therefore our service to our guests, moving ahead smoothly.

One of many notable traits of Maryann is her reliability.  Maryann shows continued commitment to her role, making sure that she is here to do her part of guest service.  Maryann works both daytime and evening shifts in the kitchen, a crucial part of concluding some of our early events as we prepare for the often larger and later evening functions.  Maryann is very quick with a greeting and a word of encouragement and is always more than happy to assist a fellow team member with any task that may be at hand.

Often times, Maryann will proactively call to make sure that an event is still happening, if weather or some other factor may come into play.  She wants to go the extra mile to make sure she is here for the job that needs to be accomplished.  Maryann’s longevity and reliability in her role is something to be admired by managers and fellow Deerfield team members alike.

We received several positive comments about Maryann, who is among our most deserving candidates to date.  In one, a supervisor said, “Maryann is constantly involved and always on the move.  She is prompt, punctual, and always pleasant.  Her knowledge of the job and performing the required tasks are top notch.  Maryann has that positive energy to put a smile on any employee’s face.”  Another noted, “It’s a pleasure to have Maryann on the team.  Deerfield is a better place, and a better business, because of people like her.”

July

Veronica Tejeda

Veronica is celebrating a Deerfield anniversary this week, as she joined Team Deerfield back in September of 2008 – thirteen years ago!  From the very beginning, Veronica was a difference maker in the kitchen.  Now working with Chef Mike Josephick, Veronica has become a most trusted resource in our culinary department.

One of Veronica’s strengths is her ability to work independently.  She is often here for long days of frequently solitary preparation.  While the activity of “event day” is often what we think of when we think of the (literal) heat of the kitchen, it’s in many ways the long hours of preparation that are just as important.  Veronica will often be in for the days leading up to a busy weekend to make sure that the entire culinary team is well prepared for whatever events may be coming up in the forthcoming days.

Another of Veronica’s skills is her ability to adapt when circumstances change.  Maybe it’s a special request from a guest, or a last-minute change in an event’s guest count – Veronica is a cool head and a steady hand in the kitchen when unexpected situations arise.  No matter what the short timeline or the degree of urgency, Veronica’s demeanor never changes as she diligently turns to the task at hand.

One thing that many on Team Deerfield may not know about Veronica is her fantastic sense of humor.  She “gives as good as she gets” in the kitchen, earning the admiration and appreciation of our entire culinary staff.  This, paired with her unrelenting work ethic and desire to do a great job for the guest and her fellow team members, makes Veronica an uncommon but invaluable asset on Deerfield’s team of culinary professionals.

We received several glowing reviews of Veronica, who was voted on unanimously by Deerfield’s Executive Team.   In one, a supervisor said, “In all my years in hospitality and foodservice, I can honestly say that I have had a more complete and consistent employee than Veronica Tejeda.  Her performance day in and day out is unmatched.  She is in many ways a backbone to the entire culinary operation, one who can be relied upon to handle any task given to her.  Day after day, shift after shift, Veronica brings her best effort – never frustrated, and always happy and cheerful.”  Another noted, “As someone who works outside of her department but observes her contribution regularly, it’s easy for me to see her impact on her team.  Veronica’s unique combination of attitude, aptitude and service makes her someone everyone should emulate.”

June

Natalian Alfaro

Natalia originally joined Team Deerfield nearly two years ago, but COVID and associated closures certainly impacted her early tenure.  However, as a Banquet Server, Natalia has been able to rejoin the team in full for 2021 and continues to be an impressive and impactful part of our service team.

However, as important as a role as Banquet Server is to the success of our events and the happiness of our clients and guests, Natalia quickly became ready for a larger role.  That opportunity presented itself in the form of Bridal Attendant, a person crucial to the execution of the event due to the meaningful influence this role has on the wedding couple themselves.  The Bridal Attendant works as the liaison between the couple and our Food & Beverage Managers throughout the course of the wedding, from a couple of hours before ceremony/reception for dressing and photos all the way until the last guest leaves and those gifts are packed up for departure.

Natalia has proven herself to be extremely effective in both roles, as she is friendly, engaging, and efficient with every guest.  She is a very quick learner, asks great questions, anticipates needs effectively, and is always inquiring about what might be next, or what she should be prepared for.  Her measured approach and calm demeaner complement her easy-going manner and big smile in such a way that each guest’s experience is enhanced by Natalia’s presence.  Natalia is always quick to offer to help train a new team member and is continuously supporting both fellow team members and managers throughout her shift.  She is an enthusiastic and uplifting presence both in the room and behind the scenes.

We received several positive comments about Natalia in the nominations she received from her managers.  In one, a supervisor said,  “Natalia has a positive attitude, a great work ethic, and is an undeniable team player.  I am proud to nominate Natalia Alfaro as Employee of the Month!”  Another noted, “From her very first day at Deerfield, Natalia took an immediate interest in the hospitality industry, something which shows through her quality of work. Natalia was quick to learn how different events function and has been eager to take on new responsibilities. She is always someone who is more than happy to come in early, stay late, and assist guests in every way possible. Natalia has also excelled working as a Bridal Attendant and is very thoughtful when training new team members. Natalia is an excellent example of what new banquet servers should strive for, and her quality of work embodies what the Employee of the Month Award represents.”

May

Matt Phillips

Matt joined Team Deerfield back in June of 2019, and has recently celebrated two years with us as a Banquet Server.  Matt immediately came onto the staff and made an impact, not only in guest service, but in the way he supported and encouraged his fellow team members.

The banquet server is such an important role in our success.  Weddings, parties and special events present an incredibly dynamic environment, in which each event – each table for that matter – provides a unique set of personalities, plans, and details to manage.  Matt has excelled in that role since he joined us.  Matt is always relied upon not only for the fundamental basics of his role – thorough prep work, careful preparedness, a friendly attitude, and a relentless spirit of hospitality.

However, Matt is always one to go the extra mile.  Sometimes, that reveals itself in training new team members, coming early to prepare a room, or staying late to turn the space for the following day.  Matt always accepts these challenging but necessary roles with enthusiasm.

Shift after shift, Matt has proven to be exceedingly reliable, trustworthy, and willing to do whatever job happens to be required.  Pre-covid, Matt was a key contributor to Sunday Brunch, Brunch with Santa, and other holiday dining events.  Matt is a great example of someone who makes others around him better just by his presence.

We received several positive comments about Matt in the nominations he received from multiple managers.  In one, a supervisor noted,  “Since his start at Deerfield, Matt has consistently been a team member who not only is capable of, but thrives with new roles and responsibilities.  He is always someone who can be looked toward to pick up extra shifts, train new staff members, and help facilitate room sets and resets.  Matt has shown a clear pride in his work and continues to learn and improve every day he is here.  Matt’s hard work and dedication is something which is recognized not only by his peers, but throughout the management staff.”

Said another, “Matt goes above the call of duty in every shift.  This gentleman brings his A+ game every time.  Matt is a true asset to a strong service team and is someone the rest of the staff can model themselves after.”

April

Kevin McCarthy

Kevin joined Team Deerfield over two and a half years ago as a member of our culinary team. He possesses unique and diverse talents in the kitchen that are perfectly suited for the wide array of events we host, and the myriad responsibilities someone in Kevin’s role is responsible for on a
daily basis.

During weddings and banquet events, Kevin is often charged with a great deal of prep work, in addition to being a key champion of hors d’oeuvres presentation during cocktail hour, keeping our banquet servers well stocked for plated service or food stations. Further, Kevin helps execute the plating up process just prior to entrees being served. On the sweeter side, Kevin is also the “man with the cake knife” as beautiful wedding cakes are sliced and served. As you can
see, he is a key contributor to the guest’s entire experience, from prep through dessert.

Before coming to Deerfield as a Banquet Cook, Kevin has been a Pastry Chef and Baker at a variety of venues and restaurants. Kevin studied Culinary Arts at Delaware Technical & Community College in addition to studying Baking & Pastry Arts at Johnson & Wales University in Denver. Kevin was also an intern at Daniel’s of Paris Bakery. Kevin is clearly quite the pastry enthusiast. When he’s not at Deerfield, Kevin also enjoys his work as “The Joker Chef” and managing his lighthearted and informative Instagram page. Kevin’s enthusiasm, energy and spirit are always on display. He elevates the optimism and the “fun-factor” merely by his presence. He has earned the trust and admiration of both the culinary team as well as the operations team with which he works closely. Everyone that works with Kevin is sure to do a better job – and have more fun doing it – when Kevin’s around. This attitude also benefits our guests, as Kevin is often “up front” for Sunday Brunch or dining events.
We received several positive comments about Kevin who endorsed him as Employee of the Month. This was typical of what others had to say about him. “Kevin has elevated his role and duties here at Deerfield since his hiring over two years ago,” said Executive Chef Mike Josephick. “He has far exceeded the limited scope of his original tasks when he joined us. Never one to shy away from new rigors and roles, Kevin has shown great knowledge and initiative in all aspects of culinary arts. He is a great complement to an already established staff. Kevin is the perfect team member who complies with all directives and is a ‘fan favorite’ amongst all departments. I am extremely proud to nominate Kevin for our Employee of the Month for April.”

March

Angela Kaiser

Angela just celebrated fifteen years with Forewinds Hospitality at Deerfield, being one of the companies longest-standing team members.  Angela serves in a Sales Manager role, working with wedding, meeting, and social event planners and clients as they craft their events and special celebrations with us.

Angela, to put it simply and as the highest form of praise, is synonymous with Deerfield.  Her courteous manner, polished professionalism, and thorough attention to detail has benefitted Deerfield guests and planners for years.  It’s not hyperbole to note that Angela has contributed to thousands of events over her seasons at Deerfield, and her clients have always noted that her caring attitude, engaged interest, and thoughtful approach to all events is a cornerstone of why Deerfield is their ideal choice for parties of all occasions.

Angela is also quick to assist a team member in her department or another, with the satisfaction of and service to the guest being her primary concern.  She gladly takes a leadership role in updating menus, polishing collateral, and providing accurate and perceptive feedback as offerings and marketing materials are polished.

As the most seasoned member of the sales team, Angela provided a shining example of determination and persistence under the most trying of circumstances.  Many of her clients have endured multiple rescheduled dates and altered plans through no fault of their own.  It was Angela’s mission to help them navigate their options and alterations with a positive attitude and patient optimism.  Lori Amery, Director of Sales and Marketing and Angela’s supervisor, specifically noted Angela’s resilience throughout the pandemic. “Angela has handled each situation with empathy and professionalism,” said Amery.  “I always trust that everything she does is very well thought through.”

Another department head shared this.  “Please consider my nomination for Angela Kaiser.  This has been a tough year, and it’s put a lot of stress on everyone.  Angela has been steady and rock solid during the entire time, and I’ve noticed!”  A recent client email noted something similarly enthusiastic.  “From the day we started planning to the end of the night, Angela and your team have been incredible.  She’s so wonderful to work with.  She has an amazing attention to detail and was always quick to respond to all of our questions.  Thank you!”

February

Andrea Laub

Andrea joined the Forewinds Hospitality Accounting Team a little over a year ago and has made a remarkable impression on the team and the organization in that short time.  Andrea serves as the Accounting Assistant, working beside our Controller in addition to supporting some Human Resources related responsibilities.    While based at Deerfield, a large scope of Andrea’s job centers around two other properties in the portfolio, Garrisons Lake Golf Club in Smyrna, DE, and Jonathan’s Landing in Magnolia, DE.

Andrea is the primary point of contact for the owners of these two properties, providing valuable data and operational and/or financial updates as needed.  Especially because these facilities are up to an hour away, the communication to both ownership and the on-site team has to be clear and consistent.  Andrea connects the dots between the staff, the ownership and the management company in a professional, timely, accurate and thorough manner.

Andrea is responsible for recording daily sales, tracking any Accounts Payable or Accounts Receivable totals, helping coordinate onboarding or employment related concerns for both courses, and supporting and compliance or certification related requirements.

Further, Andrea is pivotal in the budgeting process as she and the other managers design the revenue targets and expense budgets for the upcoming season and create projections that assist in the smooth operation and responsible management of these properties.  Finally, Andrea – although not in a frequently customer facing role as a banquet server, golf professional or sales manager might be – possesses an impressive spirit of hospitality.  She engages with the internal and external customer with a warmth and grace that is a great example for all she works with.  Everyone on the team can count on Andrea to assist in any matter big or small.  In fact, last season, in the middle of the pandemic and with the grounds department needing a hand, she and her supervisor from Accounting got out and weeded and smoothed bunkers in order for the grounds crew to focus on other projects.  This is the type of selfless approach Andrea takes to her important job every day.  Somehow in addition to all of this, she is a parent and a student (at Wilmington University).

Recently, we received a wonderful nomination from a team member regarding Andrea.  It read…

“Andrea has been a dedicated, detail-oriented participant in the successes of 2020 at all three Forewinds properties.  These talents were highly visible to me, our property General Managers, our Delaware State Parks partners and additional owners throughout the successful season.  In the budget process, Andrea consistently communicated budget meeting dates and details and kept the process on track.  Throughout the year, Andrea was recognized for her weekly cash reports and monthly financial communication.  Department heads commented on her demeanor and positive, pleasant communication by phone and email.  Andrea keeps her composure when faced with frustrations that may arise knowing that everyone is working hard.”  For these reasons, please consider voting for Andrea Laub for our February employee of the month.

January

Heather McFarlan

Heather joined Team Deerfield in May, 2015, and will be celebrating six years with us in just a couple of months. Heather has been absolutely instrumental to our culinary team – and a key component to the success of our property – since she arrived. Heather has been a difference maker in several roles since joining us. First of all, Heather has always taken a leadership role in the Pub & Grille, including being “on the line” preparing food for our golfers and overseeing private / limited choice corporate dinners in the Delaware Room.

Further, Heather has been a critical part of our action stations for Sunday Brunch and specialty dining events. Whether it’s a carving station, an omelet station, or any number of other roles she might assume in the banquet space, her great attitude and easy conversation help her be successful in this important part of guest service.

Finally, Heather, has served as Lead Banquet Chef for about two seasons, playing this crucial role in the success and satisfaction of so many banquets, weddings, and special events. Chef Mike and Chef Jerome have grown confident in her ability to oversee virtually any function, knowing that the back of the house will run smoothly and that the clients will be satisfied.

Heather has always proven to be conscientious, helpful, flexible, trustworthy and a great team member. She has earned the respect and admiration of her managers, her teammates, and the members of the entire staff. Recently, we received a wonderful nomination from a supervisor regarding Heather. It read…

“I am proud to nominate Heather McFarlan for Employee of the Month. Heather has shown GREAT dependability, team leadership, and overall TEAM spirit during these trying times. Heather has been a ‘crutch’ for (us) to lean on throughout this whole pandemic. Her willingness to clean, supervise, take on projects and see them through, and generally perform her daily rigors is highly noticed, commendable, and very appreciated. Please consider Heather for this award.”

2020 Employee of the Month Award Winners

October

Matthew Ryan

Matt joined Team Deerfield in June, 2016 as an addition to our outside services department. Since that time, Matt’s impact on guest service has only become more significant. Matt performs a very important task at Deerfield and does it as well as anyone on his team – that great first impression. Matt welcomes our guests enthusiastically, engages in a friendly but professional manner, and helps make sure that each guest arrives to a friendly face and a positive attitude.

In addition, Matt does a tremendous job serving the internal customer – the managers and other team members with which he works. The golf department can be tricky because the volume of business can fluctuate greatly without much notice.  Matt is always one that can be counted on to do whatever job may be required.  The golf operation has many exceptional, experienced members and Matt is among the very best.

Matt has also served on more than one occasion as “Deerfield Support” for our annual large-scale event in August. Those selected to engage with this particular client are chosen for a very specific reason. Their initiative, awareness, planning, organization, and level of responsiveness must be unparalleled. His appointment to that post is a great example of how trusted Matt is to do the right thing for clients at all times. Over nearly five seasons, Matt continues to prove himself exceedingly conscientious, hardworking, responsible, dedicated and committed. We are fortunate to have him on the team.

Recently, we received a wonderful nomination from a fellow team member regarding Matt. It reads… In these days when (people are often) asked to do more with less and be faster at it, I’d like to nominate Matt Ryan as Employee of the Month. Matt is the first person many golfers see when they arrive at Deerfield.  Always with a smile and helpful can-do attitude with the public, Matt is an asset to Deerfield’s Golf staff. As a fellow (team member), when Matt is on the shift, I’m confident his assignments are completed, and I never have to follow up to double check. Ask, and it’s done. Usually it’s done before I ask!  Matt takes initiative, too. With the increased golfers every day this summer season and the additional cleaning responsibilities to keep the public safe, I’ve never had a complaint from a golfer stating our staff isn’t doing their job when Matt is on the job. Matt’s hustle and wanting to have a job done well are his best assets.”

September

Thomas McCarthy

Tom joined our team a couple of seasons ago and the managers as well as his fellow crew members were struck by his willingness to work hard and help others.  More than any other season due to how busy we have been, we have seen this year how important maintaining course conditions, attending to detail work, and maximizing the first impression and “curb appeal” of our golf course truly is.  With rounds up dramatically and the course as busy as it has ever been, seeing to this important work has been more challenging than ever.  Tom has been a really important part of that process.

Tom works very well independently on a project on the course and learns new tasks with care.  He also is a valued teammate when working with others on the golf course.  Everyone that he meets finds his smile infectious, his enthusiasm notable, and his determination admirable.

Further, Tom has shown a willingness to assist in other departments when asked.  He is always happy to stay a bit late, help wherever needed, and make sure that we as a property put our very best foot forward.  He makes warm conversation with golfers and guests and makes everyone he touches feel at home.

Most recently, we received a wonderful review from a guest regarding Tom.  It reads, “I wanted to express what a GREAT job that Tommy does. He is always cheerful, smiling, and a hard worker as witnessed by me and all the guys I play golf with!

August

Alfredo Vergara

Alfredo’s natural demeanor and friendly approach with our guests is one of the reasons why he is so successful.  We’ve seen Alfredo manage the Pub & Grille with confidence and courtesy, and it’s one of the reasons why our golfers and guests enjoy returning to Deerfield.

Alfredo is very popular with our Annual Golf Passholders in addition to our public golfers and dining guests.  His steady engagement, light conversation, and commitment to friendly service made Alfredo one of our post popular team members when he joined us many seasons ago, and it’s just as true now that he’s back.

Another great example of Alfredo’s participation and commitment was as a member of the Deerfield Billiards Team.  Alfredo’s competitive spirit (and his talents at the table) kept him as an important member of the squad even after he had left us to seek a new challenge.  He was always welcome and appreciated in that role.

Most recently, we received a wonderful review from a guest regarding Alfredo.  It reads, My friends and I have been here numerous times and the service was impeccable. Alfredo is friendly, courteous, and helpful. Everything he has recommended has been on point. And his drinks are always excellent!”

July

Chris Booth

Chris has been on our maintenance crew for several seasons, and has served as Assistant Golf Course Superintendent for most of them. Chris is not only a trusted assistant of John Jacob here at Deerfield, but is a leader in several aspects of golf course and facility maintenance. Whether it’s the heat of the summer watering, fall leaf removal, the stress of the spring plantings or the challenge of winter snow/ice removal, Chris leads by example and uses his talents to give our golfers and guests the very best experience possible. Further, Chris supports his fellow crew members in whatever jobs might be required in the day to day delivery of a superior golf experience for our customers.
However, earlier this season Chris was able to provide extraordinary service to not only Deerfield and our guests, but our community as a whole. Chris’ initiative and effort distinguished not only himself but elevated Deerfield and Forewinds Hospitality as a whole in the eyes of Delaware State Parks, our valued partner in two of our businesses.
Captain John Wales of the Delaware Park Police shared this perspective in his official letter of commendation regarding Chris’s decisive actions to contain an April fire off the Deerfield grounds:
“Chris’ decisive actions undoubtedly minimized the amount of fire damage to White Clay Creek State Park property. Even though the fire was not on Deerfield property, Chris didn’t hesitate. He committed himself to handling the emergency and he did a great job in the process. White Clay Creek State Park staff and Delaware Division of Parks and Recreation are very grateful to Chris Booth and to Deerfield.”

2019 Employee of the Month Award Winners

2019 Employee of the Month Award Winners

December

Michelina Anderson

Mickey joined Deerfield only a few months ago, in November of 2019.  Mickey immediately made a positive impression on team members, managers and guests alike.  She very quickly became a reliable and committed member of the food and beverage team.  Several team members and managers remarked about her work ethic, determination and businesslike approach on Thanksgiving Day, one of her very first days with us.  Though a steady and focused worker, Mickey is always very quick with a smile, enthusiastic assistance, or a warm word for anyone around her.

Mickey is quick to take a leadership role on a project, work independently on a task, and works easily with others.  She has shown herself to have a great demeanor with guests, whether it’s assisting a guest with a special request or recognizing when something needs to be done, or that a situation needs to be corrected.  Though on our team for a relatively short time, she has become a most steady and trusted presence in the room for any event.

However, it was one particular instance of service – service to our internal customers here at Deerfield saving the day, which sparked a nomination for this honor.  It was submitted by a fellow team member, and unanimously agreed upon by our department heads who reviewed all of our nominations.  It reads:

“On the morning of one of our very busy Brunches with Santa, we were having a lot of difficulty completing a task for the set up of brunch reservations that was needed to make the day go smoothly at the hostess stand.   We were in a panic as no one knew how to fix the issue.  Michelina, even though she had her own set up tasks to complete, sat at the computer and corrected the problem for us so that we could continue on other tasks that we needed to finish.  She showed great knowledge in how to assess the problem, as well as exhibiting a calm demeanor when we were in a bit of a time crunch to complete the task.  Her willingness to volunteer her help in an area that was not her own did not go unnoticed.  Thank you Michelina!”

November

Victoria Cortese

Victoria has been an incredibly dependable banquet server for our team since joining Deerfield in early
2019. She has proven time and time again to be an exemplary team player, a willing and cheerful
colleague for her fellow banquet servers, and a very positive and enthusiastic presence in the food and
beverage department.

Victoria is a student in the Alfred Lerner School of Business and Economics at the University of Delaware.
She also speaks French and has traveled to France among other destinations. Her experience in the
classroom and her innate spirit of hospitality has been an important part of her success since joining
Team Deerfield about one year ago. Further, Victoria has served Deerfield as a bartender at a variety of
weddings, parties and special occasions. She is a key contributor for our Sunday Brunch and holiday
dining events and is always available to assist with setting a room, helping with seasonal decorating, or
any number of projects or tasks that may arise. Victoria is well known by managers and fellow team
members as a pleasant, helpful, and engaging presence on a consistent basis.

In the Fall, Deerfield received a glowing review about Victoria following our Thanksgiving Day dining
event on which she as working. This guest shared the following:

“Our party of six thoroughly enjoyed your Thanksgiving buffet. I have to say that the service was outstanding
— and that applies to every employee with whom we had contact during our visit. However, one of our
servers was Victoria. She was exceptional. Her demeanor was pleasant and welcoming — and she couldn’t do
enough to accommodate our every request. Her service was prompt and cheerful. There was nothing else
she could have done to make our visit more enjoyable. She thought of everything! Thank you!

October

Sam White

Sam joined Team Deerfield back in June, 2017 and has proven himself over many seasons to be one of our most trusted and reliable Food & Beverage team members.  Sam primarily serves as a bartender for weddings and special events.  However, Sam has also contributed to delivering a great guest experience in the role of banquet server and has been a key contributor filling in on Pub & Grille service, making sure that golfers are well accommodated and have a great experience.

Notably, Sam has also served as “Deerfield Support” for one of our biggest events of the year.  This particular event that takes place in the summer utilizes tents out of the golf course and serves nearly 1,000 guests.  In this role that is earned by many of Deerfield’s very best, Sam has earned the trust and respect of our clients and their partners in this technically challenging and fast moving multi-day event.  For the past two years, Sam has performed in a superior fashion for his guests, and helped contribute toward the event’s overall success.

Sam has proven himself as highly engaged, self-starting, and team focused as he not only leads his area but supports those around him.  Events at Deerfield go very well time and time again due in no small part to Sam’s determination and dedication.

A Deerfield department head gladly shared this effusive review of Sam’s work and spirit of hospitality.  This person wrote, “I would like to nominate Sam White, one of our most dependable bartenders to date! From his time in the pub (“Tuesdays With Sam”) all the way up to Deerfield’s most recent Sunday Brunch, Sam has always been there when the team has needed him.  He exhibits a positive attitude and a second-to-none work ethic. Rarely does a mistake occur when Sam is the lead bartender.  His paperwork and shift closes are always spot on. I am very pleased to nominate Sam for the Employee Of The Month Award.”

September

Gabby Johnson

Gabby Johnson joined Team Deerfield in June, 2018 and quickly became one of our most admired and effective banquet servers. Gabby is highly engaged with the guest at all times, continually seeking opportunities to assist our clients and help make their visits to Deerfield extraordinary. Reliable, trustworthy and hard-working, Gabby comes prepared with a great attitude to every shift. Gabby’s warmth and courtesy are noticed not only by the guests that she serves, but by her managers and her fellow team members.

Gabby has also ably handled the important responsibility of serving as Bridal Attendant. Personally overseeing the service to bride, groom and bridal party is vitally important to the success of any wedding. It requires an attention to detail and a spirit of hospitality that is exceptional. Gabby has continually fulfilled this role successfully, helping ensure that each of the couples she serves makes happy memories about their experience at Deerfield that will last a lifetime. Further, Gabby is a key contributor to the success of Sunday Brunch and holiday dining events not only as a server, but a food runner.

Gabby’s contributions were detailed beautifully in a nomination we received about her from one of her colleagues. This person wrote, “I really want to recommend Gabby Johnson. First and foremost, I think Gabby deserves it because she is one of those employees whose name you see on the schedule next to yours and you know that you’re going to have a better day because of it. She is a strong server, who everyone working an event can rely on. Yet, what sets her apart is her willingness to help others. Anyone can go to her for help, and without hesitation she is ready for any task. Even during events in which she’s is loaded with responsibilities such as Bridal Attendant, she finds the time and energy to assist anyone that needs her help. In addition to Gabby’s work ethic, I believe she deserves recognition for her amazing attitude. Even when she has a lot going on, you can always trust that Gabby will bring a positive attitude to every event she works. This is evident in the way she caters to the brides and bridal parties at weddings, how she interacts with the guests at events, and her ability to work with anyone. I’m hoping everyone agrees, and can see how her great work ethic and positive attitude are so appreciated.”

August

Ryan Davenport

Ryan Davenport joined Team Deerfield as a banquet server in February of 2017 and over the past two and half years proven himself to be a highly valued, hardworking and trustworthy team member. In April of this year, Ryan earned the position of Banquet Captain, taking the operational lead with many events and working closely with the other Operations Managers in the planning and execution of events. Very quickly, Ryan earned the respect of not only his clients, but the team of banquet servers and bartenders with which he worked.

Ryan possesses a unique spirit of hospitality, always highly engaged in his approach and sincere in his desire to serve. Ryan has also demonstrated that selfless attitude via his willingness to take on additional side projects at Deerfield that required his effort and attention. Whether it was a maintenance project, spring cleaning or supporting the needs of another department, Ryan has shown a remarkable willingness to help when needed in myriad ways.

Further, Ryan is a great example of being nominated not only for an impressive body of work over time, as noted here, but for specific instances of praise and recommendation. Ryan has received many effusive compliments from clients who have not only taken the time to recognize his work ethic and dedication, but to share it with us. One such client was an event we hosted recently for a family celebrating a 50th Wedding Anniversary. It was a very busy day, and this particular event had many unique touches and special décor elements that were critical to the event’s success. In addition to the excellent performance of our entire team, Ryan was specifically noted in a glowing review from the client that noted, “I would also like to commend the evening’s Captain, Ryan, who professionally and seamlessly managed the flow of the event and coordinated with me throughout the evening to ensure the proper timing of key moments (grand entrance, speeches, dinner, photo montage, cake cutting, etc.)” These are the kinds of comments and reviews that will facilitate a family joining us again and again for any number of parties or celebrations. It is critical to our success that each of us seek out the opportunities to serve in the remarkable way that Ryan did in this case.

July

Fausto Torres-Gomez

Fausto is one of our most tenured employees for the entire company across any department, not just the grounds crew, having joined us back in 2007. Fausto has proven to be a most reliable and talented member of our agronomic team, regularly taking on special projects, assuming new responsibilities, and working incredibly well both independently as well as a part of a group.

The golf course is among our most valuable assets. Fausto has shown himself to be a leader in the care of this delicate and important part of our property. In the heat of the summer, he is working hard to ensure that our course is kept in wonderful shape for our players. In the coldest months of the winter, he is among the very few on the team who shoulder the responsibility of snow removal, clearing paths, laying down salt, and making sure our guests and our team can arrive and depart safely.

However, Fausto’s nomination, submitted by a department head at Deerfield – and unanimously endorsed by Deerfield’s group of Department Heads – puts it perfectly. “Fausto has always been a consistent performer on the grounds crew but has increased his leadership this year by being a model employee. Fausto completes his tasks in a timely manner while always making sure quality is never sacrificed. Even when he is tasked with a certain job he is always willing to help someone else even when it’s not his responsibility. For example, Fausto is often grabbing a blower to clean off some greens when he is mowing surrounds – or will help a newer employee who is unsure of something. He is continually willing and helpful. If Fausto sees a potential issue on the course, he can be counted on to point it out to management and not look the other way. Lastly Fausto has be best attendance record of the crew this season. Fausto constantly works his schedule and even volunteers to help on weekends off when help is needed.”

Congratulations Fausto!

June

Nathan Burgun

Since joining Deerfield in October of 2017, Nathan has become an invaluable member of our team in the kitchen, working hard and long into the night (and early morning) to make sure that an incredibly important part of our guest service – dishes and utility – is delivered flawlessly. Nathan has become an incredibly reliable resource in our kitchens over the past two years, taking on difficult, challenging jobs with determination. The Pub & Grille as well as all banquet events benefit from his complete familiarity with how that part of the property works, and his efficient and thorough effort. Deerfield would not be able to do what it does without his talent and tenacity.
However, maybe the nomination that was submitted by a colleague – and unanimously endorsed by Deerfield’s group of Department Heads – says it best. “Nathan’s consistent, positive attitude, his willingness to come in early or stay late, his dedication to ensuring all his responsibilities are completed before leaving, and his desire to help (fellow team members) with rides home so they do not half to walk in the dark to make it to the bus station are just a few of his best qualities. I have observed these and many other great qualities since Nathan began working here and I feel Employee of the Month would be a great way to honor his hard work and dedication.”

May

Michael Connor

In less than a year, Michael Connor has made a meaningful impact on our Food & Beverage team at Deerfield. Michael’s enthusiasm, team-oriented spirit of hospitality, effort, reliability and exceptional guest service has made him an immediate impact player. Not only is Michael extremely admired by our clients and appreciated by our guests, but he has quickly become one of the obvious staff leaders among his peers. Michael encourages his colleagues, and clearly has earned both their friendship and their respect as witnessed during our Summer BBQ. Michael can be trusted with virtually any task or responsibility even after such a relatively short time on the crew.
However, don’t take my word for it. We received two separate communications from clients/guests noting how exceptional Michael’s service was during each respective event. Tim Gibbs from the Delaware Academy of Medicine noted, “The service and attitude of one employee stood out as exceptional. Michael Connor was there with a smile, provided expert caring assistance at every turn, and instantly turned a couple of near missteps into wins. He was the evening’s MVP in my book.” Then, we received this from a wedding guest. “Your employees were outstanding! Michael (Connor) was especially wonderful and should be acknowledged by his supervisor in some manner. He was super sweet to me and my husband more than once that night. I had never been to your place and was highly pleased. (The) food was delicious, but the employees made it exceptional.”

April

Lizette Kennedy

Lizettte has been with Deerfield since July of 2015, and in over four years of service with Deerfield has served in a number of crucial capacities as Food & Beverage Manager, Banquet Supervisor, Sales Manager, and most memorably, the “Brunch Queen of Newark, DE.” Her talents in guest services, event design, room setup and décor, staff development and overall excellence in event sales and execution have made Deerfield a better place for team members and guests for the past four seasons.
In her nomination, Lizette is described by a manager as “the employee we all desire to be.” Most notably, her willingness to lead by example is truly second to none. Many might transition to a new role and never look back. However after transitioning to Sales from Operations earlier in 2019, she selflessly continued to assist the operations team not only for Easter and Mother’s Day dining events, but to help train the more junior Operations Managers to help ensure they were set up to be successful. Lizette truly embodies the Forewinds Hospitality values, investing time and energy into enriching each client and employee she touches.

March

Joel Hernandes

Joel has been with Deerfield since May of 2017 and in about two years with Deerfield, has helped lead several remarkable facility improvements that have made the guest experience even more exceptional. Joel’s list of skills and projects are too numerous to list here. We have seen him tackle anything from electrical and plumbing to painting and woodworking with talent, enthusiasm and determination.
Additionally, Joel regularly pitches in on any number of special requests – operationally during our largest events, helping supervise parking challenges, fixing kitchen equipment in a pinch, and enhancing or improving safety related issues around the property. Many projects pop up late in the evening or overnight, and Joel never hesitates to come back to Deerfield from home to make sure an event or a client is assisted with care. I know Joel is a trusted resource and a friend to all. Deerfield’s internal and external guests are very lucky to have his talents at their disposal.

February

Kerman “KJ” Joseph

Kerman has done an amazing job bringing an enthusiastic attitude, a friendly face, and a skilled culinary skill set to our Sunday Brunch team, as lead on the Sunrise Station. Many Sunday Brunch guests go out of their way to comment about KJ’s warm rapport and positive approach to each guest interaction.
Further, KJ has been a key addition to the catering team in the kitchen, skillfully assisting with entrée preparation, overseeing hors d’oeuvre presentations, and coordinating so many details of our catered events schedule.
Congratulations KJ!

January

Alex Johnson

Alex Johnson was nominated by several Deerfield department heads for his dedication to serving both guests and team members alike, contributing to many aspects of Deerfield’s business with care and determination, and for his tireless willingness to assist on any project big or small with enthusiasm and courtesy.
Congratulations, Alex!

Would you like to nominate a Deerfield team member as Employee Of The Month? Please fill out the online form below and tell us your story!

Winners of the Employee Of The Month Award will earn a certificate, the addition of his or her name and likeness on a plaque in the Clubhouse, the sharing of their story via our online and social media platforms, and a $50 gift card. Thanks for nominating a team member for this recognition.

Fill out my online form.