TAMPA, FL, UNITED STATES
Story by Airman 1st Class Hiram Martinez
MACDILL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. — As Airmen enter and leave the dining facility, they don’t always realize the amount of work and preparation that goes into making their food. However, one Airman has proven to work relentlessly to provide exceptional food and service.
Senior Airman Haley Garces, 6th Force Support Squadron (FSS) food service journeyman, received the Arthur J. Myers Food Service Excellence Award and was recognized as one of her career field’s rising stars for noted accomplishments, dedication to their craft and local community involvement.
The Arthur J. Myers Food Service Excellence Award recognizes two junior enlisted individuals who make outstanding contributions in Air Force food service. It also focuses on personnel (on base or deployed) whose professionalism, attitude, and team spirit have a positive impact on customer service, their peers and good business.
“I heard that it was a very competitive award to go up for,” Garces said. “I had no idea I was going to get even close to winning it.”
Garces is the team leader for the Quick Eats section of the dining facility where she is responsible for overseeing the production of over 30 different menu items each day.
Regardless of her rank, Garces took it upon herself to increase production, lower waste, while mentoring seven Airmen in her section.
“Since she’s been here, we’ve seen how much work she’s put in,” said Staff Sgt. Johari Stephens, 6th FSS production manager and assistant facility manager. “She has always stepped up in leadership roles.”
Garces attributes her abilities to being stationed at two bases where she’s seen a variety of challenges and uses her experience to implement innovative ideas to help her team.
In addition to winning the award, Garces will receive an all-expense paid trip for culinary training at the Culinary Institute of America, San Antonio, Texas, where she will sharpen her skill set.