TRAVIS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. — The Westwind Inn at Travis Air Force Base, California, is one of three finalists for the Air Force's 2019 Innkeeper Award after being named the best in Air Mobility Command.
The Innkeeper Award is an annual honor recognizing excellence in the service's lodging operations. Travis is competing against Osan Air Base, Korea, and Hurlburt Field, Florida, in the large base category for facilities with 286-699 rooms.
The base's on-site inspection is scheduled to take place July 18-19. The facility's lodging manager, Shereen Mesa, plans warm welcome for the inspection team, hoping to communicate the motto she's impressed upon the staff since she arrived at Travis last year.
"I tell my team all the time whatever you do out there is a representation of who you are, so autograph your work with excellence," Mesa said. "The team has worked extremely hard over the year."
Mesa manages one of the busiest lodging operations in Air Mobility Command, generating $9.2 million in activity revenue in 2018. The base fell just shy of a million pounds of linen laundered in 2018, clocking 945,000 pounds.
Mesa pointed to customer service as one of the Westwind Inn's standout areas. Guest service manager Rosa Dominguez agreed.
"Working as a guest service manager, I know our operations are the best," Dominguez said. "I especially hear how professional and wonderful the whole staff is. When our guests compare us to the Marriott and sometimes say we are even better then you know we are doing something right."
Mesa said customer feedback shows a 98% positive rating.
"I can't even explain it. You'll feel the warmth," she said. "You will walk into any of our rooms and you will not be disappointed."
Having a team of managers she trusts and who are capable of doing the jobs made Mesa feel as though she joined "a well-oiled machine" when she arrived last year.
"It was smooth. I was like, 'Do I even need to be here?'" she said with a laugh. "Day one, I fell in love with the team."
Travis won the Innkeeper Award in 2002, 2008 and 2011 at the Air Mobility Command level. Mesa feels optimistic about the team's chances for the 2019 award.
"The team has been eager," Mesa said. "They're ready. This is their year."