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Patrick commissary No. 1 in DeCA worldwide

Patrick commissary store director Ron Rogers (center) receives the Director’s Award for the best commissary in the superstore category at the Defense Commissary Agency’s 2008 awards luncheon held Tuesday, May 20, at Richmond, Va. Handing the award is Mr. Rick Page, acting director of DeCA, and looking on is Max Kraftchick, DeCA’s Florida Zone manager. Super commissaries are stateside stores with annual sales greater than $40 million. (Photo courtesy of Defense Commissary Agency)

Patrick commissary store director Ron Rogers (center) receives the Director’s Award for the best commissary in the superstore category at the Defense Commissary Agency’s 2008 awards luncheon held Tuesday, May 20, at Richmond, Va. Handing the award is Mr. Rick Page, acting director of DeCA, and looking on is Max Kraftchick, DeCA’s Florida Zone manager. Super commissaries are stateside stores with annual sales greater than $40 million. (Photo courtesy of Defense Commissary Agency)

PATRICK AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- A little more than two months ago, the Patrick Air Force Base Commissary was named the best store in the Defense Commissary Agency's Eastern Region in the superstore division, beating out 98 other stores.

On Tuesday they found out they were No. 1 in DeCA -- worldwide.

The announcement came Tuesday afternoon, when store director Ron Rogers proudly accepted the "Director's Award" for excellence in the same category during the Defense Commissary Agency's 2008 Conference and Training Event in Richmond, Va.

"Two months ago I said that I thought we had a real good chance and that I was very proud to represent Patrick Air Force Base," said Ron Rogers, store director.

"And now I'm not just proud, I'm ecstatic - mostly for all the employees who made this great honor possible," he said.

Winning stores excelled in four criteria: accountability, unit cost, commissary customer service survey and sales. Under the accountability criteria, all departments in the store must be in tolerance for the accountable year. The unit cost criteria states that a store must meet or come in below the average of previous years. Under the commissary customer service survey criteria, the store must exceed the DeCA average or its sales band average. The sales criteria states that stores in the continental United States must show a positive sales growth averaging last year with previous years' sales, according to Rick Page, DeCA acting director.

And it was that very criteria that may have been the difference-maker, according to Susan Gutierrez, deputy store director.

"We were in the black in every category that they looked," she said. "That was one very positive thing for us," she said.

And just "doing their jobs" didn't hurt any either.

"We deliver a commissary benefit to the most deserving customers in the world, the men and women in uniform and their families," said Rick Page, DeCA acting director.

"Our stores strive for excellence every day around the world. The winners and nominees who emerged from this competition set high standards in delivering the benefit, and they did so thanks to the hard work of our DeCA teams and the support of our industry partners," Mr. Page said.

Brig. Gen. Susan Helms said this award is just proof positive that "what goes around, comes around."

"Many people in the community don't realize or understand the depth of what Ron (Rogers) and his staff do for us ... from their sponsoring of the monthly dorm burns, or the "Holiday Gift Programs" for needy Airmen and their families, just to name a few, she said. "Ron and his staff give and give and give ... it's great to see them recognized," said General Helms.

"It's nice to win awards like this and be recognized as DeCA's best on a world-wide look, but Ron and his folks would be the first ones to tell you that's not what motivates them to provide top-notch service on an everyday basis.

"They do it for us. That's what makes them world-class," she said.

"But we knew that all along."