I am astonished at the level of participation we have in our Best of the Best voting. One person actually voted in 204 out of 218 categories, and we had a grand total of 191,006 votes cast. To put it simply, we had many more votes than we as a community typically see in a municipal election. But to me the question at hand is not how many people vote or how many votes are cast, but what makes a person or a business truly the best in the eyes of the community. So today, I thought I would share a few of my own experiences with a few of the winners and what I hear said about them by members of the community when they are not in the room.
Charles “Chuck” Atkins is without doubt a fantastic home builder. Ask anybody and you will hear words like “awesome” or “amazing,” but more often than not you will also hear people say how much they care about him. I think it is because he truly loves people and cares deeply about serving and giving them what they want. He takes pride in making sure every new homeowner is happy. He cares and he serves.
I was once sitting in the office of Dick Coffey at Dixie Kitchen, visiting over coffee. He had to take a call from the field. He listened calmly and then simply said, “Well it doesn’t matter, just do whatever it takes to make it right and to make them happy.” That, folks, is real customer service when the first item on your list is making certain that everything is perfect. And Dick is right there all the time, leading by example. All of his people follow his example. He cares and he serves.
I love going into any of Randy Burleson’s restaurants and watching his people work. They are bright-eyed and attentive, and the quality of the product is great. But what I really love is when I happen to see Randy himself in one of his properties. He is never still, not sitting at the bar, or stuffed away in an office. He is on the floor, setting an example for the people who work for him. Leadership through example—he is a strong and humble man who truly cares about his staff and his patrons. You can tell: he really cares and he happily serves.
While waiting to see Jimmy Murchie of Cella Flooring and Design, I overheard him speaking to one of his customers. He said, “Ma’am, we are here to serve you and want you to be happy. We are going to do whatever it takes to make your floors perfect.” I know from personal experience that he and his team live up to that promise on a regular basis. They happily care and serve.
These are just a few of the people I have the honor to serve as the publisher of Cityview. And that is what we are really here to do: serve our readers and advertisers by sharing the positive stories of our community.
What our voters have chosen is those in the community who care about what they do and about whom they serve. It may sound like a simple concept, but it’s at the heart of what makes someone the very best.