Celebrating Superstar PDX People

Wrapped in glossy white paper, 170 awards were ready to be handed to their deserving recipients. But as the days ticked down to March 12, 2020 — the date of the PDX Excellence in Service awards — the atmosphere turned from anticipation to uncertainty.

The annual PDX Excellence in Service awards honors the PDX People who earned the title of “Customer Service Superstar” at the Portland International Airport. It is the event of the year for many. But as the day of the gala approached, so did rising concerns about the pandemic, and in the interest of everyone’s health and safety, we canceled the event.

Still, the team just couldn’t let the 170 superstars go unrewarded! PDX People make up the heart of our airport, and their unmatched dedication to exceptional customer service is what makes PDX so welcoming. So, over the past few months, our Customer Relations team found creative ways to distribute swag bags to the award-winning PDX People. That included a physically distanced roadway pickup, where we handed awards to airport employees and volunteers as they pulled up in their cars.

Superstars from all our partners — airlines, concessions, transportation, and more — were nominated by their own teams. Every nomination was accompanied by a note of appreciation from their manager.

Scroll down to read a few of these recognitions:

Autumn Daves, Blue Star Donuts employee, holding her PDX Excellence in Service award. She is standing in front of her house, wearing a yellow face covering and smiling with her eyes.
Autumn Daves. Blue Star Donuts

Autumn consistently goes the extra mile and always tries to connect with each customer to better understand their needs.

Jack Hughes, Travel Oregon, in his car holding a sign that says "Thank you! Stay Safe." Walt Marchbanks in PPE is handing him his PDX Excellence in Service award.
Jack Hughes, Travel Oregon

Jack has an innate ability to connect with people from all walks of life. He truly enjoys helping others, passengers walk into our welcome center as visitors and leave as friends.

In a  car together, Naya Mairena Flores, Burgerville in the passenger seat  and Luis Marin, MOD Pizza in the driver's seat. Both are holding their PDX Excellence in Service award bags and wearing matching face coverings.
Naya Mairena Flores, Burgerville (left) and Luis Marin, MOD Pizza (right)

Naya started with us a year ago and quickly became an invaluable part of the team. Her natural attention to detail is a skill we can’t go without!

Luis makes sure that all guests leave our restaurant happy and full. He gives our customers the best PDX experience!

Women named Shasta Lindell holding up her PDX Excellence in Service award
Shasta Lindell, Bags Inc.

Shasta exudes professionalism, has incredible patience and a caring spirit. She won’t leave until she makes sure all her customers are taken care of.

Kamaran Darbandi with Portland Metro Shuttle, in his car. Walt Marchbanks in PPE is handing him his PDX Excellence in Service award. Kamaran is wearing a face covering and his expression is happy.
Kamaran Darbandi, Portland Metro Shuttle

Kamaran was appointed by his peers to become the lead representative for the On-Demand Shuttle Companies. He partners with ground transportation staff on ways to become an even better partner while serving the traveling public.

Elisabeth Fleming, Country Cat employee, holding her PDX Excellence in Service award. She is in her car and wearing a rainbow face covering. Her eyes are smiling!
Elisabeth Fleming, Country Cat

Elisabeth loves her job and it shows, she always has a huge smile on her face and loves making guests feel at home. She is a great team player with an awesome attitude.

Thank you, PDX Customer Service Superstars (all winners named below). In tough times, you help us remember to smile and share a little kindness with each other.

Click for full size