PDX People: Three Stories of Extraordinary Customer Service

Being respectful – a core value for PDX People – means acknowledging that every person’s experiences and abilities are different, then tailoring the response to each individual and situation.

Whether providing additional support to someone in need, taking the time to actively listen, spending a moment researching options or practicing patience and empathy, PDX People offer respectful, inclusive service to all.

To recognize actions that truly stand out and show gratitude for these efforts, we host the PDX People customer service awards each quarter. Here are the extraordinary employees we recognized from April through June 2021.

Jimmie Hudson
G2 Secure Staff

Jimmie Hudson, G2 Secure Staff
Jimmie Hudson

Great service often elicits compliments, but providing such exemplary service that passersby take note? That’s impressive!

Two PDX visitors took the time to send in recognition, detailing their observations of Jimmie Hudson with G2 Secure Staff.

“We wanted to send our appreciation to Jimmie. While we were not the beneficiaries of his service, my wife and I saw him – on multiple occasions – doing a great job.

From getting folks wheelchairs to helping passengers needing extra assistance and giving directions, we both noticed how compassionate and professional this gentleman was with everyone. We felt compelled to write a note to say that it was just really nice to see someone do such a thorough and thoughtful job with all passengers.”

Heather Pakosz
Alaska Airlines

Karen Crone
Port of Portland

Heather Pakosz, Karen Crone

When a worried mother called the PDX Paging Information Center, she reached Port of Portland’s Karen Crone on the other end of the line. The woman was quite concerned – her 19-year-old son wasn’t answering his phone and had missed his Alaska Airlines flight.

Karen reach out to Heather Pakosz at Alaska and using teamwork, kindness and persistent paging, they were able to make contact with the missing passenger…but not until the following day.

It turned out that her son had left the airport overnight and his phone battery was dead. Luckily, he was able to call after returning to PDX, hearing the pages and borrowing a phone.

When Karen and the young traveler connected, he was clearly distressed. To ensure he made it through the ticketing process, Karen stayed on the phone with him and once he reached the ticket counter, she asked to speak with the ticketing agent. The stars aligned: It was Heather on the other end!

Knowing that the 19-year-old needed additional assistance, Heather quickly rebooked him and made sure he got to the security checkpoint. Karen then had him call her once he was at his gate.

By working together and giving the young passenger the extra support he needed, Karen and Heather created a positive outcome for him and his family.

Erin O’Connor
Travel Oregon

Erin O’Connor

June 28, 2021, was a tough day for travelers. Portland was experiencing the hottest temperatures since historical records began in 1940, and no hotel rooms were available – they were all booked by local residents escaping the heat. 

Erin saved the day for two stranded couples who stopped by the Travel Oregon Welcome Center. The couples had no hotel reservations and little hope of finding anything, given the circumstances.

Erin sprang into action, calling up lodging property after lodging property, looking for availability. After about an hour with no luck, her next call fortuitously connected her to someone she knew personally. Because of this industry friendship, Erin was able to secure two very elusive hotel rooms for both couples – truly a happy ending, thanks to her determination and care.

More PDX People Quarterly Award Winners: April – June 2021

Watch the PDX People customer service awards ceremony:

Amber Olopuy and Annette Hall

Dollar Car Rental

Amber and Annette worked together to help a customer reclaim her misplaced glasses.

Ellie Nye and Andy Joly,

Capers Café

Ellie and Andy stepped up to help the Stumptown team clean up after a major spill.

Kane Shapiro


Kane helped a passenger with a visual impairment use the AtYourGate app to get food from the opposite concourse.

Mac Detgen

SP Plus Corporation

Mac provided exceptionally respectful and friendly service. As a customer wrote, “He was really kind in a situation that I found very stressful.”

Mimi Priest

Port of Portland

Mimi went above and beyond to support a volunteer as she navigated the airport for the first time in over a year.

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