DFMWR program manager wins IMCEA award
August 31, 2011
FORT RUCKER, Ala. (September 1, 2011) -- Turning around a failing program is no easy task, but The Landing Zone's Bingo Program manager did just that and received recognition for it.
Vicky Tonn has come a long way since she started working at The Landing two years ago, said Frank Zerbinos, Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation business operations officer. Winning the International Military Community Executive Association Rubenstein Award is proof of that.
"She has just excelled in leading a program that was faltering here," Zerbinos said. "It was no longer the source of revenue that we had seen previously. (Vicky) came on originally as an operations assistant. Our (program) manager at that time went on maternity leave and I asked Vicky if she could step in at that point. For a young professional to be challenged with something as big as (that program), it was a big undertaking. She's worked hard and persevered."
Zerbinos said Bingo customers are a different type of customer than Tonn might have been used to dealing with, being younger than the typical player.
However, she put a series of controls in place to keep the flow of money tracked properly and successfully introduced new machines into the fold that, at first, customers didn't take to, but now love.
"This is the first time they've awarded the Rubenstein Award," he added. "They've given out management awards for a long time, but this is the first time they've awarded a 'rookie manager' award."
The award is presented to the top manager across the Army who has been in management for less than two years, Tonn said. She added that getting the award came as a surprise to her.
"I was very honored to get the nomination," she said. "It was humbling to know I had the support of my supervisors. I was so surprised. I was up against a lot of people and I'm just a newbie here."
Stephen Peacock, The Landing business manager, said he knew early on that Tonn was the right person for the job and that she would be perfect for the award.
"I knew from day one that she puts her heart and soul into everything," he said. "I knew she'd be great. She has high standards that she holds herself to and I knew she'd hold others to it as well."
Tonn said the program had undergone some location changes that were presenting many difficult challenges for The Landing Zone.
"At first, the program was inside The Landing Zone along with (other) operations, but it became so popular that both couldn't fit in here," she said. "It wound up being moved to The Cobra Lounge and that has worked out much better."