By Christina SteinerJune 14, 2018
FORT SILL, Okla., June 14, 2018 -- The manager of the Fort Sill Twin Oaks Bowling Center (TOBC) won the 2017 Installation Management Command's (IMCOM) Excellence in Management Award for Bowling.
Kelly Wright, TOBC manager, a nonappropriated fund employee (NAF), took away one of four national awards given by IMCOM program managers.
She found out in May and is awaiting official recognition.
IMCOM, headquartered in San Antonio, oversees and helps handle day-to-day operations of Army installations around the globe. Army garrisons are communities that provide many of the same types of services expected from any small municipality.
IMCOM winners in other categories, such as food and beverage, bingo and golf, hailed from Fort Belvoir, Va.; Redstone Arsenal, Ala.; Wiesbaden-Rheinblick, Germany; as well as Wright of Fort Sill.
Wright is one of two, and the only woman, to win the award in the Army.
IMCOM panel judges evaluated every nomination package and ranked them using a point system in the selection criteria matrix. Plaques, three-star general notes from IMCOM Commander, Lt. Gen. Kenneth Dahl, $500 in cash and 16-hours time-off incentive awards were allotted to the winners to be awarded according to individuals' garrison commanders' discretions.
Wright's nomination packet stated that she "has demonstrated excellent managerial skills, a pro-active attitude, willingness to learn, focus on customer service and community outreach. Her understanding of business rules is outstanding and distinguishes her as one of (Family, Morale, Welfare and Recreation's) top leaders."
Wright, a TOBC employee since 2009, detailed her career up to this point. She said she started out as a food service worker at Fort Leonard Wood, Mo.
She moved to Fort Sill and took a grill position, was promoted to the buffet line, took bartending classes, then became an operations assistant at the former observations post at Fort Sill that closed about 12 years ago.
"When that closed, I went to LETRA (Lake Elmer Thomas Recreation Area) to the outdoor program," Wright said. "I was there seven years -- four years as an operations assistant, three years as a manager."
Along the way, Wright said she took career-enhancing courses in management, marketing, maintenance, kitchen and bowling operations.
"The challenge now is to keep up with it," she said. "I exceeded in all the benchmarks, I know I can do it, so there is some pressure (to maintain.)"
Brenda Ragland-Spencer, director, FMWR at Fort Sill, said: "Kelly (Wright) is very deserving as she is an incredible hard worker and does well at the bowling center. Kelly worked her way up from within. She started in the kitchen, went to LETRA and then we moved her to bowling.
"There is a solid road map for career progression and recognition -- management and employees need to work together on this. This is awesome," said Spencer-Ragland.
Wright has earned other work-related awards.
In 2014, she was the second person in the nation to complete the Bowling Proprietor's Association of America Online Training and Management Certification Program. She received her recognition at the International Bowl Expo in Orlando, Fla.
The Fort Sill TOBC is a world-class facility certified by the U.S. Bowling Congress. It regularly hosts Pro Bowlers Association tournaments, offers bowling leagues and hosts local high school regional events.
Wright spends her off-work time participating in other bowling events. "I bowl in four different leagues and am a youth director," she said. "I am a coordinator for Oklahoma Bowling Centers of America. We also bowl at the two centers downtown in Lawton."
With all that bowling, one might assume Wright regularly scores a perfect 300. When asked, she laughed. "My best game was maybe 225."
NAF employee Joyce Carter, an operations assistant at TOBC who works with Wright, said it was great that she was the first woman ever to win that type of award. She added Wright is an awesome person.