By Jim CunninghamJune 12, 2008
CAMP CASEY, SOUTH KOREA - Gerald Keener, manager of Casey Lanes on USAG-Casey, learned he was selected for the James A. Carroll Jr., Award May 6, for his superior management of Casey Lanes. The criteria for being selected for the Carroll award include everything involved in running a Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation program from services to the community to financial improvements.
"Gerald Keener led this facility to a record net income before depreciation of $282,963 (37.8 percent of net revenue) in fiscal 2007," said Chris Bradford, USAG-RC community operations officer. "This equates to a 680 percent increase from when he arrived in fiscal 2005."
Through cross training employees and efficient scheduling, Keener reduced labor costs by $58,746 compared to fiscal 2006, Bradford said in his summary of Keener's merits.
Keener is not a stranger to awards for his work. He is well known to the bowling industry for winning the prestigious Second National Bowling Week Innovative Promotion Contest Oct. 25, 2007, which proclaimed Casey Lanes as first choice winner for the most successful, creative and well-executed promotion run during National Bowling Week, Aug. 25-31, 2007.
"Keener works hard at having fun," Bradford said. "His creativity and dynamic personality have made him an icon for bowling within the community."
Keener is constantly networking with the units to come up with new ways to meet their needs, Bradford said. Utilizing mandatory training opportunities brought Keener to the attention of the Bowling Proprietor's Association of America early last year for his Gas-Mask-Bowling, which satisfies the training requirement and encourages fun at the same time.
"Gas-Mask-Bowling has become a quarterly scheduled training event for the units on USAG-Casey," Bradford said. "The units rent the lanes during nonpeak hours for Soldiers to bowl while wearing gas masks."
Casey Lanes held the first Texas Hold'em bowling tournament, introduced "Luck be a Lady," and had a visit from the "Cookie Monster."
In his promotion "Operation Cinderella and Cinderfella," Keener places certain secret shoe sizes, decided by management, as resale shoes of that size are placed randomly among the rental shoes. When a customer attempts to rent a pair of shoes and chooses the secret pair, the customer wins that pair of shoes to take home.
"A variation of this promotion is also conducted from time to time," Bradford said. "The manager of the bowling center visits other FMWR activities in search of Cinderella or Cinderfella. Interested contestants attempt to place the mystery shoe on their feet and if the shoe fits, that individual is given the pair of shoes along with a free bowling game coupon."
Casey Lanes aggressively plans and promotes a tournament during holidays to boost both morale and sales. Prizes for these tournaments are secured through commercial sponsorship, from other FMWR activities, and bowling promotions.
"We offer an alternative," Keener said. "We are zany and we have fun so we present that Family atmosphere for the Soldiers and their Families and I think it brings us good comments and awards.