Who: Joann Beckles – Co Manager at Villa Fresh Italian Kitchen, Newark International Airport
How long have you been with Villa? Joann was hired on Valentines Day, 2001!
What is your primary area of responsibility? With previous airport experience, I was hired to take care of the Front of House (FOH), to make sure that our Guests are taken care of. Sure, I know how to prepare all the food, but I know my best skills are in Guest Service. Many people think that at an airport, we don’t have "regular Guests", but we do. Many of our regulars are business travelers that look forward to stopping by Villa on the way out, or when coming home. This is what energizes me to do my best!
What positions have you held during your tenure? Given my experience, I have always worked at Newark Airport (EWR). I have worked in Terminal C, Villa; and, assisted in Terminal B when we recently opened Tony+Benny's. I loved helping the new locations open, but I thoroughly enjoy working with my team in Terminal A!
How did Villa help in your development? When I was hired, I was asked to learn everything I could. Villa Restaurant Group has given me the opportunity to learn new things, grow, test new products, and focus on what I do best – build and take care of my Team. Without them, I would not be successful. I appreciate the trust VRG has put in me; and when other Team Members or our Owners come by, it’s wonderful to hear all the good things they have to say. I have been told that my smile and laugh make people feel good! And that makes me happy.
Why do you stay at VRG, and what do you like most? I enjoy meeting and seeing our Guests – that’s what really motivates me. I like to see our ‘regulars’, as well as make all of our travelers happy – serving our food and making them feel good. I am always learning from my bosses, and I so appreciate that. What I like most is hiring someone to join our team, and then seeing them do well. I’m proud of being able to find someone that works well with the team and takes good care of the Guests!
How would you describe our culture and what sets VRG apart from other companies? What I think sets us apart is our Team. We are like Family. My manager treats me with respect and we all work toward one common goal. As a manager, it is up to me to help my team develop, as well as with any problems they might have. It’s important for them to know that I support them, so they can be happy and work at their best.
Would you recommend VRG as a good place to work? Absolutely … but not if you are coming only to pick up a paycheck. At Villa, we are family and as a family we support each other. I look for people that enjoy taking care of the Guests!
What are you most proud of? When I was hired, I was asked to learn all I could and believe in myself. I was told if I did that, then others will believe in me. I hope I have done this!
At Villa, we couldn’t be more proud of you Joann, and know that we do believe in you! Thank you for taking such good care of your Team, and our Guests!