The Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau and Philadelphia International Airport recognized five workers with Five Star Service Awards

PHILADELPHIA, PA…May 13, 2010… In conjunction with National Travel & Tourism Week, May 8-16, 2010, the Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau and Philadelphia International Airport honored five exceptional employees today. From assisting and directing passengers to training employees and making excellent first impressions, each worker went above and beyond, demonstrating outstanding customer service.

Mark Gale, Chief Executive Officer at Philadelphia International Airport, and Tom Muldoon, President at the Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau, presented Five Star Service Awards to the following airport employees:

  • Marisa Bates, Wing Captain Supervisor, Marketplace Philadelphia
  • Sheila Gorlin, Customer Service Agent, Southwest Airlines
  • Patrick Ilodigwe, Security Officer, Kelly Security
  • Michael Pavesi, Airport Operations Officer, Division of Aviation
  • Dan Pearson, Senior Manager of Administration, U.S. Airways

“The Five Star Service Awards program is to honor airport workers who play a vital role in Philadelphia’s hospitality industry and often make the first and last impressions on visitors to our region.” said Muldoon.

Their Stories:
As a Wing Captain, Marisa Bates is responsible for turning negative situations into positive ones. Marisa was recently promoted to this position in December 2009. Marisa performs her duties exceptionally well. Throughout the day, she walks the Airport’s 7 terminals, interacting with employees, merchants and passengers. Marisa answers a variety of questions, from where to get the best cheese steak to how to get around the Airport and never complains or gets tired of answering them over and over again. Her smile and upbeat attitude is an asset and welcomed by passengers and merchants. Her willingness to help merchants with their daily operations is a responsibility, but also a commitment to their success. She directs passengers to their businesses, helps out in our food courts, and always makes sure the merchants are represented in the best light.

Sheila Gorlin is very polite with the passengers and takes her time explaining things to them if they don’t understand. She performs her duties with a smile! Sheila cares very deeply for our Airport customers and takes their concerns seriously. Sheila is the type of representative that makes Southwest proud that she is a part of their team. She will take her time and do whatever it takes to make a passenger who has a fear of flying feel comfortable. Sheila’s known to track down a passenger from the ticket counter through security if they’ve left something to return it (even as small as a travel itinerary). Sheila shares all of her travel knowledge Southwest customers. If she’s been there, she’ll let you know the ins and outs. Sheila truly brings the LUV out of her by treating each passenger as if they were her own.

As a security officer, Patrick Ilodigwe is assigned to the Terminal A-West International Arrivals Hall. Patrick can be counted upon to be at his assigned post every day, effectively and efficiently enforcing the rules and regulations of the International Arrivals area with excellent customer service to the passengers who pass through the Airport every day. Patrick is very familiar with immigration matters and is always ready to assist passengers who seek the services of the Customs and Border Protection Division by directing those travelers to the appropriate office and demonstrates an eagerness to help those who need directions to other areas and services. In 2009, Patrick was recognized for his actions in helping to return $3,000 in cash and traveler’s checks as well as important documents to a passenger who left the money at a telephone booth in the International Arrivals Hall. Tom Kelly, Vice President of Operations for Kelly Security, noted: “I often wonder how many excellent first impressions Patrick has made to first-time travelers to Philadelphia.”

As an Airport Operations Officer, Mike Pavesi works closely with various ground transportation providers to facilitate their services to the traveling public. Mike has a good rapport with the providers and responds quickly to resolve any issues. This is important since ground transportation is a vital customer service function at PHL. Mike was nominated for an ACE award this year by a representative of the Pennywise Sedan Service. Mike assisted this individual on numerous occasions over several months, providing service to the vendor in a proficient manner, responding quickly to requests for assistance, and properly directing him to the right sources. Throughout the entire implementation and authorization process for ground transportation providers, Mike was instrumental in getting the company on the monitor board in spite of technical difficulties and helped to correct any errors that were on the board. The vendor stated that Mike deserves a “thank you” for doing his job above and beyond the call to duty. The vendor also said, “You are the best.”

Dan Pearson is responsible for in station training as the Senior Manager for the Airport Customer Service Training Department at US Airways in Philadelphia. This role is important as it has great impact to the Airport’s customer service goals. Dan is ultimately responsible for the training of more than 2,300 employees, and he has been a direct contributor in improving the customer service experience for US Airways passengers and the airline’s performance in Philadelphia. In 2009, Dan lead a team of trainers to complete “Cultural Diversity Training” for 1,600 flight attendants and 650 customer service employees prior to the start of the non-stop service to Tel-Aviv. This specialized training qualified for government assistance, and Dan coordinated with the Philadelphia Workforce Investment Board to secure funds of $29,000 to help with the training effort. Also in 2009, Dan’s training department built the curriculum to train more than 100 managers enhanced customer service skills, on time departure proficiencies, and improved baggage delivery.

Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau (PCVB),, a private non-profit membership corporation, is the official Tourism Promotion Agency for the City of Philadelphia, and the primary sales and marketing agency for the Pennsylvania Convention Center. The PCVB competes with its counterparts worldwide for convention and tourism business. The organization has departments dedicated to the multicultural, sports, and life sciences markets.