Every friday morning at 7:10 am we honor an individual with so much passion for what they do, that they are worthy of being recognized as one of our Working Class Joe's or Joann's.
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|This Week's Working Class Joe!
Harry Wendelstet, Jr. - Founder, Wendelstet Umpire School and Former Major League Baseball Umpire...A Legend.
Harry Wendelstet, Jr. spent 33 years in the big leagues as a National League Umpire...He presided over 5 World Series, 7 All Star Games and 12 League Championship Series. His Umpire School (now Operated by his son Hunter, also pictured) is held in Ormond Beach each spring and is responsible for 95% of the the Umpires in the big leagues today. Harry serves the City of Ormond Beach on the Leisure Services Board and was instrumental in the creation of the Ormond Sports Complex...literally helping clear some of the land! On Saturday, January 19th 2008...the City of Ormond Beach honors Harry by naming the Baseball Fields after him.
Taco Bell Joe
If you've ever been to the South Daytona Ridgewood Taco Bell at night, then you may recognize the following phrase..."Hello My Friend." If so, then you have likely had the pleasure of Joe's outstanding service and personality. Joe manages to give every customer a four star service experience through a drive thru window at under $5.
It was during a show that "The guy in the Taco Bell Drive Thru" got mentioned for making a car full of people say "WOW" because of the way he treated them with enthusiasm, sophistication and repect. They ordered more based upon "may I make a suggestion" and "that's an excellent choice" for items that they had not tried before and noted that it was definately not your average everyday experience...
...the phone lines lit up like a Christmas Tree with other people who had been "WOW'ed" by the same guy...and that their family back in Pennsylvania STILL talks about how amazing and uncommon it was to get that kind of outstanding service...others shared their own experiences and his name...Joseph. It was obvious that he needed to be recognized...and an award was born.
Joe is such a fixture in our community that he holds the honor of being the namesake for the "Wake Up Daytona!" Working Class Joe award.
He is...and forever will be...our Joe Emeritus.
|Ty from Rain, Flagler Moving, Red Tails, etc.|
By day Ty works as a moving man for Flagler Moving and Storage. By night, he puts on a smile as the first face you see at Rain. He manages the security, valet parking and, if you've been there more than once, manages to greet most people by name. On nights he's not at Rain, Ty can be found at the door of Red Tails. In his few spare moments, he's sending out emails promoting events and local musicians at the places he works.
|Toni from V&V Reality|
Nominated by Anthony Viscomi, he described Toni as a non-stop sales goddess. A positive force to be reckoned with, Toni works harder and smarter than anyone else on the V&V team. She racks up sales and leaves them smiling and begging for more. Even though Anthony originally nominated himself, he admitted that only Toni can compare!
|Lola Hubner of Inlet Harbor Restaurant.|
She was nominated by Ginny Kent and previously was named the Hotel Motel Association Outstanding Restaurant Employee of the Year.
Incredibly friendly...and an amazing co-worker...she is truly deserving of a Working Class Jo!
|Capt. Nick Castelli a Volusia County Firefighter|
On Friday June 1, 2007...Captain Castelli took the Firefighter Physical Skills assessment test just nine weeks after heart surgery in March. A 10-year veteran with Fire Services, Castelli, who is 33 years old was diagnosed with a heart murmur during a routine checkup in 2003. However after feeling nauseous at the end of duty on March 17th of this year, Castelli went to the doctor who performed a stress test on his heart...it lasted three minutes. Castelli was immediately admitted for open heart surgury. He began walking right away pushing his recovery in the hopes of returning to duty...NOW THAT's a passion for your job that is admirable...and worthy of Workin Class Joe!
|Chris Duval of Ocean Waters.|
Chris is a guy who works...flat out works...
He is one of the first people in the office in the morning and usually locks the door when he leaves. Chris is responsible for managing the flow of advertising and marketing material for over 3000 hotel rooms and numerous bars, restaurants and a world class spa. In his first full year with Ocean Waters (formerly Oceans Resorts) he was named corporate employee of the year...and he keeps workin.
|Leah Leonard of Daytona Beverages.|
She was nominated by Kevin Bowler and Tom Blawn. She is tireless...and it is said that "she flat out runs everything".
Above and beyond the call of duty, not only at Daytona Beverage but also in the community...tirelessly helping to coordinate charitable events and golf tournaments, Leah is the quinticential productive employee and is so efficient Tom Blawn may try to recruit her to buy/sell carbon credits in her spare time.
|The Staff of the Florida International Festival.|
A veritable "beehive" of activity...staff, volunteers, interns, guild members...all swirling around the office like a well conducted orchestra. Our top hat is off to these dedicated and passionate people who press-on with purpose to perfectly produce this premiere production.
|Joseph contracted morning delivery of the News-Journal.|
Nominated by Mr. News. Joseph delivers the paper every morning...rain or shine...literally handing the paper personally to Mr. News when he can or double bagging the paper to protect it from the morning dew.
We appreciate your passion for delivering the news.
|Flagler County teacher Diane Tomko|
Tomko, 51, a gifted and International Baccalaureate teacher, was one of just five teachers tapped as a finalist for the award from more than 180,000 educators across the state.
She is known best for starting the community problem-solving program, where Flagler students research an issue plaguing their area and then develop a project to solve it. This year, Tomko's students wanted to combat childhood obesity so they built a youth-centered gym in Bunnell. Another group delved into global warming and helped the school district save thousands of dollars on electricity by doing presentations across the county -- including other schools -- to raise awareness about saving energy.
|Volusia Tax Reform's Executive Director Margie Padgett.|
Even after working full-time everyday at Waterside Title helping people close loans on the home of their dreams...Margie is just as passionately dedicated to saving Floridians from the Nightmare of Runaway Property Taxes that for some is threatening their American Dream. She has helped organized other grass-roots tax reform organizations around the state of Florida and is constantly meeting with individuals and groups to educate the electorate on what they can do to be part of the solution when it comes to their tax bill.
|WNDB's own Dave Laing.|
Dave Laing of WNDB...for his work to cover the Florida International Festival attending events all over the area during the 16 days of the festival...late night performances and early morning updates on Wake Up Daytona! It takes passion and committment to be on stage introducing elite performers and then be in studio with a morning crew like Mr. News, Rozzie, and I...not to mention the visits from Tom Blawn and Roland Via...
|Tyson Cowles, just 18 years of age from Port Orange|
For four years, Cowles has volunteered for Hospice of Volusia/Flagler, and currently provides compassionate companionship for patients facing end-of-life issues and their families. At 18, Ty has an impressive volunteer resume which also includes volunteering at Halifax Urban Ministries' 'Room at the Inn,' a medical mission trip to Africa, building a school in Costa Rica and serving as president of his church's youth group. Ty's goal is to become a registered nurse so that he can continue to do medical missions. Ty was also the winner of the United Way/Bright House Networks Youth Volunteer of the Year award, this past April and the United Way President's Volunteer Service Award given on an annual basis to individuals, groups and families who have met or exceeded requirements for volunteer service and have demonstrated exemplary citizenship through volunteering..
|Jason Violette of Buca di Beppo|
Nominated by Stuart Padgett, Jason Violette...a service specialist with Buca di Beppo out on International Speedway Blvd., here in Daytona Beach always makes you feel personally important and valued. Cheerful, witty, entertaining and energetic...he relishes his role as the start of a wonderful evening eating experience with a greeting when you walk in the door...commentary on your restaurant tour...and quips as your group carries bags and bags of food out the door.
|Judy Winch of Westside Elementary School - Volusia County Schools|
Recognized by her peers as the top Elementary Principal in Volusia County this year, Judy has been a catalyst for community coming together on the Westside of Daytona for years. Working to create public/private partnerships and through the channels of the Volusia County Schools to open up Westside Elementary to children and parents through "Westside Nights"...as a safe place in the neighborhood to study, learn, play, and grow.
|Roseanne Tornatorre, Wholesale Lighting|
We recognize passion for the work and making a difference through service with our Working Class Joe award...and today we want to point out the tireless efforts of Rosanne for charitible causes throughout the community, but particularly on behalf of the Children's Home Society with regards to the Annual Puttin' on the Ritz fundraiser. When it comes to lighting...there is no one...NO ONE, who is more passionate about her customers or about LIGHTS and lighting than Roseanne.
|Naomi Weiss, Downtown Partnership|
Naomi Weiss, the Executive Director of the Downtown Partnership was recently recognized in a Saturday Morning profile by the Daytona Beach NewsJournal by Downtown Merchants for her efforts representing the Downtown...in the media, in meetings around town, in front of the city commission...anywhere and to anybody. Downtown Daytona is a GREAT place to Live, Work and Play...and Naomi Weiss is the Downtown's biggest advocate.
|Gina, Ronin (Sushi Restaurant on ISB)|
Gina is one of the servers at Ronin Sushi Bar...and she provides service above and beyond expectations. Since sushi is handmade and an edible work of art, when the place is packed with hungry customers...it is crucial to have pleasant and prompt smiling service keepin the saki flowin. All the servers do it well, but Gina shines.
|Edith Shelly - Chair of the Daytona Beach Vision Executive Steering Committee.|
Hard working, dedicated and passionate about her community, Edith volunteers countless hours as the Chair of both the Daytona Beach Planning Board and the city's Visioning Executive Steering Committee. Anyone who has worked with her knows that she does tons of research and attends a tremendous number of additional citizen meetings to have a feel for what the community wants. We want to recognize her for that dedication.
|A Class Action Workin Class Jo(e)....|
This one goes out to ALL the volunteer campaign managers around the area that worked tirelessly and thanklessly to promote their candidates...some candidates were winners and some were not...but today we recognize all of them as winners just for participating in the process of making our government of the people, for the people, by the people.
|Jim Dixon, Facilitator of the Daytona Beach Visioning Process|
As the visioning process enters a new phase...and the action teams provide their recommendations, the workload has increased dramatically with multiple meetings per week and consolidating action team notes...all while managing multiple personalities and multiple agendas. His team sets up and breaks down the meetings while generally making sure that it all goes smoothly.
|Sarah Trular, F.A.I.T.H. committee on Affordable and Workforce Housing...and Southeast Distributors|
Sarah is the Joan of Arc of the Workforce Housing crusade. She has championed a complicated issue that is not necessarily popular...and made tremendous progress toward understanding and change. Her pleasantly persistent nature has endeared her to even the most skeptical political points of the process. Educating everyone to the fact that the average workforce now has challanges obtaining rental or purchased housing, even with incomes of 65,000 or more...simply because the supply of affordable/workforce level homes is so limited.
|Basil Bullard - Daytona Beach Quarterback Club.|
Nominated by WNDB Sales Professional Terry Sabistain... Basil is the "Go To" guy at the quarterback club...enthusiastic and energetic, he is the greeter, the scheduler, the server....whatever it takes. What he does, he does with passion. That is Working Class Joe personified.
|Don Alone - Local Veteran Affairs Advocate.|
|Jim Cameron - The Chamber, Daytona/Halifax Area.|
Jim is the Vice President of Government Relations for the Chamber and serves as the "voice of business" on local, state and national issues; to continue working in a proactive means for the business community in working with our elected officials...but more than that he serves the community in SO many ways, including literacy/reading programs in the local elementary schools and speaking engagements in the local high schools.
|Fred Fathi (R.I.P.) - Daytona Beach College|
At the December 5th meeting of the Daytona Beach College Board proposed naming a building at the Deltona Campus after science professor Fred Fathi. Having recently contracted terminal cancer the board felt it was the least they could do in return for such admirable service for the school. "He worked so hard and he is such a great role model," said DBC board Chairperson Joseph Petrock.
God Bless YOU Fred Fathi...our thoughts and prayers are with you...and now with your family!
|Carol Thomas - Volusia County Council on Aging.|
Nominated by the entire WNDB team...and everyone else that attended the 2007 "Santa for Seniors" on December 13th in the parking lot of WNDB to collect contributions to homebound seniors in our community. Dressed as a dancing elf...enthusiastic and energetic, she was the greeter, the scheduler, the sign waver...she was everywhere with bells on...literally. What she does, she does with passion. That is Working Class Jo personified.
|Diane Michaels - Buy Me Love Benefits.|
Nominated by a number of people, including the Humane Society and the Bachelors/Bachelorettes that were part of the "Hunks and Hotties for Hounds" benefit fund raiser for the Humane Society that was held on Dec. 18th. It was a tremendous success due to the non-stop promotion and tireless efforts of Diane. At the end of the Fun-Filled and Classy evening, $18,600 was raised...an incredible evening that was both for a good time and a good cause.
|Clay Butters - Martini's Chophouse.|
Clay and his wife Claudia are the owners of Martini's Chophouse in South Daytona. Everything about the restaurant is an expression of their personal sense of design, decor, and fine dining. Clay has personally fabricated the metal wine racks, tables, chairs, firepit, waterfalls, etc. They are truly passionate about delivering a unique experience to their customers.
|Frank Heckman - Beachside Neighborhood Watch.|
On Saturday January 12th, the Daytona Beach Police Department honored Frank Heckman for his service to the community. Passionate about working as a Citizen Advocate and facilitating the creation of Neighborhood Watch groups in additional citys by using the now 21 year old BNW as a model, Frank even pedals up to 22 miles of bicycle patrol at the sprite youthful age of 76. Now THAT is admirable...no matter what the age.