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San Clemente Journal

San Clemente Raves About Our Faves, Again! - The employees who make our day

Aug 01, 2007 08:36PM ● By Don Kindred
by Maggie Zeibak

Angie at Trader Joe’s in Ocean View Plaza.There have been some proud people in San Clemente these past few months; special people who were nominated as someone’s favorite employee. Lots of recognition and accolades were showered on them and their spontaneous smiles got wider when readers stopped and said, “I saw your photo in the Journal – you do a great job!”

More local citizens wanted to acknowledge people who provide services to them, and Linnea Iordanopoulos had a double-whammy endorsement for us. She teaches at UCI, and is mother of 5-year old twins, Ann and Martin. “Oh, that’s easy,” she said, “I just love Angie at Trader Joe’s. What a doll! Always friendly, always helps out, always remembers the kids and is good to the kids – that counts for a tired mom with cranky kids!”

Her enthusiasm ran on to Kelly at Billy’s Deli on Avenida Del Mar, “She makes you feel like you are the only one in the packed store – takes care of you with a smile and no rush, even though there are 20 people behind you. She’s on my speed-dial… Angie and Kelly come to my mind as they bring back the days when San Clemente was a small, friendly place to live. They make you feel like it is still a small town where people actually do care about the customer.”

Taking time from his company, Service 1st Mediation and Ombudsman Services, “Maui” Bill Mills, in his signature Hawaiian shirt had this to say, “I actually have two favorites, but they’re at the same place. Their names are Ray Torres and David Nguyen. Ray is the Branch Manager and David is (I think) his next in supervisory command. They are both at Washington Mutual Bank on Camino de Los Mares. You have to understand that I hate banks. So, for me to nominate two bank employees is something else. Whenever I’ve had a problem, one or both of these two have really gone out of their way to help me. If I could do something to thank them, they are the people I would nominate.”

Globetrotters Vince and Lolly Van Pelt were remodeling their kitchen and discovered Kathryn Stovall-Dennis, co-owner of Woodcrafters, Intl. They said, “Kathryn is an artist by training, a partner in business with her husband, a mom, a loving friend and a great human being by nature. She designed our kitchen and bar areas, offering ideas, yet open to our suggestions. Throughout the process she has been warm, thoughtful, caring and competent – always conscientious and wanting to do the right thing. We trusted her when she promised something and she reliably did what she promised – not simply according to plan. Kathryn goes the extra mile and does so effortlessly. She is a delight to work with and we are proud to give her four thumbs up!” 

Kelly at Billy’s Meats & Deli on Avenida Del Mar.Now that sounds like happy, satisfied customers.

Continuing with our little love-fest, we can think of numerous people we’d like to shine the spotlight on. Choosing is the hard part, as there are many unique individuals who deserve to be showered with praise for their sincere efforts and solid contributions in making our lives pleasant. How about the treasure trove of “hotties” down at the fire station who risk injury, and their lives, to keep us safe? They make many sacrifices, working long shifts away from home and bearing personal discomfort during their work. Constantly working as a team, they familiarize themselves with new equipment, perform drills and study new fire-fighting techniques to keep on top of their game. Not many of us would like to wear that heavy clothing and wrestle with unwieldy breathing apparatus at the top of a ladder. Certainly, we take our hardworking firefighters for granted much of the time and although we hope we never see them, we want them to know that they are appreciated.

Perhaps you’d like to give someone a star of recognition as your San Clemente favorite. Email us at saying why your nominee deserves recognition. Going that extra mile and exceeding the expectations of the consumer, adds up in the town that Google Earth records at 33.426N latitude and 117.611W longitude. b