March 1, 2011 > Local McDonald's(r) manager selected for national honor
Local McDonald's(r) manager selected for national honor
By William Marshak
Some business awards are self-congratulatory and meaningless; they may look impressive but requirements for selection are rudimentary and easily achieved. However, many companies and associations reserve special recognition for those within their industry who have achieved extraordinary results through stellar actions over an extended period of time. Such acknowledgment is usually the result of exemplary behavior, successful employee relations and outstanding time management.
McDonald's(r), well-known and highly successful throughout the world, is especially cognizant of the attributes that have led to its dominant position in the food industry. It is understood that managers are a key link to positive employee attitudes and profitable ventures. In recognition of this, each year a select group of McDonald's(r) restaurant managers are nominated, rigorously reviewed and interviewed as candidates for the Ray Kroc Award. This prestigious award is given to the top one percent of U.S. McDonalds(r) managers in recognition of "superior performance and achievement."
Among the select group of managers to win the Ray Kroc Award for 2010, is Dale Liss, who has worked with McDonald's(r) for over 30 years and has managed the location on Fremont Boulevard near Mowry Avenue for the past 16 years. Liss has also served with the Washington Hospital Foundation for six years as an active participant in "Trees of Angels" during the winter holiday season to raise funds for local hospice care. With a strong management team including Owner/Operators Mark and Gaby Bernardin and supervisor Pat Gorman supporting his nomination, Liss' record of excellence passed the rigorous examination with flying colors.
Liss attributes a major factor of his success to effective communication. For the past 13 years, he has produced a newsletter that accompanies each employee paycheck. It has progressed from a basic, plain piece of paper with a few items to a more sophisticated communication with graphics and Employee of the Month. "As I have progressed with my computer skills, so has the newsletter," says Dale. Another major contributing factor is being given "time to think." He says, "If I am constantly trying to put out fires all day long and haven't surrounded myself with good people who know that I care about all the details, I will not have time to think, be creative, plan and celebrate successes." The result is an "upside-down catch-22" focusing on choices that limit rather than encourage growth. He adds that his career with McDonald's(r) has been a great experience; "I work with a wonderful group of people."
Following the nomination, finalists are interviewed extensively by a six-person panel on site. "It is quite an honor to be nominated for this award in the first place," says Liss. There is much more to the process than simply reviewing sales and production numbers; queries about efforts in local marketing, training and systems cover 1 1/2 hours of intense discussion. Of the 80-90 nominees in the Pacific Sierra Region representing approximately 600 stores, a management team selects 12 finalists and chooses five to receive the award. Liss, a finalist in 2009, narrowly missed the award that year and vowed to return as a winner in 2010.
As one of 141 managers selected throughout the nation, Dale, accompanied by Denise who he humorously calls a "McWife" of 31 years, will travel to Chicago from their home in Fremont this month for an award presentation. Others in the Liss household, sons Stephen and Jonathan and daughters Jackie and Maggie, will be cheering them on. Franchise owner Mark and Gaby Bernardin will accompany Dale and Denise to Chicago for the ceremony. Mark commented on Dale's achievement saying, "We are truly proud to have Dale as part of our McDonald's(r) family and commend him on this amazing accomplishment."