Bernadette Mitchell, J. Willard Marriott Award of Excellence

Bernadette Mitchell
Food & Beverage Supervisor
Marriott Conference Center at the National Center for Employee Development
Norman, Oklahoma


Wotsa Bernadette Mitchell emigrated to the U.S. from Togo in 1990 as a single mother with three small children. She endured a difficult journey to get to Norman, Oklahoma. Despite knowing very little English, she found a job as a custodian at the Marriott Conference Center at the National Center for Employee Development.

She quickly proved to be a hard worker who was dependable and dedicated. She taught herself English and moved into the Food & Beverage department, working her way up to her current position as Food & Beverage Supervisor.

Bernadette has a “take charge” attitude that steadies and reassures others in times of crisis. During a recent winter, a severe ice storm left roads in Norman treacherous and the property with no electricity. The weather conditions also prevented many associates from traveling to work. With guests in the hotel, breakfast still needed to be prepared and served. In the early morning hours, Bernadette gathered all available resources to create breakfast items in the back kitchen. She even boiled water on the kitchen stovetops to make coffee because the front coffee urns had no power.

In her 25 years with the hotel, Bernadette has established herself as a trustworthy leader who sincerely cares about her associates and guests. As a supervisor, Bernadette has fostered a family-like environment. Tim Ryan, Director of Human Resources, values her leadership role in the hotel, saying, “She makes herself truly available to everyone on her team and gives everyone, regardless of his or her position, the opportunity to be heard.”

Bernadette shares, “If you communicate clearly, directly and honestly all the time, people will understand what you want them to know and what you want them to do. If you want people to behave a certain way, model it by treating them the same.”
Award of Excellence 2018 winner, Bernadette Mitchell.
Bernadette Mitchell

Bernadette Mitchell

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