–Famous Tex-Mex Restaurant Awards its Annual Leadership Development Scholarship–
Providing opportunities for personal and professional growth while encouraging a fun working environment has been part of the Tijuana Flats strategy for quality customer service since the company was founded in 1995. Further encouraging staff success, Tijuana Flats recently awarded the sixth annual Tijuana Flats Leadership Development Scholarship to three of its most deserving employees: Mark Fiala, Tim Williams, and Ryan Fields. Each recipient receives $3,000 to be used for their college expenses. This is the third time that the restaurant has awarded three scholarship recipients in one year.
“At Tijuana Flats, we understand that customer service is key to having a successful establishment,” said Brian Wheeler, Tijuana Flats president and CEO. “Because of this principle, we ensure that we are always employing candidates who will contribute a positive energy to our restaurants. Mark, Tim, and Ryan are the type of team members that customers want serving them, and are positive influences to the other employees they work with.” Mark Fiala, a corporate trainer from the restaurant’s Westchase location in Tampa, Fla., is currently enrolled at the University of South Florida. He is a back of house trainer and has helped open five stores in Florida and
North Carolina. Fiala was nominated by his general manager, Anthony Zupo who said, “Mark has done so much to help not just the store, but Tijuana Flats as a whole.”
In her nomination letter, General Manager, Lyndsey Chapman said Tim Williams “not only leads in the restaurant with the everyday use of our core values and standards, but also flows these values seamlessly into his school and personal life.” Williams, a trainer from the restaurant’s Tallahassee, Fla location, currently attends Florida State University. He plans to graduate in 2010 with a degree in physics and math.
Ryan Fields, a back of house employee from the restaurant’s Aloma location in Winter Park, Fla., has been a part of the Tijuana Flats team for nine years. “Not only does Ryan perform every task extremely well and with enthusiasm, he always looks for ways to improve the restaurant-always going above and beyond what is expected of him,” said managing partner, Joe Jeffries in his nomination letter for Fields. This fall, he will begin his junior year at the University of Central Florida pursuing a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering.
To receive the Tijuana Flats’ Leadership Development Scholarship, employees must have a minimum of one year employment with the company and be enrolled full or part-time in a state or community college. In addition, nominees must be active in their school and community, demonstrate a solid work ethic and strong leadership skills, and possess the attitude and passion that furthers the Tijuana Flats mission. In order to be considered for the scholarship, employees must be nominated by their general manager, and both the nominee and the general manager must submit a one-page essay describing the reasons the employee deserves the scholarship.