Best of the best!

Staff Sgt. Brian Hill
Kaiserslautern American

***image1***Ramstein Community Center and director Linda Crom say they stop at nothing short of excellence – the Air Force agrees

The Ramstein Community Center has racked up the awards over the years, and now director Linda Crom can say she’s finally collected her five golden rings.

She was recently selected as the 2005 Air Force Services Squadron Civilian Manager of the Year.

“It is a great honor,” said the 27-year services veteran. “It’s a sense of personal achievement and pride in knowing you are the best of the best in the Air Force Services Squadron worldwide.”

And the five golden rings? Ramstein’s Community Center has been a fixture at Air Force-level competition lately – recent awards include Best Community Center in the Air Force, 1998, 2003 and 2004; and 435th Services Squadron Team of the Year, 2004 – and now with this latest achievement, Linda can count five top awards she’s been a part of here.

“I have realized every manager’s dream, and some personal goals I set for myself,” she added, meaning this latest manager award.

Linda’s story begins in Lima, Ohio, but she’s called Germany home for the past 30 years.

“Another dream come true: living in Europe,” she said.

She started at the community center here as program director in 1988, and has assumed the director’s seat since 1998.

“I always joke, ‘It’s one of the few jobs that pays you to play’ with providing fun filled, morale building events and programs for the community,” she said.
In leading the center to five awards, Linda says her leadership philosophies stem from some early mentoring.

“I was very fortunate to have had two awesome mentors,” she said. “Carol Sudy and Dale Schmitzer in the Recreation and Management field – I learned a lot from them and manage in their style.

“I like leading by example and stress team work. The community center has a small but awesome team which makes it easy to come up with unique, successful programs. I also follow the Disney philosophy, taught to me by my mentors, of exceeding people’s expectations and leaving them with lasting impressions. The success of the community center is listening to our patrons, satisfying their needs and giving them what they want in the way of programs and services.”

The center’s mission is boosting morale for KMC members and their families. The award-winning team at the community center believe they accomplish their mission.

“We strive to live up to our motto, ‘the center of fun!’”