Ideas propel ‘K-Club’ manager as Army’s best

Christine June
415th Base Support Battalion

***image1***The Kazabra Country and Western Club Manager Jutta Morgan constantly thinks of new ideas when she is out and about for her cowboys and cowgirls.

These new ideas netted her the U.S. Army’s best large community club manager, the James A. Carroll Award for the category Community Club with annual revenue of more than $750,000.

“I’m always thinking when I’m driving ‘what can I do next to make our club better?’” said Ms. Morgan, who has been the 415th Base Support Battalion Kazabra Club manager for five years. “My employees and I are also always brainstorming about what exciting things we can do to make the cowboys and cowgirls come our way.”

Pool tables, an Italian restaurant contract, a punching machine and “Tornado,” the club’s mechanical bull, are some of the ideas that have propelled the Kazabra Club, affectionately called the “K-Club,” as the place to be on a Saturday night.

“They have fun games, the bull and casino gambling all in one building,” said Airman 1st Class Jessica L. Mullins, 435th Communi-cations Squadron telephone maintenance technician and a regular K-Club cowgirl. “My first weekend in Ramstein I went to the K-Club with some friends, and I loved it; it was a blast.”

Sgt. Danny L. Thomas, 47th Forward Support Battalion “B” Company mechanic, drives from Baumholder, about 45 minutes away, almost every Thursday and Saturday just to go to the K-Club.

“I like the big dance floor and atmosphere,” he said. “And, a lot of my American and German friends come here.”

Ms. Morgan, who has four grown children and six grandchildren, said that on Saturday nights more than 600 cowboys and cowgirls come to Kazabra from everywhere, “as far away as Stuttgart.”

“She just keeps folks coming in and sales climbing,” said Joseph A. Schwartz, 415th BSB Hospitality Management Group chief who nominated Ms. Morgan for this award. “She’s very deserving of this premier award, which can propel a manager to bigger and better assignments.

“She has excelled both financially and in regards to customer service,” he said. “Ask her customers and they will reinforce my confidence in her ability to please the customer and go the extra mile to see that they are satisfied.”

Sergeant Thomas agrees, “She’s always here, and she’s always there for us.”

Saturdays have Ms. Morgan working more than 12 hours.
She is there before bingo starts at 4 p.m. and until the last cowboy or cowgirl leaves at 4 or 5 a.m.

“It really is a fun place to be on a Saturday night,” said Ms. Morgan, a native of Dabel, a small town in former East Germany. “It’s like you are standing on an ant hill and all these ants are coming in. It’s fun.”

It’s also fun just working there said Ms. Morgan, who supervises 17 people.

“We work together here as a team,” she said. “We are a big family at the Kazabra Club.”

Ty Wilcox, the club’s operations assistant and bartender, has worked for Ms. Morgan almost from the start of her tenure as the club’s manager.

“She’s an excellent manager, a people-person and very open-minded. She schedules events where we can all team-build,” he said. “It’s just a fun environment to work in, and I don’t plan on leaving.”

The K-Club transforms into the Kazabra Bingo Palace on Wednesday night, and Saturday and Sunday afternoons. Under Ms. Morgan’s leadership, the club’s bingo program expanded from two days to four days a week and includes family, midnight, marathon, customer appreciation and advent bingo.

“Jutta’s bingo program has become the number one program in Europe, with prizes that include trips, cruises, automobiles and thousands of dollars in cash,” said Mr. Schwartz, who has been her supervisor for almost four years.

Each year, the U.S. Army Community and Family Support Center presents awards recognizing excellence in management of Army clubs.

Ms. Morgan will be formally presented with her award in May at the International Community Executives Association Conference held in Chicago.