Matilda Henry goes beyond the call of duty
Observer North & East
Discovery Bay, St Ann - Master Chef of the Bean Bird Villa in Discovery Bay, St Ann, Matilda "Subie" Henry was voted the 2012 Jamaica Association of Villas and Apartments' (JAVA) employee of the year.
It was not only her mouth-watering dishes which landed her the coveted title, but her willingness to go beyond the call of duty, as she served outside her capacity as chef.
Working at the villa since 1983, Henry's hard work and dedication was recognised by JAVA at its Annual General Meeting and awards luncheon earlier this month.
"I am very happy," Henry told the Jamaica Observer North East, adding that it gives her great joy to know her work is appreciated.
The popular Jamaican saying "self praise is no recommendation" was most fitting, as it was not Henry who told of the achievements during her years of employment, but her employer who sang her high praises.
"I am extremely proud and very happy for her. I am very excited; it has been long overdue," Sainte-Marie Stephenson said fondly of her longest-serving employee.
Stephenson, who nominated Henry for the award, described her as exemplifying the efforts of Bean Bird. "Her gracious and warm personality made her name synonymous with Beanbird," she stated.
Work for Henry is more than earning a salary. According to Stephenson, Henry tends to the guests' every needs and will go out of her way to find what a customer needs should the property or neighbouring area not have it.
Henry, through her innovative idea, introduced the service of supplying fruits and vegetables to Bean Bird so that guests, on their arrival, can sample products not readily available in some supermarkets.
Henry's warm personality and the delicious meals she prepares are often the two things which guests will recall when asked about their experience at the property.
Henry is said to be always immaculately dressed and ready to greet visitors to Bean Bird with a smile.
"Subie makes a point to check on guests regularly. She does not have to be given a schedule of when to do this. She genuinely wants to see that guests are happy, as in her eyes they are her responsibility as family, not just duty," Stephenson said.
Henry, she said, considers the maintenance of the property as if it were her own.
As one who is said to be very professional in her daily activities at work, Stephenson said Henry is never afraid to report maintenance issues and also make suggestions as she sees fit.
Henry was further lauded for helping to promote her place of employment and for having a genuine interest in seeing the business flourish.
Described also as a great team player who provides guidance to fellow staff members, Stephenson said she plays a pivotal role in the training of new members of staff as she is versed on the standards expected.
Stating that trust is a very important aspect of her business, Stephenson further described Henry as a woman of honesty and