The One Foundation Award
CW's accounts receivable team exemplifies attributes of One Foundation principles
Colonial Williamsburg President Colin Campbell presented the Foundation’s accounts receivable team with the One Foundation Award Friday, July 8 at the Williamsburg Lodge. The One Foundation Award recognizes individuals or groups that model the One Foundation attributes of guest focus, communication, collaboration and stewardship/accountability. The One Foundation Award is particularly special because awardees are responsible for nominating the next recipients. Last summer, Richard Tate, director of special events and executive assistant manager of the Williamsburg Inn, was presented with the award. This summer, Richard had the opportunity to nominate a colleague or colleagues. He provided specific examples of how the accounts receivable team exemplifies the One Foundation attributes:
- Guest Focus. The accounts receivable team consistently exhibits uncompromising quality in all of their interactions. They deal with guests and internal clients with professionalism and a genuine sense of courtesy. If they need to ask uncomfortable questions of the staff or guests, they do so with diplomacy but also with a sense of control when they deliver the message. The world of finance and accounting is usually black or white with little left to question. Given the nature of their work, the accounts receivable team could easily brush aside inquiries by simply saying “the rules are the rules,” but they don’t. Instead, they take a problem-solving approach: what do you need and how can we help?
- Collaboration. They work with the business operators to help monitor accounts and tweak processes so we can do our jobs while still meeting the end objective of collecting monies for the Foundation. They are tireless in helping us achieve our financial goals. The accounts receivable associates are patient but handle with aplomb the sometimes difficult telephone calls they have to make. They never shy away from the difficult task. The implementation of the V1 software was a combined effort between accounting and operations and helped various departments understand both what operations needs to succeed, and what accounting needs to create timely and accurate statements, maintain records, and analyze trends in pricing. The refining of the V1 computer software and the collaboration with accounts receivable continues, and helps facilitate a seamless interaction across division lines to achieve a common goal.
- Communication. When there is a question with an account or an invoice, guests are encouraged to go directly to their accounts receivable associate for answers. Accounts receivable associates are accomplished and adept at dealing with any question the guest or client may have. They know the account, understand how bills are created and can explain it clearly so the client can understand. When you call an accounts receivable colleague with a question, they are quick to respond. Their staff practices active listening and handles inquiries with a sense of urgency. They are gentle and dignified dealing with those of us in operations and with our clients.
- Stewardship/Accountability. The service that accounts receivable provides Colonial Williamsburg is the cornerstone of solid business processes. Bills leave the Foundation within 48 hours. In many cases, the accounts receivable team has been involved early enough in the booking and planning stage of some of our events to actually set up a method to collect funds in advance of the events. The accounts receivable team is unrelenting in their development of process improvements to speed the receipt of funds. They are talented partners that keep the mechanism of business running smoothly.
The accounts receivable team will display the plaque for the next year and will have the honor of presenting their nomination to the officers charged with oversight of this important award.
Past recipients of the One Foundation Award include: Dave Gregory, Products; Conference Services and Banquet Set-Up Teams; Support Maintenance Team; Robert Jones, Collections, Conservation & Museums; Larry Christian and Sandra Wiggins-Elliott, Facilities Maintenance; Greenhow Lumber House Ticketing Staff; Coach Drivers/Interpreters; Landscape Staff; Susan Zarecky, Purchasing Department; Jo Brooks of the architecture and engineering department of the property planning and management group; and Richard Tate, director of special events and executive assistant manager of the Williamsburg Inn.
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