PEMBROKE — A local student and restaurant worker has earned a top company award from among 40,000 employees at 800 restaurants.
Jessica Dinnen, 24, a full-time employee at the McDonald’s restaurant in Pembroke was recently named Crew Person of the Year among 800 restaurants in the region that encompasses North Carolina, South Carolina, parts of Tennessee, West Virginia and Georgia.
“Needless to say we are all very proud of her,” said Ron Ouellette, director of operations for Rust Enterprises, which owns restaurants in Lumberton, Whiteville, Pembroke, Fairmont and St. Pauls.
Dinnen is also a full-time student at The University of North Carolina at Pembroke, with plans to become a teacher.
“She rides her bike to and from work and is never late no matter what the weather conditions,” Ouellette said.
Dinnen is a two-time All American winner for Rust Enterprises as a front-counter cashier, he said.
“She is the best of the best out of our 300 service people we have within the seven-store organization,” Ouellete said.
He said the restaurant gives a bonus to the crew person who gets mentioned positively the most in an online survey, McDVoice.com, and Dinnen wins nearly every month.
The award honors employees who make outstanding contributions in their restaurants and deliver the McDonald’s brand promises to customers every day, with a focus on quality, service and cleanliness.
“Jessica is an exceptional person, who always has a smile no matter the day or the situation and you can’t help but smile and feel good when she waits on you at our store,” Ouellette said. “She is very professional and mature beyond her years and has been a crew trainer for the store nearly since she was hired in 2013. We have attempted many times to attract Jessica into our management program, but she is content on pursuing her dream of becoming a school teacher and she will be a great one. What also makes Jessica special is that she overcomes any obstacle that confronts and does not complain.”
Dinnen said she just tries to make every experience for diners a positive one.
“A lot of people really like that I’m friendly and that I smile,” Dinnen said. “If I see them outside of work I’ll stop and talk to them.”
She plans on teaching science in middle school.
“College is really important to me,” said Dinnen, who is a sohomore. “It’s a lot of time management because if I’m not at work, I’m probably at school.”
A Pennsylvania native, she is quick to credit her work family with some of her success.
“The people at my job are really supportive of me going to school. They know that I really have a passion for science,” Dinnen said.
Reach Terri Ferguson Smith at 910-416-5865.