Here are the five nominees for the Service Person of the Year 2013 award. Each have been selected as a Service Person of the Week.
Employee of Orchard Supply Hardware
Treating every customer and their project as important is what makes Becky Rowland shine.
An employee of Orchard Supply Hardware, she is commitmented to providing good customer service.
Born and raised in Petaluma, she has been working at OSH for nearly four years. Customers can find her in the paint department mixing paints or near the front door greeting customers as they come in.
"It's satisfying just helping a person find exactly what they need," she said. "I get disappointed when I can't help someone."
Checker at Lucky Supermarket
Carole Quan's welcoming smile and friendly personality is what helps make the Lucky Supermarket on Lakeville Street feel more like a neighborhood store than a large retailer.
A cashier for Lucky for 23 years, Quan has seen the store go from being a Lucky Supermarket, to Albertson's and then back to a Lucky store. Despite the changes, she finds the most enjoyable aspect of her job is the people she meets, including her regular customers.
"I forget sometimes that I work for a big chain store," she said. "It really feels more like a corner grocery store."
Server at IHOP
Being a server is more than just a job for Raquel Gomez, it's the opportunity to brighten someone's day with a hot cup of coffee, greet old friends and make new ones.
A longtime server at the IHOP restaurant on Old Redwood Highway, Gomez loves people — and it shows.
She started working at the Petaluma IHOP 17 years ago and loves being there for her customers.
"It's not just about serving, it's about being there for people," said Gomez. "I'm there for my customers. Sometimes the only nice part of their day is when they come in to the restaurant."
Server at Fourth & Sea Fish & Chips
Caring about others and treating customers with kindness is something Nikki Houser, a server at Fourth & Sea Fish & Chips, believes in.
A member of San Antonio High School's class of 2011, Houser grew up in Petaluma. She started working full-time at Fourth & Sea Fish and Chips last August.
Houser believes in treating others the way you would want to be treated.
"Kindness definitely counts," she said. "I believe in going above and beyond people's expectations. Some people expect just regular service, but I like to make customers feel like a longtime friend and right at home."
Checker at Raley's
The challenge of meeting a customer's needs and having them leave the store happy gives Raley's supermarket checker Evan Girdler great satisfaction.
A Petaluma native, Girdler began working at Raley's four years ago when the store first opened. He started off as a courtesy clerk and bagger, then became a produce clerk. He recently was promoted to checker.
"What I enjoy about my job is the people," said Girdler. "I'm a people person and love being able to cater to everyone's needs. I feel good knowing I can be there to answer questions."