- Published on Tuesday, 09 April 2013 23:13
NORWALK, Ohio – Anybody witnessing the flashing blue eyes and infectious laughter soon catches the Rose Isaac contagion at Summit Motorsports Park in Norwalk, Ohio.
And that’s a good thing.
Her non-stop fun and humor tumble out of a huge heart that learned to laugh at trouble and conquer it.
In the process, Rose Isaac takes charge and ushers those around her through whatever predicaments arise at the dragstrip at 1300 State Route 18 east of Norwalk.
Because of these qualities and more, Rose Isaac earned the 2012 Nick Gollner “Heart of a Lion” Award, the most prestigious employee award at Summit Motorsports Park.
Bill Bader Jr., president of Summit Motorsports Park, said April 6, 2013 during the Summit University employee awards ceremony that someone with a “Heart of a Lion” never quits and never surrenders.
“A true lion heart only knows exceptional courage and bravery,” Bill Bader Jr. said. “Our recipient was born with a lion heart and perfectly exemplifies the true meaning of this high honor: always courageous, regardless of the weight of the obstacle; and always brave, regardless of the size of the foe.
“Our lion heart delivers unparalleled guest service. Our guests relate to her, bond with her and quickly ask for her by name.
“Our lion heart is always quick with a funny story, usually followed with an infectious laugh and a melting smile.
“Our lion heart has a flair for life. She lives life on her terms. Her way!
“Our lion heart possesses a genuine care for people.
“Our lion heart is sincere. Our lion heart is honest. Our lion heart is real.
“Finally, our lion heart is good, very good,” Bill Bader Jr. said.
Bobbie Bader, director of sponsor services at Summit Motorsports Park, said Rose Isaac cares about racers and their families.
“She is always upbeat and so good with our guests,” Bobbie Bader said. “She is always trying to help our guests with whatever they need.”
In many ways Rose Isaac confronts life with zest.
Through the summer, she handled Guest Services on the Summit side of the racetrack, and seems most comfortable tackling multiple responsibilities.
Every October Rose Isaac loves the Halloween Classic, a week-long celebration for local racers and special event that closes the dragstrip for the season.
But in 2012 when a family member needed her, Rose Isaac gave up the activities she loves to stand with him.
In December Rose lightened the hectic office pace with bright decorations and a hilarious dancing Santa figurine.
Many times Rose Isaac drove out of her way to drop off a coworker at home, even though Rose commutes from another county with a long drive ahead of her at the close of the day.
And during company Christmas cookie baking at Veggie U in Milan, Ohio, Rose Isaac not only took advantage of two hands covered with gourmet dipping chocolate, Rose posed.
“She will do crazy things just to make you laugh,” said Jannette Damron, tower manager at Summit Motorsports Park, adding Rose wins people over with her smile, turns negatives into positives, and tells funny stories. “She is never afraid to laugh at herself.”
With her laughter and special gift for gag, Rose enlivened a company white elephant gift exchange at Christmas time in the Media Center at Summit Motorsports Park.
Stand back and watch Rose Isaac manage the office. Usually her hands fly as she answers phones, stuffs envelopes, greets visitors, searches online and reaches for an event notebook – all at the same time – with a genuine smile.
“When it comes to customer service, Rose is the best,” Jannette Damron said. “She’ll do whatever it takes to make a customer happy.”
Nick Gollner, the namesake for the award, worked for Norwalk Raceway for 16 years, until the age of 83, Bill Bader Jr. said.
“Bill Bader Sr., then the operator of Norwalk, always maintained that he didn’t hire Nick; Nick hired him,” said Bill Bader Jr.
Nick applied for a food manager position. Two days later Nick Gollner called Bill Bader Sr.
“Mr. Bader, you haven’t called me back,” Nick Gollner said, in broken German-English. “You think I too old to do the job. I tell you what; I come to work for three weeks. If you not happy, you pay me nothing.”
“There was nothing really special about Nick, except his work ethic, his ‘never-say-die’ attitude, his willingness to learn, his ‘gruff’ persona which never really hid his enduring kindness,” Bill Bader Jr. said, adding, “his love of travel, his joy in sharing everything he had, his wisdom, intelligence and pride in a job well done.”
Previous recipients of the Nick Gollner Heart of a Lion Award include:
- 2011, Bob and Kathy Neubauer
- 2010, Bonnie Scheerer
- 2009, Ken Hillman
- 2008, John Scheerer
- 2007, John Weinert
- 2006, Chris Finley
- 2005, Sharon Motolik
- 2004, Becky Legg
- 2003, Denise Garman
- 2002, Pat Peschke
- 2001, Phyllis Brucker
- 2000, Connie Hurst
- 1999, Betty Hall
- 1998, Tim Garman
- 1997, Jack Lodermeier
- 1996, Jim Herr.
Thankful to receive the Nick Gollner award, Rose Isaac said the honor surprised her. She had no idea she was chosen, since a year ago she won the 2011 Connie Hurst Outstanding team Player Award. And Rose did not recognize those qualities in herself.
“Rose is everything Nick stood for,” Bobbie Bader said. “I think Nick would be very proud to know we picked Rose for this award. She eats, sleeps and breathes Summit Motorsports Park.”
The 2012 recipients of specialty awards include:
- Mark Lundy, Connie Hurst Outstanding Team Player.
- Kirk Beat, Outstanding Guest Service Team Member
- Brenda Arter, Outstanding Guest Service Team Member
- Denise Garman, Best Hospitality Team Member.
- Jacqueline McClune, Best Operations Team Member.
- D.J. Lubinski, Best Track Crew Team Member.
- Ed Zeigler, Best Park Service Team Player.
- Janet Ready, Best Merchandise Team Player.
The 2012 recipients for Team Star Watch awards include:
- Phyllis Brucker, Thirty Year Award.
- Janet Ready, Canopus, Ten Year Award.
- John Scheerer, Canopus, Ten Year Award.
- Autumn Ashley, Alpha Centauri, Five Year Award.
- Linda Biemler, Alpha Centauri, Five Year Award.
- Kristi Whitcomb, Alpha Centauri, Five Year Award.
- Stone Striker, Alpha Centauri, Five Year Award.
- Dan Thompson, Alpha Centauri, Five Year Award.