Casino names employee, supervisor of the year

04.14.2016 Dean Rhodes Spirit Mountain Casino, Tribal Employees

By Angela Sears

Advertising supervisor

Table Games Trainer Lance Nuttman of McMinnville and Table Games Floor Supervisor Larry Menning of Grand Ronde were selected as the 2015 Employee and Supervisor of the Year during the annual banquet held in late February.

Nuttman began his career with Spirit Mountain Casino in June 1996 as a blackjack dealer. As the department grew, he grew with it, learning and dealing all the games the casino had to offer. In 2008, he was promoted to table games trainer.

“It is the variety of tasks I get to do and the departments I get to work with,” Nuttman said about what he likes about the job. “I enjoy being the go-to guy for anything that needs to be done. I also very much enjoy the ‘a-ha!’ moment of teaching, when I can see the lightbulb of understanding flicker on.”

As a trainer for the department, Nuttman’s daily activities allow him to wear “many hats.” He trains new dealers, coaches and retrains current staff, writes and modifies policies and procedures, develops and tests new games, creates class curriculums, assists with interviews and hiring processes, assists management when needed, and also deals and supervises on the gaming floor whenever he is needed.

Nuttman was nominated as Employee of the Year for his ability to deliver great customer service when interacting with staff and for his willingness to share information and lead by example.

“Lance is a key member of table games,” said Table Games Manager Ed Badran. “We can always count on him to be here until the job is complete. He often changes his schedule to meet the needs of the department and always makes himself available to help dealers improve their skills.”

“It is an amazing honor and very humbling to be selected as Employee of the Year,” Nuttman said. “Each of the nominees was deserving of this award, and I am proud to represent SMC and be recognized in my 20th year of employment.”

Menning began his career with Spirit Mountain Casino in 1997 as a soft count attendant. He eventually transferred to the Slot Department as a slot attendant and, in 1999, he attended dealer school to begin his career in table games. In 2003, Menning was promoted to floor supervisor and was promoted again in 2005 as a dual rate assistant shift supervisor.

As a floor supervisor, some of Menning’s responsibilities are to oversee the dealers and the games in his section of the pit, ensure the games are run properly and the dealers are following all policies and procedures. He also addresses any issues on the game, as well as tracking the guest play and ensuring the integrity of the game at all times, to name a few.

Menning was nominated for his positive attitude and willingness to help others.

“Larry’s leadership skills are above most,” Badran said. “He is respected by all who work above and below him. You can always count on Larry. He offers to help his co-workers in any way he can, he has a great rapport with internal and external guests, and he is always willing to change hours or days off to fit company needs. Larry sets the example for Supervisor of the Year.”

Being selected came as a surprise for Menning. He said he was thrilled to be chosen for such an honor because he works among so many great employees and supervisors.

Only those who were named employees of the month or supervisors of the quarter were eligible to be named Employee and Supervisor of the Year. A committee of managers and directors pared down the list of 24 employees and eight supervisors. The casino’s executive team then selected the two winners who they felt best exemplified the qualities for the awards.

“On behalf of the executive team, casino Board of Directors and Tribal Council, I would like to thank Lance Nuttman and Larry Menning for their outstanding work and dedication to Spirit Mountain Casino,” said General Manager Stan Dillon. “They are both fantastic employees whose teamwork, dedication and drive make them an invaluable asset to the casino. Congratulations to you both and thank you for a job well done.”

In addition to the awards, Nuttman and Menning each received a check for $1,000, a $2,000 travel voucher toward a trip of their choice and designated parking for one year.