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DeWitt earns second Subway Manager of Year designation

The Park Rapids Subway is 15 percent above average in sales in the tri-state area that comprises the North Central Region. Dallas DeWitt, above, was recognized for the achievement, as well as food safety standards compliance and customer service ratings, earning a Manager of the Year award earlier this month.(Jean Ruzicka / Enterprise)

For an unprecedented second time Dallas DeWitt has been awarded Manager of the Year, achieving the distinction in 2006 and again this month in the North Central Region, which includes North Dakota, South Dakota and western Minnesota.

"No one's ever done this twice," she said, grinning.

Customer service ratings and compliance in food safety standards led to the award, the restaurant evaluated on a monthly basis. Two Subway agents nominated her after evaluations.

The store has consistently received Tier 2 ratings. Tier 1, the best, is awarded on "very rare" occasions, DeWitt said.

DeWitt also received Subway's Circle of Excellence commendation for the third consecutive year, recognizing hard work and dedication to maintaining standards.

The Circle award was presented first, so DeWitt had ruled out her chances of claiming the top prize, until her name was announced.

"Dallas has unbelievable drive and work ethic," John Clark, the development agent for Subway's North Central Region, said in announcing the award Oct. 11 at the Grand Casino Hinkley. "She takes personal pride in the store and acts as if she owns it."

"Someday I hope to," DeWitt said of her "ultimate goal.

"I could not have won this without a dedicated staff," DeWitt said. "We all work as one. We don't have a big turnaround. We're a family in here. I love my job. I love coming to work every day."

There was cause for fireworks this 4th of July when Subway saw the highest sales ever recorded for the store, which is owned by Mike Dolezal and Dave Gruzner.

"Seven years ago, I was looking for a manager," Dolezal recalled. The ad appeared in the Saturday Enterprise and that morning the phone rang. "She convinced me it was her dream job."

He admitted to skepticism; he'd heard this from others.

"But from the time she walked in she's done a great job," Dolezal said. "She's a real pleasure to work with."

Subway staff members take classes on line via the University of Subway, to achieve the rank of "person in charge." One of the ultimate goals is for customers to experience no more than 2 minutes, 10 seconds in line.

The Park Rapids site employs 12, four of them certified bread bakers.

"It's hard to climb to the top," DeWitt said. "It's harder to stay there.

"I plan to stay there."