Joint Base Lewis-McChord Express Leads the Way for MILITARY STAR Success
When the management at the Lewis North Express at Joint Base Lewis-McChord challenged associates to step up their MILITARY STAR® applications numbers, the team responded—in a big way. In 2020, the Express processed more than 300 approved applications—about 115 more than the average for Expresses and surpassing some main stores, as well. Their 2020 total more than tripled their 2019 applications.
“Our secret is having associates who are passionate about the card and can explain all the benefits,” said Express Manager Andrew Defelice. “They make personal connections with the customers.”
Defelice keeps the store’s MILITARY STAR progress at the forefront. Every weekly team meeting includes updates on the associates’ progress toward monthly and annual MILITARY STAR goals.
If the Express garnering 300 applications is impressive, the fact that more than 200 of those came from a single associate is awe-inspiring.
Lorna Beavers, who has worked for the Exchange for more than eight years, including the last three at the Lewis North Express, is the undisputed MILITARY STAR champion for the store. For Beavers, it’s all about connecting.
“I smile and welcome shoppers into the store—even when you’re wearing a mask, people can tell if you’re smiling,” she said. “I let them know I’m here to help.”
The Express serves many young Soldiers—JBLM is often their first duty station. They might not know how to build credit and why it’s important. Beavers explains how MILITARY STAR can help them in a personable way.
“The main store is on the other side of the base, and many of the young Soldiers don’t have transportation. We’re located in the center of the barracks, so we’re serving these people daily,” said Beavers, who is married to a retired Soldier who served 30 years. “I try to remember names and faces, ask how their families are doing. I want to make sure they have a pleasant interaction with me.”
Beavers and the Express team were recognized for their tremendous MILITARY STAR numbers in a virtual coin ceremony this month with Chief Operating Officer Jason Rosenberg, Exchange Credit Program Senior Vice President Tommy Ward, Credit Strategy Vice President Kathy Bronkalla, Western Region Senior Vice President Ronny Rexrode and North West Regional Vice President Patricia Austin.
Despite her incredible accomplishments, Beavers is modest about her success.
“I’m just doing my job to help the Exchange,” she said.