127 Years of Family Serving Family: Lolita Baltimore, Langley AFB
One in a series honoring the Exchange’s 127 years of family serving family/
Who she is: Lolita Baltimore, Express manager, Langley Air Force Base
Years with the Exchange: 20
What brought her to the Exchange: “The Exchange is a good fit for me because growing up as a military brat, there was always a connection with AAFES because my family shopped there, and now as an associate I am thankful that I have been able to transfer with the Exchange to follow my husband.”
Where she’s worked: Working at the Exchange has taken Baltimore to Germany, Japan and several locations stateside: Fort Drum, Cannon AFB and Langley AFB.
“I make the best of everywhere we would go and want to say they all were my favorite, but Baumholder is near and dear to my heart. It was my first main store manager position. I received great support from the team and was heavily involved in the community. Although it is a small facility, people who know Baumholder know the Exchange there is a hidden gem. The team is a small family who do big things serving the military community. I always looked forward to Thursdays when the retirees would visit. They would meet at McDonald’s and then come to the Exchange afterwards to shop and tell stories about Baumholder.”
What she did at first: Baltimore started as a cashier and has worked as a stockroom manager, assistant main store manager, store manager at an Auto Care Center and an Express, main store manager, operations manager and sales and merchandise manager.
What she does now: Express manager
Going where you go: Baltimore deployed to Romania for six months at Mihail Kogalnicenu Air Base (MKAB).
The rewards of deployment: “It was a rewarding experience to support the troops and the Saber Guardian exercise with assistance from the Romanian and Kosovar teams. When I returned to my home store, a customer stopped and thanked me for a television he purchased while he was deployed to MK. The ability to provide troops ‘a little piece of home,’ is a valuable experience not to be forgotten.”
Military connections: Like many Exchange associates, Baltimore has connections to the military and to the Exchange. “My son, DeVonte, and I are both military brats.” Her father, Retired TSgt. Benu W. Cramer, served 20 years in the Air Force, and her husband, Retired MSgt. Ralph D. Baltimore, served in the Air Force for 23 years.
Exchange connections: Baltimore is also the second of three generations in her family to work at the Exchange. Her mother, Preslita Cramer, has worked at Charleys on Holloman AFB for 12 years, and her son, DeVonte Burnett, a visual merchandiser at Holloman, has been with the Exchange for seven years.
All three of them worked at different locations around the world at the same time to support Afghan guests who were being resettled in the United States.
At that time, Baltimore was a sales merchandising manager who was acting store manager at the Kaiserlautern Military Community Consolidated (KMCC) Exchange in Germany. The KMCC team supported guests who arrived at Ramstein with supplies while they were getting ready to come to the United States during Operation Allies Welcome.
Holloman AFB is one of the locations that hosted Afghan guests, and when they arrived, Burnett was on a team selling clothing, personal care items/necessities, food, and snacks from the Exchange out of a pickup truck for two weeks. When a mobile field Exchange (MFE) arrived, he worked another month in the MFE.
“It was great to meet and see associates from Exchange HQ in action and their amazing work ethic,” Burnett said.
Family serving family: Baltimore feels a strong bond with the Exchange and with her fellow associates.
“I have worked for the Exchange for more than 20 years and stand by our mission and core values. The friendships made along the way with military families and Exchange associates all over the world is a connection unlike anything else. The Exchange is an amazing company as you can tell by the many generations of families working with us. Serving those who serve is an honor. I am proud to be a part of the Exchange family!”