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Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center

 

New Valet Contractor Parks 1,000+ Cars

Valet Parking

Valet parking associates assist Veterans with wheelchairs and ensure they safely exit and enter their vehicles.

By Tonya C. Lobbestael, Public Affairs Officer
Monday, June 24, 2013

Alex Latsko and his team of valet parking associates have one mission … to help as many Veterans as possible each day, and to do so with excellent customer service.
 Since June 1 when their firm, The Congaree Group and Ambassadors Plus, became Charleston VA Medical Center’s valet parking contractor, they have done just that.  They have parked more than 1,000 cars in the first three weeks and received numerous positive comments from Veterans and visitors alike.
 Comments like “this is a great service” and “very nice personnel” are now the norm, and Latsko’s team is determined to keep it that way.
 “We’re the first people they see when they get here and the last people they see when they go home,” he said.  “We teach our associates to be pro-active – to open the car door for the Veteran, to welcome them to the VA, and to assist in any way they can.”
 They also teach their associates to park as many cars as possible as quickly as possible.  Latsko said they have a four-person system that allows them to fully utilize 50 valet parking spaces at the round Holiday Inn across the Ashley River Bridge.  One associate is stationed at the kiosk while two park cars.  The fourth drives a continual loop to pick up the associates parking the cars for the most expedient turn-around time.  And insisting the associates jog – not walk – to each car speeds things up too.
 A Veteran-owned business, Congaree Group’s company motto is “exceptional service without exception.”  Latsko says the key to providing good service is hiring good people.  He looks for pro-active associates with a good attitude that want to serve others.
They are already looking for more space to park cars to handle the increasing volume, a challenge Latsko is happy to have.
 “This is meaningful work,” he concluded.  “This is what we do – we help people.”

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