Daniel Mickel likes working outside and working with his hands. Therefore, a job at Bridge Marina seemed like the perfect way for him to use his talents and make money. Ray Fernandez, the owner of Bridge Marina, thinks it's a pretty good match too—good enough to award Mickel the 2012 Bridge Marina Scholarship.
Each year, Bridge Marina awards a scholarship to one of its staff members in recognition of his or her outstanding performance, attitude and commitment to customer service. The selection is based partially on feedback from Bridge Marina dock slip and boating club members.
“I was quite surprised," Mickel said. "It was nice to know that customers and the marina think so highly of me, and I’m very thankful to the Deckers for their additional donation.”
Bridge Marina members Mr. and Mrs. Wayne Decker of Lafayette matched the marina’s scholarship amount, thus doubling this year’s monetary award from $200 to $400.
Mickel is not yet entirely sure of how he will use the scholarship money, but is thinking about taking welding classes.
"It's another thing I will know how to do," he said.
"Daniel has loads of enthusiasm for customer service and for his job," Fernandez said. "He exudes the vision of what a deck hand should be, and he really helps make the boating experience the best it can be for our customers."
The scholarship program is now in its fifth season.
“This award not only provides us an opportunity to help our staff with furthering their education, but also provides a chance for the best of our already great staff to be specifically recognized for their hard work and efforts," Fernandez said.
“Maureen and I both feel that Daniel is deserving of this year's scholarship. He is on the spot when needed, very polite and helpful, has follow-through, and he just seemed to take ownership in Bridge Marina responsibilities," said Ed Vatalaro, a Bridge Marina customer. “Daniel is a fine, hard working young man. It is a pleasure to recognize him for his efforts.”
Past recipients of the Bridge Marina scholarship include Lake Hopatcong residents Denny McCormick, Tom Jauch, and Scott King.