When manager Jose Valencia announced that he was leaving Hobee’s in January to pursue his passion for photography full-time, we knew we had to do something exceptional to honor his 21 years with the company. With the Achievement Awards rolling out once again, inspiration struck: Jose was the ideal recipient for this year’s Paul Taber Commitment to Excellence Award.
The Paul Taber Award is given each year to an employee who demonstrates the founder’s legendary dedication to service and quality. Jose fits the awards criteria in so many ways: He’s a skilled manager, a superb customer service representative and a mentor to many past and present employees.
Jose’s decades at Hobee’s have surprisingly been spent at only three locations: Stanford (where many still imagine him running the show), Los Gatos and Palo Alto. Though he was initially hired as a host in 1994, his manager at the time noticed how adept he was at serving customers and urged him to consider management. Jose took the opportunity and soon embarked on a storied management career. As GM, he always did more than was expected. He worked extra hours to streamline operations with technology, answer the questions of fellow managers and could always be counted on to produce entertaining videos for the Achievement Awards.
Fittingly, Jose’s major contributions to the Achievement Awards were returned in kind: He won the Outstanding General Manager Award a record seven times (2000 – 2002, 2004 – 2005, 2008 and 2014). This impressive haul of accolades – which factors in cost control as well as employer, employee and customer evaluations – demonstrates Jose’s amazing consistency.
Though it’s sad to refer to Jose’s career in the past tense, we are all excited for his future prospects as the owner of Luna Dreams Digital Productions. We know that we will be seeing him as a customer (and on Facebook!). We sincerely appreciate all that he has done for Hobee’s. ¡Muchísimas Gracias, Jose!