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Michael Kottenstette is Outstanding Employee of the Quarter

October 29, 2012
Two people conversing
Michael Kottenstette, right, manager of UW Catering Services, advises student employee Robert Bowen, a microbiology major from Kenya, during a catered event at the Fine Arts Center lobby. Kottenstette is the Outstanding Staff Employee of the Third Quarter.

Michael Kottenstette, manager of UW Catering Services, is the University of Wyoming’s Outstanding Staff Employee of the Third Quarter.

The award recognizes UW staff members for their efforts toward excellence in the workplace.

Expertise, professionalism and customer service are words that repeatedly appear in letters supporting Kottenstette’s selection as the recipient of the award.

“He is always professional, always willing to 'go the extra mile' and always able to accurately calculate whether the request he receives is within his scope to handle at any given time,” is a typical description of his service. “With a gentle laugh and twinkle in his eye, he epitomizes of the best in UW's front-line staff members, representing this essential service to the whole campus.”

Another nominator writes, “He is extremely prompt, efficient and professional in handling all details related to upcoming events. I appreciate his proactive way of ensuring all of our needs are met.”

His impact on campus goes beyond ensuring events are handled expertly and professionally. As one nominator points out, he supervises around 80 student employees.

“He sets a great example for his employees. He is a wonderful mentor for these young people, encouraging a strong work ethic and professional behavior,” according to the nomination.

“Each student staffer is the reason I come to work every day,” says Kottenstette, who has been catering manager since August 2007. “I need each and every one of the students to do our mission and the students rely on management to give them opportunities to make a wage.”

He says the culinary team members -- led by Executive Chef David Asmuth, Bakery Chef Deb Ross and senior cooks Nick Nordberg, Steven Moe and Yu Heck -- have all received many compliments for meals and desserts served to clients. But most compliments recognize the work of the students.

Additionally, Kottenstette praises the contributions of Assistant Manager Derek Adam Jones, who ensures that every event is staffed and has all the equipment, supplies and products necessary for success.

Employee of the Quarter nominees can be any UW staff employee and must receive three nomination forms from three separate individuals. Nominations must be submitted to the Staff Senate office. The forms are on the web at

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