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Longtime Bavarian Inn Lodge employees recognized
By: Bavarian Inn
Jim Engel and Imelda Marie Bovee-Leix were hired in together at the Bavarian Inn in 1977 and have continued to work for the Bavarian Inn Zehnder family over the course of 45 years.
Today Engel is the chief operating officer (COO) of the Bavarian Inn Lodge, while Bovee-Leix is the Lodge's general manager, overseeing food and beverage operations including kitchen, dining room, lounge, banquet center and HR.
At his hiring Engel was just 15 years old. He began working as a dishwasher at the Bavarian Inn Restaurant and moved up through the organization, becoming COO in 2002. Bovee-
"Jim and Imelda truly exemplify the kind of people who work for our family," said Michael Zehnder, Owner at the Bavarian Inn Lodge. "They work hard, are passionate about what they do and care deeply for the Bavarian Inn and the community. They are just like family to us."
Engel's COO role is focused on assisting the company leadership with whatever resources are needed, from updating systems and technology to improving facilities, developing sales opportunities and ensuring the financial success of the Lodge. He has helped with each of the Lodge's five expansions over the past 38 years.
His proudest moment was helping to create and develop the Perks Club, the largest independent resort loyalty program in the U.S. This program includes more than 30,000 Perks members and offers a sophisticated level of service to loyal customers.
Besides his role as COO Engel is an unofficial photographer for the Bavarian Inn Zehnder family and at the many community events he is involved with, like the balloon festival and the annual Dog Bowl.
For Bovee-Leix, she recalls the support she received from the Bavarian Inn Zehnder family when she had a major medical issue a few years ago. She was touched by their willingness to stand by her and support her, just as she's supported them for over 45 years.
Bovee-Leix is also known for being a clown — a professional one. Over 20 years ago she trained as a clown alongside the late Judy Zehnder Keller, and for many years now has helped in that clown role with employee parties, awards ceremonies and other Lodge team activities.
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