DowntownDC BID SAMs Experience Design at the Washington Design Center

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

By Sam Mullins

Amidst plush pallets of charming chenille and sable side tables, the DowntownDC Business Improvement District's (BID) Safety/Hospitality and Maintenance employees (SAMs) dabbled in design during their employee of the month meeting held Sept. 10 at the Washington Design Center (1099 14th Street NW), which opened last year.

The Washington Design Center (WDC) is D.C.'s premiere address for upscale interior finishes and furniture. While it is a trade-only provider, the public is welcome to peruse the diverse offerings of the showrooms and arrange for procurement.

In the building’s sunny marble and glass atrium, SAM Safety Supervisor Michael Creed welcomed the crowd at WDC and commenced the meeting’s events, introducing Melinda Alley from WDC's marketing committee. Alley thanked the SAMs for the work they do Downtown and expressed her appreciation to the BID for the help it provided in bringing WDC to Downtown last year.

[Read DowntownDC BID Raises the Curtain on New Washington Design Center here.]

Since WDC looks out over neighboring Franklin Park, Creed provided a few historical anecdotes about the park and its role in the history of D.C. Following that, Maintenance Supervisor Mike Williams announced September birthdays and Safety/Hospitality Supervisor Teresa Savoy informed the SAMs of events taking place Downtown such as the visit from Pope Francis.

BID Program and Experience Planner Ebony P. Walton also offered a short, inspirational speech to the SAMs

Following their meeting, SAMs enjoyed light refreshments courtesy of WDC and Alley led SAMs on a tour of some of the showrooms and vendors at WDC. SAMs had a chance to get an up close look at the fine offerings of designers such as J. Lambeth & Company and American Eye.

[To find out more about the Washington Design Center, click here.]

Every month, two SAMs are chosen as employees of the month. For August, the honors went to Hospitality SAM Jahmil Thompson and Maintenance SAM Ernest Johns.

Jahmil Thompson is a repeat SAM-of-the-Month winner. He said he was “humbled and grateful” for having been chosen. Thompson has been with the BID for six years and stated that the best aspect of the job has been “making an impact on people’s lives.” A self-described city-guy, he said his favorite part of Downtown is the environment and the multicultural D.C. population. Thompson credits his daughter Lanaisha Rogers and her mother Shawana Raheem as the motivation for his work each day.

Ernest Johns has been employed at the BID for five years and said this was his third time winning SAM-of-the-Month. Having been excited and appreciative of the nomination alone, Johns said he was elated to win the honor. He spoke at length about how it was “by the grace of God” that he was employed by the BID and how the job affords him the opportunity to reach out to and help people on a daily basis. Johns is a D.C. native. He requested to mention his love for his son, Ernest Johns III.