Alice Lamper was surprised when she learned she was about to receive one of the most prestigious awards given out by her employer.
But no one else seemed to be.
Co-workers say Lamper, a housekeeper at Hampton Inn Downtown Williamsport, embodies all the characteristics of a model employee.
"She is just such a great person, and she works her butt off," said Deb Meece, Williamsport, a co-worker and friend. "I just knew out of all of us slugs, she'd be the one."
Lamper was one of just 12 winners of the CEO Light and Warmth Award. Some 3,300 people across the hotel chain were nominated from among 1,400 Hilton Brand Hotels.
In a roomful of co-workers and family members at the Hampton Inn last week, she was presented with a plaque and a $10,000 check. Lamper's job is far from a glamorous one. As a housekeeper she cleans rooms and carries out other related tasks.
But Lamper, a wife, mother and great-grandmother of one, is one of those rare creatures - someone who not only does her job but performs it with a smile.
Hotel General Manager Jamie Sortman noted that Lamper works with "drive and energy."
"We wish we could clone her," she said.
For her part, Lamper said she just loves people.
"I enjoy people and I enjoy my job," she said.
Guests who have stayed at the Hampton Inn have apparently come away with very positive feelings for the hotel after encountering Lamper. Meece noted that regular guests will ask to stay in one of Lamper's rooms.
Other colleagues remember the times Lamper has reached out to hotel guests. Skip Forsburg, who worked with Lamper for five years as a housekeeper, recalled when Lamper made the hotel stay of a cancer patient so much more special.
Of Lamper winning the award, he said, "She deserves it."
Sortman said Lamper takes an interest in the lives of the hotel guests, is a a friend to co-workers and others, and passes on concerns to management. Her rooms always are clean, and she's a "phenomenal trainer" for other housekeepers.
"Alice is a great asset to our communications," she added.
Sortman said hotel officials are very pleased that Lamper was one of the winners. Richard Born, president of Liberty Hospitality Partners, which owns and manages the Hampton Inn, said it was great to see an employee recognized.
It demonstrates, he said, how well run are many of the hotels. Forsburg said Lamper simply embodies the company.