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Mike Melita sitting in front of bushes outside Mike Melita recently was recognized for his commitment and excellence on the job with a prestigious Spirit of Sodexo award.

Melita, supervisor of grounds for Sodexo at Beacon College, was selected from a field of more than 400 nominees as the campus segment silver level winner for “Service Spirit.”

“When Mike is on the job, I can be confident that the environment and the people around him are in the best of hands,” said David O’Brien, his supervisor and director of facilities at Beacon. “Mike’s service spirit shines through everything he does, and positively impacts everything he touches.”

Spirit of Sodexo is an award program that honors Sodexo employees who exemplify the company’s values of service spirit, team spirit, and spirit of progress. Recipients also are recognized as employees who honor the company’s safety culture.

Spirit-of-Sodexo-Award The criteria for the Service Spirt Award are:

Melita’s spirit and expertise has even caught the eyes of college leadership.

He’s “a roving campus whirlwind, constantly in motion, with an encyclopedic knowledge of plants and shrubs, an uncommon understanding of turf care, and a highly professional representative of Sodexo,” Dr. Brent Betit, chief operating officer at Beacon. “Having worked with facilities departments for more than 40 years — including a stint as a groundskeeper myself at World Learning in Vermont — I have tremendous admiration and respect for his service to the College and his understanding of the vital importance of curb appeal.”

O’Brien praised Melita’s focus on cultivating positive first impressions with the campus’s curb appeal, but noted that where his dedication and humanity shines is in his attentive care of the campus’ memorial gardens.

“These gardens were funded by donors — often donors whose grief required physical representation, in order to memorialize the special memories of a departed, cherished loved one,” O’Brien said. “Mike knows that when he is working in these gardens, he is treading on hallowed ground, and he cares for these spaces with exceptionally exacting stewardship, consistently honoring the spiritual retreats and the departed souls that they represent — always with meticulous care and overriding respect.

“He can be observed carefully polishing the bronze memorial plaques, cleaning the water features (once retrieving an errant baby alligator who somehow took up residence in a fountain), painting the pergolas, arranging for the refurbishment of pavers, and ensuring these gardens remain pristine contemplative spaces.”

Along with the company recognition, Melita, who celebrates his sixth anniversary at Beacon in October, also receives a $550 company rewards card, a formal recognition letter signed by the segment CEO, a Spirit of Sodexo Award Winner email signature and a Teams background to display.

“I was excited to find out that my dedication and love for Beacon College was recognized by not only my Sodexo team, but the Beacon College team as well,” Melita said. “I feel that all my years of experience, hard work and dedication [have] not gone unnoticed. It gives me the drive to better myself, my team and the campus of Beacon College. I believe first impressions can only happen once and I don’t want to miss that opportunity.”

Sodexo North America — which manages the College’s food and facilities operations — is part of a global, Fortune 500 company with a presence in 53 countries.