MIS' Booth named state's Attraction Employee of the Year

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“RACE Ready” is an approach to guest services that Michigan International Speedway Director of Guest Services Tim Booth prides himself on.

Booth implemented the track’s “RACE Ready” approach to guest services in 2008. “RACE Ready” is a program designed to prepare his race weekend employees to continually provide quality guest services with the letters of “RACE” representing four key categories – Respect, Action, Courtesy and Environment.  Booth’s program has been key to providing lasting memories for each and every fan that attend an MIS event with great attention to detail.

And it’s the attention to detail which makes MIS the front-runner in the state in guest relations, which was recognized by Booth receiving the Attraction Employee of the Year Award by the state at the Michigan Governor’s Conference on Tourism in Detroit.

“I’m very humbled by this award,” Booth said. “Even though I am the head of the Guest Services Department at MIS, everyone who works at the speedway has taken pride in the ‘RACE Ready” approach, which has made our guests’ experiences at the track a positive one.”

Booth has spearheaded the guest services program at Michigan International Speedway since 1999. Under his watchful eye, several cutting-edge guest services programs have emerged including the speedway’s tram service, disabilities transport carts, information centers and gate ambassadors to name a few.

Another initiative Booth began in 2008 was the “Bump the Lamp” approach to guest services.

In the 1988 Disney film "Who Framed Roger Rabbit?" there is a scene in which a detective played by Bob Hoskins grabs the cartoon rabbit and hoists him through the air, repeatedly bumping his head on an overhanging lamp. The lamp swings back and forth, casting an animated shadow that covers people and cartoon consistently and realistically.

Though 99 percent of the audience doesn't or wouldn’t notice the animated shadow, it is the attention to detail that makes the Disney animators work their hardest to produce the best result.

Booth’s annual “Bump the Lamp” training for the 5,000 part-time and voluntary workforce at MIS ensure everyone pays attention to even the most minute details during two NASCAR weekends. Booth also implemented a RACE Ready program for staff, ensuring Respect, Action, Courtesy and Environment is observed for both guests and employees alike. Booth considers everyone at MIS a guest — even the staff.

“It takes extra effort to ‘bump the lamp’ in business, but attention to detail is what sets you apart,” speedway President Roger Curtis, said. “Tim Booth realizes this and implements it with everything he does — both literally and figuratively. Booth fosters a sense of pride and creativity in MIS employees, making an atmosphere in which measured risk and emotional investment result in satisfied and engaged workers and repeat customers.”

Booth is also in constant contact with the speedway’s Fan Advisory Board and the Fan Network to keep the pulse on what the guests want from the speedway. The FAB and FAN, as they are called, is a group of about 100 Michigan International Speedway race fans who make recommendations, offer insight and give feedback on anything and everything from the look of the track’s Web site, to the types of food offered at the speedway, to the comfort of the grandstand seats.  

Perhaps his greatest achievement was conceiving and managing the Spirit of America blood drive, one of the country’s largest single-day blood drives. Each year on Sept. 11, Michigan International Speedway hosts the blood drive to benefit the Great Lakes Region of the American Red Cross. Since 2002, the blood

drive has collected nearly 5,000 units of blood, with the potential of saving nearly 15,000 lives. The drive gets more amazing each year, and 2008 was the most successful and biggest event to date, collecting 1,179 units of blood. Due to its overwhelming success, the Spirit of America caught the attention of the NASCAR Foundation and became the national blueprint for a blood drive held at nearly 30 race tracks around the country every Sept. 11.

Booth is a Jackson, Mich., native and holds a bachelor’s of science degree from Eastern Michigan University. He has two sons with his wife Debbie, Caleb (15) and Kyle (11). He is a member of St. John Catholic Church, The Brooklyn Kiwanis Club, the Jackson Knights of Columbus, a Junior Achievement Volunteer and serves as Chairman of the Board of the Great lakes Region of the American Red Cross in Lansing.

Nestled in the lush Irish Hills of Southeastern Michigan, Michigan International Speedway is the Great Escape, a venerable NASCAR national park where fans can get away and enjoy the very best in racing and camaraderie. It’s the love of racing and the thrill of a great time for race fans and drivers alike.

Tickets and camping are on sale now. For additional information, call the MIS Ticket Hotline at 800-354-1010 or visit MISpeedway.com.

© 2014 Michigan International Speedway

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