Mary Stiles has been working at Starbucks for 15 years, but for her, it’s about more than just coffee. A job at Starbucks means something deeper—the opportunity to give back to her community.
On Nov. 30, Stiles, who works at a Murrieta Starbucks on Madison Avenue, was awarded Community Service Manager of the Year. She was nominated by her district manager, Jennifer Morcos, who sent the application to the regional director and regional vice president. Out of 300 applicants, Stiles was chosen at the top employee in serving others.
The award is bestowed upon those who demonstrate professional dedication, passion for their work, and involvement in the community. Stiles undoubtedly exemplifies all three; in fact, they were the very reason she began working at Starbucks.
“The reason I came to Starbucks was because they recruited me because I was doing community events,” Stiles said. “I was doing a community event for Junior All-American Football, and I was doing a pancake breakfast fundraiser for 2,000 people. I had asked Starbucks to donate the coffee, and they did. At that time, the district manager said that this was a company I should work for, just because of my passion for being involved.”
After a few months of considering the suggestion, Stiles applied for a job, and hasn’t looked back since. When asked if she’s glad she took the job, Stiles said, “Absolutely.”
Stiles was not aware that she was being submitted as an applicant, and didn’t expect that she would be chosen for the prestigious award.
“Shocked and surprised,” she said of her reactions after hearing the news. “A lot of gratification. Because giving back to the community is such a passion of mine. Being recognized by my company for doing what is important to me kind of goes above and beyond just being excited.”
Among her community outreaches, Stiles has two favorites: Reality Rally and the Susan G. Komen Foundation.
“I love [Reality Rally]. I’ve been doing Reality Rally since the first year they did it out here. And then being involved with Susan G. Komen as well. With both, we do coffee and also volunteer and organize the events. I coordinate with other managers in the area for scheduling and volunteering,” she said.
But Stiles doesn’t limit herself to these causes. Wherever she can help in her community, she’s eager to be put to work.
“I will always say yes and always be involved whether it’s donating coffee, serving coffee, or doing something to help the different school organizations raise money,” she said. “My customers are my community. I like giving back to them because they support Starbucks so well. Saying yes for any organization in the area is for me a gratification that I’m giving back to the people that support our store.”
Going forward, Stiles is enthusiastic about continuing her volunteerism. “I’m going to continue to do and give as much as possible. And I’m hoping that because of the award I can get other store managers from Starbucks in our area to be more involved.”
A paragraph from her nomination certificate says it best: “Mary is truly a legend at Starbucks. She exemplifies who we are as a company. Mary is someone who cares deeply and is committed to supporting others in their personal journey.”