Employee of the year, statewide: Local bar manager wins award

Jenny Gessaman
A smiling woman in a referee shirt and ball cap stands in front of a wooden plaque mounted on the wall in a sports bar.

Yvette Nalder stands next to her Worker of the Year award at Doc’s Casino Sports Bar Grill Monday. Regardless of the award, Nadler is proud of her profession: “It’s what I do, and I enjoy it very much.”

Photo by Jenny Gessaman

An employee of the year award is an honor, but beating competitors across the state takes the title to another level. With a nomination from her employer, Yvette Nalder did just that, and was named the Montana Tavern Association’s Worker of the Year.

According to Paul Tash, editor and publisher of the award’s sponsoring publication, employees have to be nominated by employers. They also need to display what the MTA considers essential bartending skills.

“They’re looking more for the ability to treat patrons right, the experience of running a bar and the skill of handling customers, more so than the skill of building a drink,” Tash said.

Doc’s Casino Sports Bar Grill owner Tony Brown thinks his bar manager fits the description. He values Nadler’s work for, and with, the patrons.

“All the accomplishments she’s done, it shows she’s helped the community,” he said. “That’s what they’re asking for. It’s not just who’s a bartender.”

In fact, mixing drinks is far from the only thing Brown values in Nadler.

“Customer service and everything else that there is in a good employee,” he said. “She just treats people like they’re coming in her own home: Nobody comes in and no one leaves without being greeted by her.”

Nadler agreed she had an outgoing personality.

“I’m pretty much a people person, ever since I was little,” she said.

Nader attributed her disposition, and a familiarity with the bar business, to her childhood.

“My mom and dad owned a bar in East Hollywood when I was growing up,” she explained.

Now Nadler has 26 years of bartending experience, 12 coming from her time at Doc’s.

“This is my home, I kind of go with the furniture they say,” she laughed.

While she enjoyed the recognition for her work at the Lewistown landmark, she enjoys her job more, and had advice for anyone looking to join the bartending ranks.

 “One thing I think has helped me career in this field is, get to know your customers,” she said. “Be personable.”



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