Officer John Butt named 2018 Officer of the Year

30 May 2019
Category: Family Business Articles

“John embodies our Whelan values and he personifies the traits that we desire in our best officers and leaders,” said Dallas General Manager Brian Middleton. “His consistent and sustained performance is exemplary.”


Officer John Butt began working at Whelan in November of 2008. The skills he gained as a sergeant major of the U.S. Army made him prepared for his new career in security. John’s first position was at Walmart in Irving, Texas. Now, he works at Southwest Airlines (SWA) at the corporate location in Dallas. He’s on the frontline, screening employees, delivery drivers and everything else that comes through the Wings gate entrance. After more than 10 years at Whelan, John said he’s still just as excited for work in the morning.

“The people, the supervisors, take really good care of you,” John said. “I think that’s something that makes Whelan stand out.”

John said he experienced a lot at his initial security position at Walmart. He stayed alert and always had his eye out for shoplifters. In addition to his daily security duties, he developed relationships with the homeless people in the area and came to realize that you should always treat people with respect. John’s current job at SWA has taught him the importance of customer service and that being friendly is the key for a good work experience.

“People come in every day, and I get to know them. I speak to them, and it has a big effect on them, because I know everyone’s name now. People started saying, ‘Hey, that’s a great thing you’re doing!’”

Jay Oros, Senior Manager at SWA, said John is worthy of praise for his outstanding customer service.

“His attitude reflects the SWA culture: always polite, uplifting, energetic, full of compassion, servant hearted and always professional,” Jay said. “Officer Butt demonstrates all of these attributes while maintaining security at the very forefront of his duties.”

Besides working at Whelan, John has other aspirations. He’s currently making strides toward a third degree black belt in karate, while teaching himself how to play the trombone. Overall, John said he is very grateful for his decade-long career at Whelan.

On May 7th, Whelan Security’s corporate office, located in St. Louis, welcomed John for a day in the city. He toured both the St. Louis and corporate offices, spoke with management and had a professional photoshoot. Next, John was treated to a ‘St. Louis’ day complete with St. Louis BBQ, a trip to the Budweiser brewery to see the world-renowned Clydesdales, dessert at a local favorite, Ted Drewes Frozen Custard and closed out his day in the city like any true St. Louisian: a Cardinals ballgame.

We are extremely proud of Officer Butt and are honored to have had the opportunity to meet him.