Eddie Naquin is a Beau Rivage kitchen steward. It's his job to wash pans and stack dishes so chefs have a clean place to cook. When talking about Naquin, co-worker Denise Lewis says, "Our friend Eddie is a super natural worker."
Because of his work ethic, and his infectious smile, Beau Rivage named 30-year-old Eddie Naquin its employee of the year. His friend Peggy Bosma broke the news to him, "And he just screamed. He was so excited."
Bosma used sign language to explain how Naquin reacted, because the employee of the year is deaf. You could see the elation on Naquin's face when he signed his feelings about the award. "And when they said my name," Naquin said through his interpreter, "oh gosh, I jumped up. My wife said she almost fell out of her chair."
Naquin uses an interpreter for interviews, and a piece of paper and a pen when he talks with co-workers. He'll usually wave at you, or give you a thumbs up when he walks by. His attitude about life is simple.
"If people are around I think it's important to keep a smile on your face and be friendly. Or ask them how are you doing, shake their hand, take a few minutes, give them a hug. I think it makes everyone here happy and it's easy for me to do that."
Naquin has become an inspiration for other deaf people at the de l'Epee Deaf Center.
"This is such a great accomplishment for someone to overcome the barriers that they have in their life such as a disability, and to achieve this, it's awesome," Naquin's interpreter Peggy Bosma said.
What makes Eddie Naquin so special to Beau Rivage is he's just like everybody else. Sure, he can't hear. But through sign language, he can communicate. And his message is something everybody should listen to.
"You know some people just don't stick it out I think," Naquin signed. "You gotta stay in your job, you've gotta work, you've gotta keep your chin up and look to the future."
Those words of advice come from a man who's never been able to say a word. They speak volumes about his character.
By being named Beau Rivage Employee of the Year, Eddie Naquin won more than $2,000 in cash, and a trip to Grand Cayman Island. Eddie and his wife will take that vacation later this month.