Author Archives: Quinn Pochekailo

DEI Updates | November 2023 Insider

In light of current global challenges, it’s important to respect and acknowledge the diverse experiences and challenges our colleagues may face. Last month’s ERG meetings were a vibrant mix of culture and learning. If you missed them, here’s a recap: The Hola Group celebrated Hispanic Heritage Month, rewarding Virtual Scavenger Hunt winners with authentic hot sauce. The Believe group welcomed a speaker from Riott Change to discuss allyship and surprised participants with Candy Bags on Halloween. Our Women’s ERG shone a spotlight on our HR team, offering insights into their roles, while Kaleidoscope shared empowering videos about embracing authenticity at work. All these enriching sessions are recorded and available on the intranet. We’re very encouraged by the overall increasing engagement in these meetings, thank you to all who attend and make them possible!

As we step into November, we recognize Indigenous Heritage Month, a time to appreciate and learn about the significant contributions of Native Americans and the history of colonization that has affected Indigenous people. PBS is featuring an exceptional lineup of programming for this observance.

We continue to encourage and appreciate your suggestions and ideas on how we can foster a more inclusive and understanding workplace. Let’s continue to support each other and embrace the diverse perspectives and experiences within our community.

2023 Inductees to the 25 Year Club

We proudly introduce the 2023 inductees to the 25-Year Club, honoring their unwavering commitment and exceptional contributions across various roles and locations. Thank you for all you do!


Brian Crawford Knight, Columbia Island Marina

Brian Crawford Knight, a cook at Columbia Island Marina, has been a reliable and skilled presence at Guest Services for an impressive 50 years! Known for his delicious food and vast culinary knowledge, his colleagues and management value him for his dependability and resilience in all working conditions. “Brian has a library of knowledge built up over years of experience, but maybe even greater than his acquired skill is his constancy and utter dependability,” says Bruce Ward, GM. Brian is also known for his love of deep-sea fishing and annual family cruises.


Char Broadus, Holocaust Museum Café

Char Broadus has excelled in managing the Holocaust Museum Café’s kitchen and catering for over 15 years, demonstrating an exceptional ability to work under pressure and maintain strong relationships with clients and staff. His extensive knowledge and quick problem-solving skills are consistently praised by management. He is also deeply dedicated to his mother and a passionate football fan. Char’s loyalty and comprehensive understanding of the café’s operations make him an invaluable team member.


Trang Doan Pham, Boeing NRO

Trang Doan Pham, having worked under Ashley Rodriguez’s supervision since 2021, is renowned for her expertise in managing the salad bar and creating delicious, cost-effective salads. She is appreciated by customers and colleagues alike for her time management skills, recipe creation, and station knowledge. Besides her professional achievements, Trang is also known for her dedication to caring for her elderly mother.


Thea Crosier, Florida Southern College

Thea Crosier, an Administrative Manager at Florida Southern College, has been an integral part of the institution for over 25 years, handling complex accounting and HR tasks with exceptional organization and multitasking skills. Besides her professional expertise, Thea is dedicated to humanitarian causes, sponsoring children and college students in India, and enjoys quilting and gardening. Her positive attitude and forward-thinking approach have been crucial in navigating the college’s challenging demands.


Patrick Godwin, Florida Southern College

Patrick Godwin, a part-time baker at Florida Southern College since 2015, is celebrated for his artisan breads and high-volume baking consistency, contributing significantly to various dining outlets. His colleagues and clients, including the College President, admire his quiet, focused work ethic. Outside of work, Patrick enjoys gardening and spending time with his family, including his partner of 29 years and their two Shih Tzu dogs.


Celebrating Milestones of Dedication and Service

Once again, congratulations to our 25 Year Club inductees, and thank you for your dedication! We also proudly recognize team members who have reached the 30, 35, and 40-year milestones, exemplifying an enduring commitment to Guest Services, Inc.

30 Year Milestone

Brenda Wimbush – 30 years, Natural History – Food
Raymond Palmer – 30 years, Boeing – Southwest

35 Year Milestone

Cindy Fincham – 35 years, WTC LM Food and Beverage
Henry Hurdle – 35 years, HPDTA Housekeeping Support Svc

40 Year Milestone

Vernon Fenwick – 40 years, East Potomac Tennis – Rec
Chris Shuck – 40 years, Giants Ridge Ski
Susan Pourian – 40 years, Indian Room – Non GSA

2023 E Award Finalists & Winner

The 2023 E Award has been presented to Jesse Askew, General Manager at The Lodge at Wakulla Springs, recognizing her exceptional leadership in transforming operations and enhancing guest experiences. This Guest Services, Inc. recognition highlights her dedication alongside finalists Brandy Frederich, Ray Palmer, and Brenda Wimbush, each celebrated for their outstanding contributions.


Jesse Askew

E Award Winner 2023

General Manager, The Lodge at Wakulla Springs | Hospitality, Florida State Parks

Starting as Assistant General Manager at Regal Palms, Jesse’s rapid progression to her current role as General Manager of The Lodge at Wakulla Springs reflects her success in transforming operations, building cohesive teams, and exceeding revenue goals. Some of her notable achievements include establishing essential standards and procedures at the Regal Palms and introducing innovative initiatives like the Mystery Dinner Theater at The Lodge. In addition to her primary role, Jesse excels as a team trainer for the Hospitality Division, imparting her expertise to ensure operational success across various locations. Jesse’s journey from an hourly employee to a pivotal figure in the company exemplifies her profound understanding of the hospitality industry, dedication to team development, and commitment to delivering memorable guest experiences, rightfully earning her the 2023 E Award.


Brandy Frederich

E Award Finalist 2023

Managing Director, Mount Rainier | Hospitality, National Parks

A Los Angeles native and passionate National Parks advocate, Brandy Frederich’s career spans roles at Sequoia, Kings Canyon, and Yosemite. Handpicked by David Wilde as his successor at Mount Rainier, Brandy has excelled as Managing Director, adeptly handling the park’s complex and widespread operations. Her role involves addressing the unique challenges of maintaining historic structures, managing seasonal transitions, and overcoming obstacles like power outages and staffing issues. Brandy’s expertise also extends to retail operations, merchandising, food service, HR, and accounting. Known for her terrific leadership, Brandy is celebrated for crediting her team, offering thoughtful assistance, and going beyond her duties to help staff.


Ray Palmer

E Award Finalist 2023 and 2008

General Manager, Boeing Southwest | Operations, Contract Food Service Government

Ray Palmer’s journey includes positions at Petitbon’s Restaurant, NIH, Bethesda Naval Hospital, the Marine Corps Museum, and Indigo Landing Restaurant, leading to his current role as General Manager at Boeing SW in New Mexico. He shared that his greatest moments with GSI was being the manager of the first unit to win the Q Award in 2008 (Tun Tavern at the Marine Corps Museum) and being chosen as a finalist for the E Award that same year. Ray and his wife, Diane, have two children: Izzy, who has sadly passed away, and Robert who lives in the DC area. He also has a sister who resides in DC and is an executive with the American Red Cross. Passionate about the outdoors, he spends his spare time hiking in New Mexico’s Organ Mountain Range and bicycling.


Brenda Wimbush

E Award Finalist 2023

Manager, Natural History Kiosk | Operations, DC Metro

Washington DC native Brenda Wimbush began her career at Pettibone’s on January 13, 1993, and then moved to the Corporate Office in 1994, Columbia Island in 1999, and continued her career on the National Mall in 2002 where she currently works as Manager of the Natural History Kiosk. She is passionate about her family, including her son, daughter-in-law, and granddaughters. Her granddaughter, Brittney, is in the Ministry and her other granddaughter, Brianna, is going to school to become a Surgical Nurse. Brenda loves to bowl, play softball, play Bingo, and watch comedy, drama, and history movies. She no longer has family in the DMV area, but when asked about family, she states that her GSI DC Metro Food team members are her local family since her son and his family have relocated to Tennessee.