Category Archives: News & Updates

Culinary Forum: The Heart of GSI’s Culinary Innovation

We are thrilled to spotlight the journey and evolution of GSI’s Culinary Forum, a pivotal platform within our organization that fosters innovation, collaboration, and community among our chefs and food service professionals. Our Insider team had the pleasure of speaking with Russell Baratz, the leader behind the culinary forum, to delve deeper into its significance and continuous growth.


The Culinary Forum was initially established as a simple internal communication tool but has grown immensely in its scope and reach. “It’s a great platform for GSI chefs and all those associated with food service within the company to meet, engage with one another, and learn from each other’s successes,” Russell shared. The forum has successfully cultivated a community, driving engagement and knowledge sharing across the board.



As for its evolution, Russell highlighted significant growth in participation over the years. “What started as a gathering of about a dozen participants has now expanded to nearly 100 active members who contribute regularly. We have quarterly conference calls that continue to attract more chefs and food service managers nationwide,” he explained. The forum’s news feed is bustling with posts about new culinary trends, successful promotions, and innovative recipes, turning it into a dynamic exchange of culinary brilliance.



Joining the Culinary Forum is straightforward and highly encouraged for all our chefs looking to broaden their horizons. “There’s a link on the intranet page that will take you to the forum’s main page. From there, you can log in or create an account,” Russell mentioned. This access opens up a wealth of resources and sharing opportunities right at the chefs’ fingertips, including food cost tools, special promotions, and a gallery where chefs can showcase their culinary achievements.


The forum not only serves as a platform for sharing ideas but also plays a crucial role in building a closer-knit community among GSI’s culinary professionals. “It’s about creating that sense of community. Despite our busy schedules and individual responsibilities, knowing that we are part of a larger community is incredibly valuable,” Russell added.


We encourage every chef within the GSI family to explore the Culinary Forum, contribute their unique ideas, and benefit from the collective wisdom and creativity it harbors. By sharing, engaging, and collaborating, we can all contribute to a more innovative and successful culinary operation across GSI.


The Forum also gives out a prize once a quarter to those who display excellence!


Let’s keep the culinary conversation going and continue to set high standards for ourselves and our teams. Here’s to more growth, creativity, and shared success in the kitchen!


Congratulations to all involved in making the Culinary Forum a cornerstone of GSI’s culinary excellence.

Adventures Unbound, Capital Collection

What Are Adventures Unbound Collections?

One of the most significant goals of Adventures Unbound is to help generate a sense of connection between our team members regionally and nationally. A “Collection” refers to a curated group of travel experiences each centered around specific themes and destinations that showcase natural beauty and cultural richness. These Collections, such as the Capital Collection which we will discuss in this article, are designed to provide guests with immersive and transformative experiences, enhancing their connection with the environment and the local culture. 

Meet the Capital Collection

To learn more about the Capital Collection and how it compares to our Boating in DC brand, we interviewed Chris Bloyer, Senior Director of Operations, and CJ Brenner, Operations Manager.



For our team members, understanding the Capital Collection is crucial as it represents a commitment to delivering exceptional service and experiences in the Washington, D.C. area. This knowledge will enable our team to better engage with guests and embody the brand’s values, promoting a cohesive and informed team environment.

The connection between these properties will also help internal career opportunities enabling team members to explore other paths, learn from properties they might not know about, and receive more support. Cross-promotional opportunities will enable new product ideas like all-encompassing summer camps as well as different packages and discounts.



We look forward to seeing collaboration between the Capital Collection as we continue to expand this exciting set of destinations.

Welcoming Rod Taylor as Vice President of Hospitality

Congratulations to Rod Taylor, the new Guest Services Vice President of Hospitality! Rod’s career in hospitality began in 1980 as a mechanic in marinas, setting the stage for his growth in the industry. During his tenure with Forever Resorts, the previous concessionaire at our Lake Mead units, his role involved managing operations where they rented houseboats, dining operations, and much more, showcasing his ability to handle large-scale hospitality services.


Recently, Nico Foris, CEO, congratulated him by saying, “I am very excited to announce the promotion of Rod Taylor to Vice President of Hospitality, effective January 1, 2024. His dedication, commitment, and expertise have truly set Rod apart to join our executive leadership team at Guest Services. Rod’s four decades of operational experience, large-scale problem-solving of complicated matters with the National Park Service, and effective team management and leadership align so well with Guest Services’ core values, and he will continue to build upon the success of the division. In his new role, Rod will be responsible for overseeing the five properties at Lake Mead, Lake Roosevelt, Stehekin, Mount Rainier, and Big Sur. Please join me in congratulating Rod on this well-deserved promotion!”


Honoring Barry Trice: Celebrating 27 Years of Excellence as He Transitions into Retirement

We would also like to celebrate Barry Trice, our esteemed Senior Vice President of Hospitality, who is transitioning toward retirement. Barry’s 27 years of dedicated service have been a cornerstone of our success, setting a high standard of excellence and fostering key partnerships that have greatly benefitted Guest Services.

Nico said, “Barry Trice, our Senior Vice President of Hospitality, is now embarking on a separate transition toward retirement. Barry’s twenty-seven years of service to the Company has been invaluable.  He has established a standard of excellence and cultivated so many key partnerships and relationships, which we still maintain today. Barry will remain part of Guest Services to support Rod during the transition efforts over the next year and continue to be involved with our existing units on a lesser scale, notably at Florida Southern, Musical Instrument Museum, The Doubletree, and the Condominium & Property Management division. We are all extremely grateful for Barry’s contributions past, present, and into the future during this exciting time.”