Category Archives: News & Updates

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.”

Guest Services, Inc. Invites Travelers to Embrace the Outdoors with Adventures Unbound

New Brand from Leading Hospitality Company Offers Ultimate Opportunity for 
Outdoor Enthusiasts

FAIRFAX, Va.Jan. 3, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — Today’s travel enthusiast seeks more than just a vacation; they seek a personal connection to the unforgettable outdoors. Adventures Unbound, the new brand from venerable hospitality company, Guest Services, Inc., embraces this spirit, enabling travelers to rediscover the wonders of nature. Featuring a new online platform and an integrated brand experience at nearly 50 Guest Services locations across the country, Adventures Unbound will offer a personal connection to the unforgettable outdoors.

Within the brand lies a gateway to iconic destinations and hidden gems, where uncomplicated enjoyment paves the way to unforgettable memories. Designed with the traveler’s needs in mind, the Adventures Unbound website serves as a comprehensive, one-stop booking platform for so many treasured locations across the country. Options range from scenic lodges to recreational activities at state and national parks, catering to all outdoor enthusiasts – from the experienced national park adventurers to the newcomers eager to embrace nature.

“Embodying our tagline, ‘Your Personal Connection to the Unforgettable Outdoors,’ Adventures Unbound is a testament to our 107-year commitment to making the outdoors accessible, inspiring, and transformative,” said Guest Services’ Chief Executive Officer Nico Foris. “The introduction of the Adventures Unbound brand unites dozens of Guest Services’ managed properties that share the common goal of serving guests who seek exceptional experiences in America’s great outdoors.”

The newly launched Adventures Unbound website is an intuitive portal that invites users to explore, plan, and book their ideal outdoor adventure. Visitors can tailor their search to explore seven different Collections of geographically-clustered properties, such as the Capital Collection of offerings near our nation’s capital, the Sunshine Collection featuring lodging and recreational offerings throughout the state of Florida, and the Summit Collection offering mountain adventures in Colorado and Minnesota. Travelers can also explore adventures by activity type – from an adrenaline-fueled getaway to a relaxing wellness escape.

With the future launch of a loyalty program and other signature guest-focused programs, Adventures Unbound will offer travelers not only a seamless booking experience but also access to special offers, exclusive promotions, and unforgettable experiences. Find details on the new brand and exclusive items at various travel expos and trade shows throughout 2024.

Guest Services is committed to delivering innovative hospitality, ensuring that every trip taken through an Adventures Unbound property is more than just a journey — it’s a gateway to myriad enriching travel experiences. Whether seeking solitude in nature or an active adventure, Adventures Unbound will connect travelers to some of the nation’s most unique outdoor locations, from the foothills of Mount Rainier to the swamps of the Everglades and in between.

Learn more at or connect with us on InstagramFacebook, and TikTok.

About Guest Services, Inc.

Since 1917, Guest Services, Inc. has earned the reputation of providing the highest quality food, lodging, and leisure services for valued clients and guests throughout the United States. Guest Services offers hospitality management services across a variety of client sites including private and government dining services, national parks, senior living centers, school and university dining facilities, specialty retail stores, and full-service restaurants. For more information, please visit

SOURCE Guest Services, Inc.

See Press Release

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.