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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

State of the Onion 2023

At this year’s Annual Food Show, we had the pleasure of hosting team members from across the country, including VPs, District Managers, General Managers, Assistant General Managers, Chefs, and Clients, who joined us to discover new products and connect with vendors. With over 50 vendors presenting both new and existing products, the State Of The Onion presentation delivered by executive leadership, and engaging interactive sessions organized by various GSI departments, the event was packed with highlights.

The State of the Onion provided updates on the company’s notable achievements over the past year in social and environmental responsibility. Nico Foris, CEO, emphasized the company’s dedication to fostering a culture where employees are treated with dignity and respect, identifying this as a key area for further development.

Several Vice Presidents shared updates on essential components within their portfolios, including Laura Sherman, Vice President of the Hospitality Division, who discussed the completion of a significant capital development project at the Flamingo Everglades. Nico said, “We’re thrilled to reach this milestone and strengthen our partnership with the National Park Service. We’re also eager to offer enhanced experiences for regional and international visitors at the national park we’ve helped revitalize.”

In his summary, Nico also mentioned the significant progress of our Employee Resource Groups: HOLA, BELIEVE, WIN, and Kaleidoscope. For live updates, please check The Core. (note: you must be logged into the intranet to view).

CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion’s Mentoring Initiative

A year ago, Nico signed the CEO Action Pledge, underscoring our commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, and granting access to a wide array of resources available at He also highlighted the company’s involvement in its Mentoring Initiative, aimed at senior, diverse leaders. Nico said, “Four team members, currently mid-way through this program, are not only enhancing their own professional development and networks but also bolstering diversity within our leadership and improving Guest Services’ success and reputation.”

Nico also touched on the enrichment of Employee Benefits, discussing features like the Tuition Assistance Program, 401K Matching, and modifications to PTO policies. More details can be found on the Intranet.

On The Horizon

In addition to the capital investment projects mentioned above, leadership is set to celebrate the 25-year club, continue implementing Workday, and explore many major business development opportunities in the Condominium Division.

Thank you to all our team members for a superb 2023, and we look forward to closing the year strong.