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HE&R Team Member Spotlights: Black History Month 2024

Celebrating Black History Month 2024

Hershey Entertainment & Resorts (HE&R) proudly celebrates Black History Month. Our team member-led Multi-Ethnic Employee Resource Group for Everyone (MERGE) spotlighted three team members throughout the month on HersheyJobs Instagram. We appreciate Sachiko, Jaimie and Alexis, who graciously shared their time, thoughts and personal stories with us! We invite you to meet our team members and discover what Black History Month means to them in their spotlights below.

Hershey Jobs_Black History Month_S. Baez

Chef Sachiko Baez, Hershey Lodge

Meet Sachiko, who recently celebrated her first anniversary with HE&R in January 2024. As Executive Sous Chef at Hershey Lodge, Sachiko and her team of 20 cooks manage multiple events and banquet spaces, serving hundreds - and sometimes thousands - of guests at a time. 

A Harrisburg native, Sachiko pursued her culinary passion and developed and refined her skills in California while working alongside celebrated chefs, including Wolfgang Puck and Daniel Humm. She returned to Pennsylvania last year and has found joy in working at HE&R, specifically with the students of Milton Hershey School, through her involvement in Project Fellowship and welcoming culinary interns to the kitchen. “I have the opportunity to impact someone every day, to mentor and inspire.” 

Sachiko’s creativity extends beyond the kitchen, as she enjoys spending time creating art with her daughter, “My daughter and I both love to paint!” For Sachiko, Black History Month is an opportunity to explore the content and influence of Black creators. "[Black History Month is] a reminder of the influence and impact that Black culture has on the nation, on the world - in art, music, inventions, and activism.” 

Hershey Jobs_Black History Month_J. Laws

Jaimie Laws, HE&R Corporate Marketing 

Meet Jaimie, Director of Digital Marketing for HE&R and the leader of a team responsible for marketing technologies encompassing web, email, digital displays and more. February marks Jaimie’s third work anniversary at HE&R, and he cites the company’s Core Purpose of providing value to the Milton Hershey School as a driver of his engagement in the workplace, “It’s not something that you do after work; it’s part of you being here [at HE&R]. Impacting kids, giving them advice, showing them paths, that’s why I’m here - the mission is really important.” 

Jaimie calls Reading, PA, home and is incredibly active in his church and community. He also serves as an assistant coach for the Reading Knights high school football team, acting as a mentor and role model for youth on and off the football field. Jaimie feels responsible for sharing the lessons and knowledge he has collected with others, specifically his two daughters and the young people in the city where he grew up. “I realized the impact that adults had on my life when I was a kid. I wanted to be someone who would come back home, show the kids examples of how to be good men, good people. And show them lessons learned in sports and in life. [...] They don’t have to be a stereotype. They can change their trajectory with someone to show them the path.” 

Jaimie notes that creating pathways for others through personal action is also a pervasive theme in the observance of Black History Month, “It is a reminder of the work that has been put in and to honor the people that came before you.” He continues, “It’s to understand that entire generations of people put their lives on the line to change the lives of others that they will never see or know - that is a selfless act. They were - little by little, person by person - having an impact on my life, and I am forever grateful.” 

Hershey Jobs_Black History Month_A. Cooksey

Alexis Cooksey, Hersheypark Entertainment Complex

Meet Alexis, who began her HE&R career in 2009 as a part-time Hersheypark Food & Beverage clerk and now leads her own team as a full-time Concessions Senior Supervisor in the Park’s Overlook Food Court and Simply Chocolate locations. Building relationships with her team members is incredibly important for Alexis, noting that she looks forward to the arrival of the Park’s J-1 work and travel program participants each year, “Working with them is my absolute favorite. Meeting them has always been my favorite part of my job!” 

Having earned her formal college degree in health sciences, Alexis enjoys learning and acquiring new skills beyond the traditional classroom environment. She is a passionate practitioner of trapeze yoga and is self-teaching multiple languages, including American Sign Language and Spanish. “To have the ability to try to communicate with someone in their own language is a special thing. I try to do it with my team members. I love language!” 

Alexis’ love of learning extends to the annual observance of Black History Month and encourages others to examine how they consume information on Black history. She explains that present-day storytellers and content creators are using social media platforms such as TikTok to tell powerful narratives and celebrate the influence of Black historical figures and events that may otherwise be inaccessible or unknown to many audiences. 

“I didn’t even know about Juneteenth until I was an adult. How?!” She continues, “We may not even know about all the contributions Black people have made, or they are hidden so well that it takes time to track them down. Education is very important.” Alexis emphasizes, “There is so much more to Black history than Black History Month. This month is an opportunity to access more information about Black history than what is taught in school - beyond slavery and civil rights. You are doing yourself a great disservice to not find out.”