HE&R Team Members Share Thoughts on AANHPI Heritage Month
HE&R Team Members Share What AANHPI Heritage Month Means to Them
Throughout the month of May, Hershey Entertainment & Resorts (HE&R) was proud to spotlight several team members on the HersheyJobs Instagram in celebration of Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) Heritage Month. Thank you to Linda, Chester and Mohammad who shared their thoughts with us! We invite you to meet our team members, listen to their stories and learn to what AANHPI Heritage Month means to them in the video below.
Meet Linda, who began her HE&R career at age 16 as a part-time team member in the Hersheypark Entertainment Complex Food & Beverage team, then joined the Marketing team as a Digital Studio Designer in October 2021. Linda’s creativity is on display all around Hershey, PA, with her work featured on HE&R’s property websites, signage, and the Hersheypark app. “Seeing my work out in the real world keeps my fire going! It makes [me] want to do more cool, creative, and inspiring things.”
An active participant in HE&R’s Young Professionals and MERGE (Multi-Ethnic Resource Group for Everyone) Employee Resource Groups, Linda earned the distinction of 2022 Marketing & Sales Team Member of the Year. She is also involved with Milton Hershey School as a participant in Project Fellowship and mentors Marketing interns from the School. “It’s awesome being part of a company with a greater purpose - to know that the work I’m doing goes back to the students and contributes to the legacy of Milton Hershey.”
As a first-generation Cambodian American, Linda cites her parents and grandparents as her inspiration and credits them for her drive and success in her career. “They escaped the Khmer Rouge during a war where more than 2 million people died. Life was very different for my parents - they didn’t have a good education, but they set a foundation for us. They are my biggest cheerleaders. When I’m struggling, I think about my parents and grandparents and what they did to get us here. They are my biggest ‘why.’ I do it for them and want to make them proud.” When asked what Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander Heritage Month means to her, Linda noted the significance of AANHPI cultural influence and impact.
“It’s important to have our voices heard, recognize our contributions to society and the world, and to be proud of who we are. I’m proud of who I am. I’m proud to be Cambodian American.”
Meet Chester, a member of the Hershey Lodge Engineering Department. Chester has served both team members and guests in performing general maintenance resort-wide since 2010. Starting his day bright and early at 7 a.m., he is usually found tackling a variety of projects around the Lodge, including assisting a 5,000-attendee canine convention by running electrical power and hanging banners. Chester smiles and laughs, “I fix stuff!” He adds, “It’s very busy right now, especially when Hersheypark is open.” Chester earned the recognition of Partner of the Month in July 2022 for his dedication to his team and for putting in additional hours to see projects through to completion.
Chester recently returned from a well-earned vacation, where he spent a month visiting his sister in his native Cambodia. During his visit, Chester’s family celebrated Choul Chnam Thmey, the traditional Cambodian new year. The celebration lasts for three days and is marked with parades, music, dancing, and games - including water fights!
For Chester, Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander Heritage Month means a continuation of customs and traditions and passing them along to the next generation. Chester came to the United States in 1993 and has continued to share his Cambodian culture with his son, Wesley, who also works at Hershey Lodge as a member of the Arrangements team.
“I like working here; it is a good place to work. I love the people here!”
Meet Mohammad, a team member with The Hotel Hershey Security Department since October 2022. While many guests of the historic resort are getting ready to wind down after a day of play at Hersheypark, Mohammad is gearing up for duty overnight, ensuring guest safety and responding to concerns that may arise. “If there are any issues, I help [the guests] out, especially the little children. If they fall or scrape their knees, I try to help them out in any way possible.”
Mohammad is appreciative of the varied experiences and collaborative nature of Security teams across all HE&R entities which helps to keep his role as an officer exciting and fresh. “I’ve met a lot of great people, I’ve been at a lot of properties, and I’m looking forward to the summer and getting to learn more! [HE&R] is a family-oriented company is the way I look at it.”
For Mohammad, the celebration of Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander Heritage Month is an opportunity to open the door for conversations and understanding.
“This Heritage Month means diversity to me. It gives me a chance to share some of my cultural facts to everyone and explain to them about my Asian roots and what my family and I are all about.”