The 2nd Annual Heritage Fest at HCSS was a huge success! This event began as the brainchild of HCSS Developer, Danielle Doty, to lead us into a season of learning more about each other.
“Think Middle School Fair meets Potluck meets International Music Festival,” explained Danielle. “It’s a great way for people to express something that is important to them. It makes the environment fun, and it is easier to get along with people when you understand where they come from.”
Volunteers from every department at HCSS enthusiastically began planning, cooking, and designing what would result in over 16 different booths to represent who we are and where we come from. All of Development, Support, Administration, Marketing, and Executive were invited to participate and attend.
Heritage Fest is a celebration of how diverse we are as a company, and how openly we welcome each other’s differences. As we have grown exponentially over the past few years, it is difficult to keep track of all the new faces. Chloe Lall, HCSS Academy UI Designer, said, “It is a cool experience to see where everyone is from, and a fun way to meet new people.”
To top off the experience, this festival is a chance for us to serve one another. To spend time outside of work thinking about how to best prepare food for co-workers, and how to communicate what our heritage means to us. Everyone was welcome. The more that want to be a part of this, the more diversity you get to experience.
Business Intelligence Analyst, Ami Stringer, recounted how she chose to celebrate Heritage Fest differently this year. “Last year I picked a booth relative to my own heritage. This year, I decided to branch out and learn more about someone else’s culture, and make food that is a part of that culture. You can truly learn so much more by sharing with other people, and having conversation than you can reading about them online,” said Ami.
Ketul Parekh, Director of Technology Services, was born in Kenya but earned his degree in Chemical and Software Engineering in the UK. He proudly claims a diverse nationality as Kenyan, British, and American. He brought his 5 year old son, who is also British and American, with him to work today. As they walked into the large conference room, the vibrant colors and aromatic scent of different cuisine filled the entrance. You could see the effort that was put into this event was planned carefully, with love, and attention.
Ketul paused at the entrance for a moment, looked down at his son, and proudly said to him,
“This is where Daddy works.”
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