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GCE 2023 Team Member of the Year

Hear from GCE 2023 Team Member of the Year Hayli Gourley on why she loves her job

Hayli Gourley is the GCE 2023 Team Member of the Year.

She was born with a learning disability and worked hard to earn her high school diploma. Her first job was at a hotel, but she longed for teamwork. Today, Hayli is on the food services team at Global Connections to Employment (GCE) in Tacoma, Washington. She works with a lot of different people and has thrived. Not surprising to her teammates, Hayli was promoted to shift supervisor.

‘Dedication’ describes this 2023 Team Member of the Year.

Hayli started working at GCE 13 years ago as a dining facility attendant, and immediately wanted to advance.  She learned almost every food services job before signing up for the GCE Lead Program to learn how to support a team. This Team Member of the Year also took the SERV Safe test multiple times, scoring higher each time. She dedicated herself to studying away from work and with the management team until she passed.

Hayli Gourley photo 1 of 2 GCE 2023 team member of the year
Hayli Gourley, food services shift supervisor and GCE 2023 Team Member of the Year

As a shift supervisor, Hayli leads two teams: 1) pots and pans, a 5-person team and 2) the clipper room (dish room), a 4-person team. She has a hectic schedule but enjoys helping coworkers be successful in their roles. “Depending on the work area, I show team members how to do the job. I got help (once) too, so I know how to help others the same way I learned,” Hayli said. “I show them step-by-step how to do the best they can.” For example, a critical task in the dish room, is to monitor the water temperature every 30 minutes for sterilization purposes. She also keeps an eye out for customers who need assistance. If she can’t help them, she personally escorts them to someone who can.

On her days off, Hayli volunteers at the local food bank because, in her words, “I like helping other people.” Hayli’s supervisor, assistant project manager Doreen Weed, said, “Hayli is a selfless person. She always puts others ahead of herself and always strives to do bigger and better.”

Project Manager Don Stewart said Hayli takes her role seriously and is very dedicated. “Hayli recently put in for some vacation time for her birthday, but she proactively asked to be on the call list. She ended up coming in a day early because someone was unable to work their shift.”

Hayli takes public transportation, which isn’t always easy, but she arrives ready to tackle anything. “GCE has taught me how to be responsible and to have a good attitude. GCE helps me learn how to treat others and earn respect,” Hayli said. “I appreciate all of that.”

Hayli’s story leaves no doubt as to why she was selected to be the 2023 Team Member of the Year. Watch a video about Hayli to learn more.