Shields created six Employee Resource Groups (ERG) last year to celebrate the diversity of our team and create opportunities for team members to connect with each other and learn about creating harmony between their professional and personal lives and interests. The ERGs include:
- EMPOWER focused on providing resources and support for mental health
- AWARE focused on driving opportunities for our female employees
- HAAPI focused on driving opportunities for our Asian and pacific islander employees
- BE GREAT focused on driving opportunities for our African American employees
- ICON focused on driving opportunities for our LGBTQ employees
- LOVE focused on driving opportunities for our Latino / Hispanic employees
This holiday season, we thought it would be fun to have our Employee Resource Group (ERG) members show how their families celebrate the holidays and what they find most special around this time. Take a look at all the different and fun ways our Shields family celebrates the holiday season.
Juli Coates, EMPOWER
Every Christmas eve my family and I have dinner and presents at my cousin’s house. It’s just a time to hang out, eat and enjoy each other’s company.
Diana Lagarez, EMPOWER
My family has always been very tight knit especially around the holidays. Our busy life would keep us distanced but on Thanksgiving, time would stop and we would always make a point to get together at my house.
Our traditions revolve around family and food. I make the green bean casserole and the sweet potatoes, my sister would make her “famous potato salad and homemade stuffing, my mom would make her Spanish rice and the guys would fry the turkey. Since my sister passed 1 1/2 years ago Thanksgiving seems smaller, quieter, and different. Still, we still make it a point to keep tradition alive. I now make the “famous” potato salad and homemade stuffing, we set a chair for my sister and the feeling of togetherness lives on.
Winni Chen, HAAPI
My parents are great cooks and they always make a ton of food when my brothers and I are home for the holidays. We are big on eating together so we always have a family-style dinner every night. It’s my favorite time of the year because, being the only one living out of state, it’s one of the few times I get to see all of my family, catch up, have board game nights, and just relax!
Thomas Diaz, LOVE
Food, Family, and Coquito! I split my time between the States and visiting my family in Puerto Rico. Every year, I spend Christmas time with my family in the US. We usually all meet at my parent’s home and spend the time laughing, eating juicy pernil, and sipping on coquito! I then fly with my wife to the small island I call home, Puerto Rico. We spend time traveling to the different pueblitos across the island and visiting friends and family. Last year, unfortunately, my wife and I could not travel as much. We spent more time on facetime and video chats than we did traveling. This year, we plan on picking up our yearly tradition!
Without a doubt, the most special thing about the holidays is the time with family. This is the time of year everyone gets together! It’s in the culture! We dress up like we are going to the MET Gala and enjoy our time together.
May Gauthier-Sarmiento, ICON
Every year we have carried on our beautiful tradition of tagging our tree before Thanksgiving and setting it up in our home the day after. Christmas décor and lights illuminate our exterior and interior home with Christmas music and movies playing all throughout the month of December. On Christmas eve, we enjoy a Grasshopper cocktail and a glass of sangria, watch the original “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” and open gifts. On Christmas day, family and friends visit and we continue our gift exchange and enjoy the laughter and time spent with one another.
Stephen Davis, BE GREAT
Every year, I have the luxury of celebrating the holidays in two different cities. My wife, Shantera, is originally from Houston, Texas. We host Christmas Day with her side of the family eating soul food, cakes, cookies, and pies. I’m originally from Mobile, Alabama. After Christmas, we travel to Alabama to visit my side of the family and celebrate all over again mostly with seafood. As we travel from Texas to Alabama during the holidays, it is special seeing all of the different Christmas tree designs and taking pictures near them with the family. It is also special seeing family and friends who are in town during the holidays. It’s always a great time to laugh and reflect on past experiences and memories while creating new ones.
However you celebrate the holidays, we hope you enjoy time with those you love this season.