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Celebrating Black History Month: Meet Tashawna, Sr. In-Store Communications Specialist

In honor of Black History Month, each week our B.L.A.C.C. (Black Leaders and Collaborators Collective) Business Resource Group (BRG) is excited to highlight several of our Team Members all month long. This week, we are putting the spotlight on Tashawna, Senior In-Store Communications Specialist on our In-Store Communications & Print Procurement team. 

Thank you, Tashawna, for all that you do today and every day!

What do you want people to know about you?

People should know I have a fierce work ethic. I love learning and bettering myself. Most think I am an extrovert, but I am a hard-core introvert. 

Describe your Giant Eagle career journey and what was the biggest influence on your success.

I started in Advertising helping produce the Giant Eagle circular ad. I later transitioned to the Advertising Print team, supporting the Giant Eagle and GetGo Marketing teams. The biggest influence of my success has come from a fellow Team Member who is my friend and unofficial mentor. He has given me such invaluable advice and encouragement over the years. 

What do you like best about your work at Giant Eagle?

I work with amazing people who can turn a long day into a fun day. I like knowing that at the end of each day, I am doing everything I possibly can to do my share in helping make this Company the best.   

What advice would you give a new Team Member to be successful in their Giant Eagle career?

I would say to someone starting out to never do the bare minimum. Take every opportunity to learn even if it means asking a million questions, asking dumb questions, doing it over and over until its right or doing more than you are asked. This is not for others. This is for you. Take the time to become a valuable asset.

How do you seek to educate and promote inclusion and diversity in your professional and personal life?

The best way I like to educate and promote inclusion and diversity professionally and personally is by just embracing my most authentic self and sharing that with those around me; to set an example for others by practicing kindness and love and to be empathetic and understanding. I am an honest person and while no one likes having a hard/difficult conversation about race, bias or prejudices, sometimes it’s necessary to help inform someone in the hopes that person grows and learns from the discussion.

Name a social justice leader who has been meaningful to you, and why? 

In a world where I have freedom, access to education and opportunity, I absolutely cannot put one pivotal social justice leader/influencer in front of another. I will always be eternally grateful for those who came before me, fighting, marching, protesting and those who continuously choose to fight now and push for more.

What is something about your own family traditions and/or culture that you honor and value?

Growing up, there was always music playing. My parents made sure that I knew what REAL music was. R&B and Soul music from the 50s, 60s and 70s is some of the best music that still sounds incredible. When I start a family, I hope I can pass on my love of the “greats” to my children.

Share your favorite recipe that represents your culture.

This isn’t a family recipe, but you will most likely find a good southern mac & cheese at any family party or function.

Sweetie Pie’s Mac & Cheese

Ingredients:

  • 8 oz macaroni noodles
  • 1 stick butter, sliced
  • 1 cup (4 oz) grated Colby cheese
  • 1 cup (4 oz) grated Monterey jack cheese
  • 1 cup (4 oz) grated cheddar cheese (plus more for topping)
  • 8 oz Velveeta cheese, cubed
  • 12 oz can evaporated milk
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1 egg
  • 2 Tbsp sour cream
  • 5 tsp sugar
  • 5 tsp white pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • additional cheddar cheese for topping

Grease a 2-quart casserole pan. Add sliced butter along with the Colby, Monterey, cheddar and Velveeta cheeses to the casserole pan. Cook macaroni noodles al dente and drain. Stir hot cooked noodles into the butter and cheeses in the casserole dish until mixed well. Combine evaporated milk, whole milk, egg, sour cream, sugar, white pepper and salt in a bowl and whisk until smooth. Pour evenly over macaroni noodles and top with more shredded cheddar. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-45 minutes or until top is lightly browned.

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