IAIA Team Reflects on 3,000 Days Safe

The Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA) in Sante Fe, New Mexico boasts one of the nation’s foremost set of curricula around Native American artistic and cultural heritage, providing a rich learning environment for native and non-native students on a sprawling 140-acre campus set on the traditional land of the Pueblo people.

Throughout the pandemic, the small but mighty Bon Appétit at IAIA team has worked hard to ensure that students, many of whom remained on campus to practice studio arts, or take classes from their residence halls, got fed safely. This difficult challenge was readily embraced by Guido Lambelet, IAIA’s executive chef, who is no stranger to developing and executing a safety plan.

In fact, Guido and the IAIA team recently celebrated an astonishing 3,000 days, or over eight years, without injuries or accidents. This incredible milestone wasn’t simply a stroke of luck, instead it shows the results of repetition and habit formation. Guido has built a culture of safety throughout his time at IAIA, a ground-up approach that is informed by decades of experience working for Bon Appétit across the country, at accounts from northern California to Ohio.

When the word spread about the IAIA team’s safety milestone, accolades and praise poured in from across the country. “With all we’ve been through this past year, for you to step up and make sure that you’re safe – to have created this wonderful accomplishment is unbelievable,” said Bon Appétit President Michael Bauccio in a congratulatory video. CEO Fedele Bauccio also shared his sentiments with the team via video. “To take care of one another the way that you’ve done, it’s so wonderful. You’ve given the rest of the company something to shoot for,” he said. “Thank you for everything you do to support the Dream of Bon Appétit.”

Director of Integrated Safety Mark Daniels noted that IAIA provides an example for what is possible at other accounts. “It’s not just that Guido cares, he utilizes all of the safety tools that are available to him; most importantly great training, and providing his team with the right tools to be successful. He’s built a great program, and it shows he has gone beyond just simply caring about his people to setting them up for long-term success.”

Guido has sought to inculcate safety into the everyday experience of his team, coming up with witticisms and sayings that every Bon Appétit at IAIA employee knows: “do the right thing, even when no one is watching,” “when you see something, say something,” and “the best thing you can do when you’re in a rush is to slow down.” According to Guido, the tight-knit nature of the team and the culture of caring about each other’s well-being has led to their safety success, providing a north star for teams across the country to follow.