Reimagined employee cafe reflects Earth Month and GWCCA values

Last week, the Authority held the grand opening of our new team member dining experience, Bridge Point, in an area of the Georgia World Congress Center not seen by the general public.

Bridge Point is a project I’ve been involved with for more than two years. Its predecessor, the Getaway Café, had become dated since its last renovation more than a decade-and-a-half ago. To reimagine the space, a team of colleagues and I worked with students from the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) in Atlanta to identify how it could best be used by our constantly-evolving business and workforce in a way that reflected our organizational values and culture. What ultimately transpired was an open, yet intimate, space for eating, meeting, and relaxing.

To reflect our values, we determined that our team members needed an informal and comfortable place to connect with each other outside of the traditional convention center environment. As a result, Bridge Point is accessible 24 hours a day, with healthy vending options available to staff working really late (and really early). With a mixture of modular and semi-permanent tables, chairs, and couches, the space can accommodate groups of all sizes and functions in a variety of configurations.

Bridge Point’s opening coincided with Earth Month – the month-long extension of Earth Day which falls on April 22 every year. Stewardship, an Authority core value that I champion, played a role in this project as well. In addition to portioning meals in accordance to dietary guidelines, we also transitioned all food service products from mostly disposables to reusable plates, bowls, utensils, and cups. And the practice of composting kitchen food waste will continue. These small changes will significantly reduce the amount of waste generated and will provide cost savings on both the front and back ends of the business. The renovated café is, after all, located in the world’s largest LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold certified convention center.

In January 2016, the Authority formally implemented its new consolidated organizational structure, and as a byproduct, also reimagined its core values. With this renewal came the reinforcement of who we are as an organization. So to practice what we preach, Bridge Point is the first  demonstrable project that incorporates and reflects our values: Be One, Be Honest, Be Dynamic, and Be Stewards.

Happy Earth Month.