When the cafeteria at work turns into a bazaar of food, friends, and a whole lotta laughs, you know you’re in the right place. Here’s what we learned at yesterday’s celebratory potluck.
1. It’s getting hard to remember everyone’s name.
While it’s true that I ate myself into a borderline food coma at yesterday’s potluck, my insatiable appetite is not to blame for my forgetfulness. It’s just that—these days at Bak USA—there are so many names, so many faces, so many people to remember! Which is a good problem to have, of course. Because hey, check us out, we’re growing. Our employee count has blown up to well over 100 and counting, but our company culture is scaling with us.
With all that’s going on in the world, we have 100 people here who are from all over the world and who get along. I think that’s powerful.
– Eva Bak, Vice President of People
2. Our new employee lounge is pretty sweet.
What better time to debut our new company lounge than that at a company-wide potluck? Featuring all the necessary appliances, health(ier) food vending machines, couches, tables, and—finally!—a ping pong table, the new employee lounge is the perfect place to take a breather, grab a snack, and spend more time with co-workers. And with a reflection room/nursing room, our employees have a private space to stay healthy—both physically and spiritually—within the brand-new 3,300 sq. ft. renovation.
This is a shared space for us to come together as a company and as a family, so come down and enjoy it! Eat together. Meet. Collaborate. Enjoy each other’s company.
– Ulla Bak, President
What’s better than a potluck? A potluck in our brand new team space, The Lounge! This space will be used to spend time together, share ideas, and—oh yeah—eat food! Hungry for more? Stop by tomorrow to check out our blog. #BapPack #BakUSA #BuffalosBak #borninbuffalobuiltfortheworld #buildingcomputers #empoweringpeople #changinglives #buffalo #buffalony #buffalobusiness #localbusiness #technology #tech #manufacturing #americanmanufacturing #SocEnt #SocialEnterprise #computer #computers #staff #stafffamily #team #companyculture #potluck #food #diversity #inclusion
3. Food from other countries tastes gooooood.
For the first time in the history of Buffalo-based potlucks, chicken wing dip wasn’t the star of the show. Don’t get me wrong—it was there. And it was delicious. It’s just that so many other dishes were new and exciting to a lot of us. For example?
At least 59 different dishes, snacks, and desserts were served. That’s pretty much a million flavors or more. For lunch. At a computer company. In Buffalo.
We don’t think in traditional, linear ways about technology and innovation. If you want to take a picture of how multicultural we are, the potluck is probably it.
– Christian Bak, Vice President of Product
Welcome to THE LOUNGE. A space for the #BakPack to spend time together, make memories, and share ideas…
4. Our very first employee had quite the story to share.
Our very first employee and director of engineering, Dr. Bilel Neji, took the stage to tell us about the long and winding road that brought him from his native Tunisia to the United States. Somewhere between mentioning his (multiple) PhDs and showcasing the Seal’s 4G LTE connectivity, Bilel slipped in this doozy about his first day on the job:
Bak USA President Ulla Bak handed him a fistful of cash and a plane ticket to China and said, “Get to work.” His mission? To explore the world’s foremost manufacturer of technologies and come home with some ideas that would help us build computers right here in the United States.
If I was working for a company like Intel or Qualcomm or wherever, it would take me forever to become director of engineering. I have done that within three years at Bak USA.
– Dr. Bilel Neji
Dr. Bilel Neji, our very first employee, is up now talking about how he came to Bak USA. “I knew right away these are the people I wanted to work with. This is where I had to be.” pic.twitter.com/chWgsxgPE2
— Bak USA (@bakusabuffalo) January 30, 2018
5. The love is real.
The potluck was nearly three hours long and featured speeches from Bak USA leaders, video footage of our early days, and a private screening of our newest Seal commercial (coming soon!). The afternoon was culminated by a special ceremony to honor Bak USA’s first 100 employees. Each of the “First 100” were given a certified letter of congratulations, a commemorative medallion, and a photo opportunity with J.P. and Ulla Bak.
We have accomplished a great deal together in just three years. We are infinitely proud to work with you. Without your skilled hands, bright minds, and keen insight, we would not be where we are today. Thank you for being part of the Bak USA family.
– J.P. Bak, Chairman & CEO
— Bak USA (@bakusabuffalo) January 30, 2018
Looking for a seat at the table? We’re hiring!