People Who Inspire Us: The Cache Creek Casino Resort Wardrobe Department

Back of House

In this column, our goal is to acknowledge team members who work behind the scenes and get their hands dirty so that our organizations can function smoothly. They take pride in their work, no matter the job.

They’re the team members – the supervisors, the managers – who don’t falter in their integrity; there are not two sets of standards for how they serve their co-workers and guests. They’re not cajoled into giving, volunteering or helping out. They’ve figured out that the secret to happiness is through helping others. They might be on the frontline building relationships with guests, or they are back of house, supporting critical functions.

During the last several months, casino team members across the nation have been switching gears to address the new challenges brought on by the pandemic. Cache Creek Casino Resort in Northern California faced an immediate need to provide their Tribal Community, team members and the Yocha Dehe Fire Department with masks before reopening. In total, a team of six was brought to work on April 13 and finished 2,019 masks by May 1!

How does one go about making masks for the first time? According to Jorge Tapia, Wardrobe Supervisor for over 16 years, “We pulled it from the CDC website, and we decided to take option three, which really was the best of the three. It uses two pieces of 100% cotton. A team member from our purchasing department had a local connection. We were able to do a video call with ‘It’s All About the Scrapbook’ in Dixon, CA, and they let us pick the fabrics.”

Everyone was still at home when the idea to make masks was brought up by GM and COO Kari Stout-Smith. Jorge Tapia called his team members who were willing and happy to come in and start making masks. Jorge provided the CDC template to Daisy Li, who has been a Cache Creek seamstress for 16 years. While she was at home, she provided him with the number of yards of fabric and the amount of elastic they would need to get the project done.

Andrea Harrington, Cache Creek Wardrobe Attendant for three years, told us, “We’d been at home for a while, so it was nice to come back to work. It was nice to do something relevant for everyone.”

What has this experience been like for the team? “I was happy to help the team members and the community. It’s nice to see people walking around wearing the masks,” said Daisy Lee.

“The company takes such good care of us. They showed us in a time of crisis that they are here for us. I also really like my co-workers,” added Martha Velasquez, who has served as a Wardrobe Attendant for one year.

The typical role of Cache Creek’s wardrobe department is to provide and maintain all uniforms for team members who need them. They provide hemming, uniform altering and dry cleaning. They also work on uniforms for the Yocha Dehe Fire Department.

Cache Creek Casino Resort reopened on June 8 and requires both guests and team members to wear masks.

According to Kari Stout-Smith, “Through times that are the most challenging, we define our true character when we give back to others. The Wardrobe Team set a standard for us all to aspire to through their willingness to take on new projects to help us maintain the highest safety standards for our team and community.”