T.E.A.M. Systems: Culinary Classes
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What's Cooking, Toledo?

T.E.A.M. Systems along with Owens Community College and Chef Andi Lawrence have been offering monthly culinary classes to all employees and their families. These classes allow employees to gain valuable nutrition information as well as spend time cooking and eating a dinner with their family or co-workers.

Jerry Rusch RN, head of the Health and Wellness Department at T.E.A.M. Systems, says the response that they have been receiving from their employees has been incredible.

“We wanted to start an on-site program that would involve bringing the employees and their families together. The class has accomplished just that. The best part is that they are all having fun learning to make healthy, nutritious, home-cooked meals.”

Employees continually look forward to “Culinary Day” every month.

Take for example the Materials Department. Dao Baccam, Omar Shaw, James Alexander, and a few others, join as a department every class.

Baccam states, “I love food, any type of food. I joined the culinary classes so I can learn how to make all this food on my own, not just go out and buy it.”

Shaw adds, “I wanted to be self-sufficient when it came to cooking and this has helped me do so.”

The classes not only provide employees with the chance to improve their culinary expertise, but also contribute to team building amongst the employees.

“My co-workers encouraged me to join the culinary class because they wanted to do something as a group. It was nice to be able to work together and learn to cook together.” Says Alexander. “It really brings our relationship closer.”

Baccam added, “We already work together as a team, but it is beneficial for us to come together and do something fun together other than just our job.”

The hands on lessons from Chef Andi Lawrence have not just stayed in the cafeteria at T.E.A.M. Systems. Employees are bringing the skills that she has taught them into their own kitchens.

“Chef Lawrence is very good. She teaches us everything from details up to the simplest things. I really have learned that it isn’t that hard to cook healthy in my own home.” Explains Baccam.

Shaw adds, “I enjoy cooking more at home now due to the things that I have learned in the class.”

Other companies are looking to T.E.A.M. Systems and Owens Community College’s example as one to follow.

As Alexander states “T.E.A.M. Systems has been very generous in offering this program to us. I wouldn’t have done anything like this if it wasn’t offered to me in this setting.”

Shaw believes it can be successful at other companies just as it has been at T.E.A.M. Systems.

“It really boosts morale in showing that management truly cares about you and your health. It makes employees feel pride in their company.”

For more information on the Culinary Classes, please contact Lauren Cool at

*Photo: Angela from T.E.A.M. Systems

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