Celebrating 24 Years of Service to the Local Community!
Baxter "Cruise" Completes Successful Voyage

Westlake Village - - In an effort to promote growth and life-long learning in the hearts and minds of its employees, Baxter BioScience teamed with Job Training last week at the Westlake Hyatt, presenting an innovative three-day training workshop that coincided with a week-long facility maintenance shutdown of their Thousand Oaks' plant.

Providing leadership curriculum in three key areas with the overarching theme of an “ocean cruise,” Job Training offered more than 270 Baxter employees from every level of the company a chance to connect to the leadership expectations and principles set by their employer as well as to each other.

Three "destinations" of the Thousand Oaks cruise were effective communication, decision making and critical thinking, and attitudes for success at work and beyond. The cruise officially set sail on October 24 and concluded October 26.  A team of professional instructors provided interactive academy-style instruction over the course of the three days. Popular curriculum topics included lessons on emotional intelligence, handling change, the four different styles of communication, and setting priorities in the decision making process.

Baxter employees were especially appreciative of the opportunity to learn and interact with other employees in a fun but educationally challenging environment.  One participant described his leadership training in glowing terms, saying, “My experience on the Baxter cruise has been a life changing, inspirational, and motivating journey.  I really appreciate all the instructors, what they had to offer, and the knowledge they implemented in our minds.  You opened up our eyes that yes we all can be successful and make an impact on our current careers and for the future.”

The event culminated in a captain’s farewell party, which included certificate presentations, guest speakers, and the chance for employees to win valuable prizes, including airline vouchers, restaurant gift cards and an iPad 2.  

Matthew Quartararo, a Baxter employee who spoke about the profound effect the three day cruise had on him personally, borrowed a quote from William Arthur Ward, saying, "The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires.” Quartararo then went on to single out trainer Larry Braman and his motivational instruction in effective communication. 

With the help of Quality Engineer Rodney Torres, Job Training Program Manager Roberto Gutierrez led a dynamic empowerment drum circle near the end of the farewell party which illustrated the importance of working as a cohesive team.  Together, the newly formed Baxter percussion ensemble, which featured all of the Baxter team captains, snaked through the Hyatt’s ballroom, eliciting cheers and bringing the excited crowd to their feet. “Everyone loves rhythm and music, especially during a cruise," noted Gutierrez. "We wanted to bring a little cheer to the end of the  journey and celebrate the accomplishments of the group for a job well done.”

Job Training Director Lennie Ciufo was proud to facilitate the training for the Baxter company, which has been recognized as a leader in healthcare for eighty years, saying, “We would like to thank Baxter BioScience for their partnership and for their confidence in our delivery of this training.”

At the conclusion of the festivities, Baxter’s Thousand Oaks Plant Manager, Darwin Richardson, was very complimentary about the instruction and training provided by LAVC Job Training during the leadership cruise, saying, “This will have far reaching benefits for our employees both personally and professionally.” 

Job Training Director Lennie Ciufo presents plant manager
Darwin Richardson and Baxter team captains with an award of excellence.