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The Boys and Girls Club and HeyTaco!: bringing teams together with tacos and tech


For this taco story, we head to Granbury Texas to visit with Jeff Bates of the award-winning Boys and Girls Club of Hood County. Jeff and his team recently started using Slack and HeyTaco! to help bring their teams closer together and recognize the work they do.

What’s great about their story is it shows how technology can bring us closer together. Slack and HeyTaco! have made it easier and more fun for team members to communicate and show appreciation to each other. They especially had a great time celebrating for National Taco Day a few weeks ago.


This is what we love to see and part of the reason we chose tacos as a symbol for appreciation. They can bring a team together to celebrate, which as it turns out, is a healthy habit.

Without further ado, here’s their story…

Hi Jeff, to start why don’t you share a little about yourself and Boys and Girls Club. What do you do, and what’s it like to work there?

I’m the Executive Director of The Boys & Girls Club of Hood County here in North Texas. At the Boys & Girls Club, we provide after-school programs for school-age youth. We hope to inspire, enable, and help them create their Great Futures!

I have been working with the Boys & Girls Clubs since 1993, so I guess you can say I love doing what I do. It is a great place to work….I mean, I get to work with donors, play table tennis with teens, work side by side with members of my board of directors, and now and then I even get to be a judge in a costume contest or a talent show. It is a good life!

Tell us your HeyTaco! story, how did it begin?

My job requires a lot of travel as we have 3 locations, so it’s hard to be around to notice all the great things people are doing. I was looking for a fun way to recognize team members and create an even more positive workplace. HeyTaco! fit the bill. and once we installed it I worked to get the team-leads onboard to start sending out tacos.

After a couple weeks, HeyTaco! and Slack is helping our multiple locations communicate and HeyTaco! allows me to notice the recognition team-members are giving each other. Before Slack and HeyTaco! I had no way of knowing and wouldn’t be able to recognize things myself. We’re having a lot of fun with it, and it’s nice to see team members get better at using technology because of it.

We were pretty excited and surprised when we saw a Boys and Girls Club started using HeyTaco!. Why do you think it’s important for a non-profit like yours to use something like Slack and HeyTaco!?

With a non-profit like Boys and Girls Club it’s extremely important to create a great culture. We need all our stakeholders (donors, parents, employees) to be excited about what’s happening and using new technologies like Slack and HeyTaco! helps us create that environment.

If anyone stakeholder isn’t excited about our club, then it hurts the quality we can provide for the children.

Jeff, I know you have a blog called Inspire & Enable and are big on leadership. What’s a pro tip for all the leaders out there?

Believe…believe if something is important to accomplish, YOU are the one to do it. Believe if your team has a goal, they can and will accomplish the task. Believe that your job is to INSPIRE AND ENABLE. Assist your team members in their task and don’t allow anything to stop you from giving them whatever they need to accomplish the task.

Alright, time for the final and most important question. What’s your favorite taco spot?

I like quite a few but if I have to pick JUST ONE it is no contest….TORCHY’s TACOS is the place to go! They have a few locations, but the one I frequent is in Fort Worth, not too far from TCU (Texas Christian University) and the Zoo. They are the best! I mean that….not pretty good…not awesome…the best. Can we head over there now?


If you’d like to share your taco story, we’d love to hear it; give us a shout at [email protected]

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