Frieda Taulapapa: Grateful and Blessed
Submitted by: Sister Kristine Saunders, Archives
In high school, she could run like the wind. Then as a student at BYU-H, she was a PCC dancer. Now she performs some pretty amazing mental gymnastics every day. Keeping on top of Polynesian Cultural Center reservations is sometimes a sprint to the finish. Please meet Frieda Marilyn Taulapapa, Reservations Manager for the Polynesian Cultural Center.
Frieda was born in Apia, Samoa, and raised in Hawaii where she attended Laie Elementary while her parents attended The Church College of the Pacific (now BYU-H). She was named Frieda to honor her German ancestry and her father’s sister who had passed away as a child. The middle name, Marilyn, was in honor of a family friend. Among her 7 siblings, Frieda was the only runner in the family, even though she was the only girl and second oldest. As a high school student at the Church College of Western Samoa, Frieda was a member of the track and field team each year. When she was 15 years old, and the youngest track student, her team competed in the South Pacific Games and placed third in the 4X400 Meter relay, winning the bronze medal.
As a high school senior, Frieda wanted to try something else. She attended Seddon High School in Auckland, New Zealand. She returned home to Samoa and completed a second senior year before applying to BYU-H, her dad’s alma mater. Thinking to work in the travel industry, Frieda majored in Business and Hotel Management. While a student, Frieda became a PCC dancer, learning and dancing all the Polynesia cultures. She danced at the night show and the canoe show which was staged on the lagoon at what is now Hale Aloha. The man who became her husband was a canoe pusher and worked in the Samoa village.
After graduation from BYU-H, Frieda went home to Samoa and taught at the Church College of Western Samoa for six months. She left to get married. Frieda and her fiancé were married in Provo, UT where her father was taking a sabbatical to study at BYU-Provo. Upon returning to Laie, Frieda worked at her aunt’s travel agency for a short time, until her aunt closed the business. When that door closed, a window in reservations opened at the Polynesian Cultural Center. She started as a Call Center Agent and secretary. In 2019 she was promoted to Reservations Manager. Frieda was recently honored for 28 years in the reservations department. However, if the time she worked as a PCC dancer is included the time jumps to a total of 31 years.
“Family is everything to me. Family helps me make it through hard things. Ancestors who came before me and my parents’ example laid the foundation to build upon and pave the way for me.” She continues, “PCC is a friendly place. It’s the aloha spirit and the way people are treated. This place changes a lot of people.”
When Frieda travels, she pays special attention to how customer service is practiced in places other than the PCC. She notices how PCC employees are trained to treat people with love and respect. “That isn’t always the case in other places. PCC cultivates a culture based on family values.” She says, “I am grateful and blessed for the opportunity to be here. I am grateful for my family here at the Center. It makes me want to be here to support the work of the Lord.”
If she could live any place she said, “I’d love to live in a place that’s fun and adventurous, Like Gilligan’s Island.” She may already be there.
Updated staff protocol regarding COVID-19 Procedures
Submitted by: P. Alfred Grace, President, and CEO
Effective as of Monday, January 3, 2022:
- PCC employees with COVID-19 must isolate for 5 days and if they are asymptomatic or their symptoms are resolving (without fever for 24 hours), may request approval from a PCC Safety Officer to return to work. Upon returning to work, they must wear a mask for 5 days in customer-facing areas and when around others to minimize the risk of infecting people they encounter.
- PCC employees exposed to COVID, who are not vaccinated or are more than six months out from their second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, or two months out from their first dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, and not yet boosted, must quarantine for 5 days then take a PCR test. They must then notify a PCC Safety Officer of their test results. If the results are negative, they can return to work.
- PCC employees exposed to COVID, who have received their booster shot do not need to quarantine the following exposure, but must take a PCR test 5 days after the exposure and wear a mask for 10 days after the exposure. If symptoms occur, employees should immediately quarantine until a negative test confirms symptoms are not attributable to COVID-19.
- PCC Safety Officers Contact Information:
- Elder Tom Davis, ph. (435) 841-1737
- Lau Niumatalolo, ph. (808) 381-2045
Additionally, to minimize the risk of COVID spread at PCC, the following action steps will all be in effect starting January 3, 2022: