Why did you decide to become a CDM?
I became a CDM to add value to the organization and the residents I serve. The CDM credentials also helped me become a more effective leader when providing quality nutritional care to all of our
What are your main responsibilities in your position?
My main responsibilities include managing a budget, customer service; managing quality operation;
employee performance and development, client relations, process improvement, team building and
overall ensuring that all of my operations are running effectively.
What is an example of an innovative way you have made a change at your facility and how did you implement it?
1. When I first started working at Shenandoah Valley Westminster Canterbury, we did not have action
stations in any of our venues. I started to look at our menus and see what items we can prepare in an
action station. For example; if we had Shrimp Alfredo on the menu, I took that item and had the chef
set up a table in the dining room and prepare it to order in front of the residents. This added to the
dining experience for the residents and increased their satisfaction.
2. As part of our wellness initiative and from requests of the residents, the Dining Services department
of Shenandoah Valley Westminster Canterbury is adding a nutrition and wellness section to the
resident library. These books will be on various topics that are relevant to our older population.
They include topics such as: diabetes and the diabetic diet, celiac disease, the heart healthy diet,
gastrointestinal diseases, allergies and intolerances, and many others. We are also incorporating
the” Sodexo Mindful” recipes and incorporating that into the nutrition and wellness section. Residents
will be able to look through the mindful dishes and provide recommendations as to which they would
like to see go onto our menu. We are starting this program to allow our residents to take their health
into their own hands and educate themselves on ways to improve their own health or people close to
them. We hope this will be well-utilized, and our residents will find themselves to be better educated
which will help them live happier, healthier lives. A dietician will be available to answer any further
questions on any nutritional topics or “Mindful” dishes.
How did you first get started in the foodservice industry?
I started at a very young age handing out flyers for a local pizzeria. During my freshman year in high school, I started working as a server for a retirement community, Goodwin House Bailey’s Crossroad. I worked in all areas of food service within that community. I worked there for over seven years. I had a great mentor name Jason Love who guided me through my career path and provided me with the necessary motivation to complete my education and advance in my career.
What are the biggest challenges in foodservice and how do you handle them?
I feel that the biggest challenge for me is keeping up with the trends in the foodservice industry. What may be popular today could change tomorrow. That’s why it’s important to stay on top of research and attend food shows/conferences as much as possible.
What is your favorite part of your job?
My favorite part of the job is to see our residents enjoying the person centered dining experience we create for them. I also truly enjoy molding and mentoring my front line staff and my management team into more effective leaders.
How do you stay up-to-date with current innovations and trends?
I like to attend food shows and network with other individuals from different food service establishments. I always make a point to attend vendor shows as well as attend any presentation/workshop that my employer provides.
How do you envision the foodservice industry in the next few years and beyond?
The food service industry is always evolving and if companies do not keep up with change and consumer demand, the companies will be extinct. I think we are headed toward greater demand of made-to-order food with health conscious consumers. I feel that consumers are willing to pay more for a healthier meal that will benefit their overall well-being.
See more from Haider in the CDM Spotlight section of the June issue of Edge magazine!