Why did you decide to become a CDM?
I knew it was the best way to find a great job in the industry, plus the networking sources are endless. I always want to be learning, and the requirements give you this opportunity.
What are your main responsibilities in your current position?
I am responsible for the entire dietary department of both hospitals. Inventory, ordering, managing of employees, training of employees and in-services. Outside caterings, as well as in house caterings, special menus, and cooking classes for patients. Cost control and finances of department.
How do you organize your time at work to make sure you accomplish all your responsibilities?
I have a list of different tasks for specific days. This is for weekly, bi-weekly, and monthly. When exceptions arise, I will adapt my list to cover the extra responsibilities.
What is an example of an innovative way you have made change at your facility and how did you implement it?
When I came aboard with BCOM, I knew I wanted to give patients cooking classes for their well being. I established a relationship with activities, to formulate a once a month cooking class for patients. Activities did things with them on a daily basis, so this gave activities another avenue of teaching. I would give activities a day, one class per day per floor, and recipes. They would be healthy cooking, using fresh herbs and ways not to use salt and keep things fresh. I would also show on a 1 per quarter, a dessert, just to keep it fresh from all healthy. This week I am showing patients how to make peanut butter balls (buckeyes). They learn how to mix, then they roll into balls, and then dip in chocolate.
What was your first job in the foodservice industry?
I started at a Country Club when I was 15 being a dish washer. Moved my way up until I went to the CIA.
Who has been your biggest mentor in foodservice and how have they helped shape your career?
As a Chef, it was Tom Hadden. He mentored me for 7 years at a country club in Atlanta GA. The way he went about business with food. He learned everything himself, (school of hard Knox). On the management side, it would be Steve MacQueen from Sodexo. He was even tempered, and showed me how to run a department, let me make mistakes and showed how to correct them with a valuable lesson in the process.
What are the biggest challenges you face in your position and how do you handle them?
Working with a small food budget. Creating the best menu that gives me the best value to utilize all food in a magnitude of ways to optimize savings.
What is your favorite part of your job?
Working with the patients, when I visit with them and educate them with the food we serve.
How do you stay up to date with current innovations and trends?
I have a lot of food related content that comes to my e-mail, so I am constantly reading up on current trends so I can constantly change things for the better.
How do you envision the foodservice industry in the next few years and foodservice?
I envision the industry being more in demand led by the innovations of up and coming foodies, as well as the clientele that drives what we do next. It is ever changing, for crisp, clean, taste with bold overtones with simple but elaborate artwork on a plate.
What is your advice to those just getting started in the foodservice industry?
Stick with it, find your passion and follow it, it is worth it, the smiling faces when you see them enjoying one of your creations.