Why did you decide to become a CDM?
I decided to become a CDM because the position was available and I saw an opportunity for improvement. I love to help people and I knew in this position, it would be my job to help people.
What are your main responsibilities in your current position?
I supervise the kitchen to make sure food is prepared and stored safely. Ordering, scheduling, and inventory are all some of the things I do that lead me to my main responsibility, my residents. I take care of my residents to ensure they are not only tolerant of their diet but love the food being prepared and are enjoying it in a safe, family-type atmosphere.
How do you organize your time at work to make sure you accomplish all your responsibilities?
I designate the hours of my work shifts to different things i.e. Two hours for MDS, Two Hours help in kitchen, and Two hours handle issues on the main floor, etc.
What is an example of an innovative way you have made change at your facility and how did you implement it?
The biggest change I have made at this facility would probably be the level of sanitation and cleanliness I have implemented. This kitchen was a “dirty bugger” prior to me.
What was your first job in the foodservice industry?
My career in foodservice kicked off at the age of 14 when I started washing dishes at a restaurant with a terrible reputation. My best friend and I would ride our bikes down to the restaurant around 4am to start preparing food for the day. The owners of the restaurant put it up for sale and were content with its failure; but my friend and I took great pride in the “everyday” clientele that we created. I am still proud of this accomplishment; when I felt the amount of pride this generated I knew I loved food preparation.
Who has been your biggest mentor in foodservice and how have they helped shape your career?
My biggest mentor in this industry would have to be my best buddy Dale Black. He taught me more in the time I’ve spent with him in the kitchen than I have learned anywhere else. Not only a cook but he is a chef who taught me to take great pride in my food product.
What are the biggest challenges you face in your position and how do you handle them?
The biggest challenge I have faced in this industry is trying to get my staff to work together as a team instead of arguing. I feel I have brought some supervisory skills to the table that have been “void” at this facility for far too long. I handle this issue by sticking to my guns!
What is your favorite part of your job?
My favorite part of my job is interacting with my residents....seeing them smile, laughing with me, just making them happy makes me happy.
How do you stay up to date with current innovations and trends?
I utilize the ANFP membership I have to stay up to date with current innovations and trends as I believe it would be remotely impossible for me to consolidate all of the excellent information they provide.
How do you envision the foodservice industry in the next few years and foodservice?
I feel as though the foodservice industry will be much more statistically-driven within the next few years. Some of the computer software being implemented right now is amazing.
What is your advice to those just getting started in the foodservice industry?
The best advice I could give somebody just entering the foodservice industry would be: be open minded because things change quickly, be on the top of your game with state and federal regulations as they differ greatly. Keep calm!