CDM of the Month

Dana Robert Trotter

Name: Dana Robert Trotter, CDM, CFPP

Job Title: Dining Account Manager     

Employer: Healthcare Services Group at Kings Daughters & Sons

Job Location: Memphis, TN

Years at Current Facility: 3

Years in Current Position: 3

CDM Since: 2018 

Why did you decide to become a CDM?

I want to have all the training, tools and knowledge that will allow me to better care for my customers and staff. Also, it is becoming a national state by state requirement to hold the position Nutrition Manager in the healthcare industry.

What are your main responsibilities in your current position?

Provide total dietary care for all our residents. Oversee all aspects of human resource objectives, meets and exceeds dining services operational standards, financial standards and all purchasing budgets. Maintain all food services equipment, write menus and acts as a liaison between the facility and HCSG.

How do you organize your time at work to make sure you accomplish all your responsibilities?

I use a daily to do list which prioritizes everything I need to do.

What is an example of an innovative way you have made change at your facility and how did you implement it?

After I started at the facility, there was a great concern from many residents that the morning coffee that was on their trays for breakfast was just not hot enough by the time they received their breakfast trays. So, I started the daily morning coffee carts for all the halls. One cart with coffee, mugs and condiments is delivered to each hall early in the morning before breakfast trays are delivered. CNA's push the cart down the hall offering the piping hot coffee 30 mins before residents get their breakfast trays. After they receive their tray, they can always get more piping hot coffee right from their hall off the coffee cart. This method has been successful to resolve the hot coffee issue in the mornings.

What was your first job in the foodservice industry?

I was a dish washer/pots and pans in a high-end restaurant.

Who has been your biggest mentor in foodservice and how have they helped shape your career?

My grandfather, he owned his own dinner. As a kid I would go to his dinner after school to wait for my mom to pick me up when she got off work. My grandfather taught me all about cooking, sanitation, and giving fast, friendly service. He was a big part and my father in teaching me work ethics and taking pride in the work I performed.

What are the biggest challenges you face in your position and how do you handle them?

My staff offers me the biggest challenge of all. The total picture of the job is taking care of all the dietary concerns of our residents and this is done through my staff. Many have light education with a vast diverse background. Training and retraining are the essential tools to making them successful at their jobs and myself as their leader.

What is your favorite part of your job?

When I see my staff come together as a team to serve our residents. Training an employee to take a bigger position so they can be promoted from within the team.

How do you stay up to date with current innovations and trends?

ANFP website is a great resource to keep current in the food nutrition industry.

How do you envision the foodservice industry in the next few years and foodservice?

I feel that the pallet of the people is slowly changing and becoming more concerned with wanting to eat flavorful food but also healthier food. Fast food is the most popular food in the U.S. and being able to get it fast and healthier with more variety is the way of the future.

What is your advice to those just getting started in the foodservice industry?

This is one of the hardest professions in the world and one of the most important. Getting your CDM/CFPP and maintaining it will only benefit you in the food service industry. The food service position will touch every human being in the world at some point in their life. Now that's another chance through your talent and commit through the many food services venues to put a smile on someone’s face.