Why did you decide to become a CDM?
I became a CDM to further my career in the healthcare field.
What are your main responsibilities in your current position?
My main responsibilities are overseeing daily kitchen needs, catering functions, all of the ordering, clinical duties including nutrition assessments, quarterly & annual assessments, care conferences, and weekly & monthly weights.
How do you organize your time at work to make sure you accomplish all your responsibilities?
I have a very large wall calendar that keeps me on track for all the events and caterings that go on. I also plan my day the day before to ensure I complete everything that needs to be done.
What is an example of an innovative way you have made change at your facility and how did you implement it?
In our LTC facility, we made our dining rooms more of a home like setting. It promotes a family feeling and better appetites!
What was your first job in the foodservice industry?
My first job was as the pastry chef at the Alhambra Dinner Theatre in Jacksonville, FL. It is the oldest and longest operating dinner theatre in the country.
Who has been your biggest mentor in foodservice and how have they helped shape your career?
My biggest mentor was the first chef I worked for, Dejuan Roy. He helped shape me into the chef I am today and taught me many valuable lessons.
What are the biggest challenges you face in your position and how do you handle them?
The biggest challenge I face is handling the work load day to day. We are a hospital/rehab/LTC facility. There is always something to do!
What is your favorite part of your job?
My favorite part of my job is interacting with our long term care residents. Getting to know them and their stories is very enjoyable.
How do you stay up to date with current innovations and trends?
I subscribe to about 100 different food blogs, podcasts, magazines, newsletters, etc. There is no such thing as knowing too much or being too well informed.
How do you envision the foodservice industry changing in the next few years?
I envision the foodservice industry moving more and more towards mainly technology based systems. We are even moving towards online ordering for employees at the hospital.
What is your advice to those just getting started in the foodservice industry?
Grin and bear it. It is hard, but you will grow as a person in ways you never could have imagined. You will meet many people who will influence your life for the better.