Why did you decide to become a CDM?
My manager at the time was planning on retiring and said I would be perfect. I was reluctant but rose to the challenge!
What are your main responsibilities in your current position?
Day to day operations, scheduling, ordering food, inventory, filling in shifts, training staff, talking with staff and sometimes counseling.
How do you organize your time at work to make sure you accomplish all your responsibilities?
The key is to have a “well-oiled machine” running in the kitchen. This allows time to step away from operations. Loyal team is also a definite plus!
What is an example of an innovative way you have made change at your facility and how did you implement it?
Moving to a restaurant style dining.
What was your first job in the foodservice industry?
Busser at a local restaurant (and dishwasher).
Who has been your biggest mentor in foodservice and how have they helped shape your career?
The manager who pushed me in this direction, Carol, and our dietitian, Julie. Julie and I work very well together, and she has been my go-to gal!
What are the biggest challenges you face in your position and how do you handle them?
Staffing shortages due to COVID. Filling the schedule when I can and working alongside my staff. They know I have their back and will try to allow them ample time to curb burnout.
What is your favorite part of your job?
My residents smiling.
How do you stay up to date with current innovations and trends?
Edge Magazine, webinars, conferences, and being involved with WI ANFP.
How do you envision the foodservice industry changing in the next few years?
[I believe the foodservice industry will become] more resident centered, [with] more personalized menus.
What is your advice to those just getting started in the foodservice industry?
Stick with it! There are a lot of ups and downs, but the ups are SO worth it!