CDM, CFPP of the Month - July 2021
Name: Elizabeth Ray, CDM, CFPP
Job Title: CDM, CFPP
Employer: Arbor Care Center - Countryside
Job Location: Madison, NE
Years in Current Position: 11.5 years
CDM, CFPP Since: 2017
Why did you decide to become a CDM, CFPP?
I felt interested in the clinical side of the department, not just the cooking and set up.
What are your main responsibilities in your current position?
In general keep things running as smoothly as possible for my department and staff.
How do you organize your time at work to make sure you accomplish all your responsibilities?
It has been difficult, but I have a really great team that has helped a lot with keeping up in the kitchen if I have an exceptionally busy schedule in the office. I have also found that prioritizing can really make a difference as well.
What is an example of an innovative way you have made change at your facility and how did you implement it?
Creating alternate dining areas. With COVID-19 being around for so long, we have had to put safety over many things but we are at place now where we can bring a little bit of fun back into dining. Adding music to all the dining areas has been great for moods and experience has improved overall.
What was your first job in the foodservice industry?
In foodservice my first job was cooking at Bula’s Sports Bar and Grill when I was 16.
Who has been your biggest mentor in food service and how have they helped shape your career?
That is a tough question. I think the best mentor I had was my friend and RD for 7 years Kristi Anderson. She really molded me into the CDM I am, and I have appreciated all of her knowledge and experience from day one.
What are the biggest challenges you face in your position and how do you handle them?
Managing people is hard sometimes. Not everyone is going to like you or your answers and sometimes taking a step backing and just talking through things with people helps so much. Treat everyone as equals as much as possible. Respect goes both ways and can make a huge difference.
What is your favorite part of your job?
My residents. I wouldn’t have made this a career if I didn’t love them. Also my coworkers because after this long, a lot of them are more like a family. We get through things together.
How do you stay up to date with current innovations and trends?
I’m connected with ANFP and I really like the different things they have to offer. The open forum is a great place to get information or lead in the right direction.
How do you envision the foodservice industry changing in the next few years?
Hopefully without face masks and goggles, but things have changed so much with COVID-19 that it’s hard to say how it will affect the long term. I would like to think that it will get back to more of a social experience, especially in LTC. It has been difficult to implement all of the safety requirements and not have the socialization that everyone enjoyed at meals. I think of food or dining as an experience; it should be enjoyed.
What is your advice to those just getting started in the foodservice industry?
Take things one day at a time. It is great to have big ideas and changes can be good but they didn’t build the pyramids in a day so just ease into it. Get on ANFP and use the resources to your fullest. Get on the Open Forum and make connections, everyone is there to help each other and more than likely they have a solution or answer to your problem or question, you just need to ask.