This month we are honoring Chef Robert McKeon, CDM, CFPP, of the Maryland, Delaware, DC (MD, DE, DC) ANFP Chapter as our Volunteer of the Month.
Robert became a CDM, CFPP in 2010, and at the time he was working at an assisted living community with a memory care unit and wanted to learn all that was involved in healthcare. He was told about the CDM, CFPP program and wanted to expand his role into nutrition and food safety. However, prior to this, he graduated from the CIA and worked in high end restaurants and hotels, which is quite a bit different from his experience in healthcare.
Robert was then invited to the MD, DE, DC chapter meetings and while he attended some board meetings, he did not join the board until 2016. He was however, involved with the chapter prior with some minor roles helping at meetings (room/AV set-up, registration preparation, etc.) as well as speaking at the chapter meetings.
Then in 2016, he became the chapter vice president where he assisted with getting speakers and vendors to speak and exhibit at their two workshops: Spring workshop and their signature event in Ocean City, Maryland, “Workshop by the Sea” in the Fall. Robert is currently serving in two roles as the chapter president and the vendor chair.
When Robert decided to become a board member, his commitment and focus was on unity of the chapter and ensuring the chapter’s programs were fun, interesting, memorable, and relevant. One of his goals is to conduct a workshop where members can gather information that is current and gives solutions to our challenges and concerns. Additionally, he is focused on giving back to the chapter by annually honoring a chapter CDM, CFPP of the year, and by engaging administrators by offering an Administrator of the Year award.
He would also like assist those in the chapter that are going through difficulties and need monetary assistance, via a scholarship, in the chapter that are going through difficulties and need monetary assistance. He believes that even if challenged, everyone should be able to attend the workshops by covering the cost of the program, mileage, and hotel rooms if necessary. At their latest spring workshop, General Mills donated $500 to this scholarship initiative after learning about it.
In the chapter’s newsletter, The Crab Chatter, the chapter selects various members and industry partners and recognizes the value they bring to the industry. These members include a CDM, CFPP that has added value to their community, a retired CDM, CFPP that is contributed so much to the industry as well as a vendor or company that sells products and/or services that serve or improve the lives our residents, students, guests, and family.
For Robert, he believes it is very important to volunteer and “pay-back” the profession that has had a positive impact during his career and lifetime. He finds it is all about relationships that we build and nurture while focusing on education and information our CDM’s are looking for.
Robert also believes that everyone has a story; and he wants to be mindful about hearing that story. He states, “My goal is to make everything a little bit better than the way I found it. I challenge our board and committee members to see opportunities to give back to our chapter members, community, and healthcare profession. To me, if we are able to enrich the lives of others with ideas and information that impacts them positively, that is success. When you change your life from just being present to contributing, everyone thrives. My goal as chapter president is see a CDM, CFPP who has enough CEU’s but still attends because they know it is rewarding to them.”
Robert thank you for all you do for the MD, DE, DC chapter and inspiring each of us to give back and help others! Your service and commitment to ANFP and the credential are greatly appreciated! You are helping to build and sustain a strong, engaging, and successful chapter. Thank you!
If you would like to nominate a member for Volunteer of the Month, please email Abigail Solazzo at asolazzo@ANFPonline.org.