One Team, One Family

Stafford DeCambra

By Stafford DeCambra, CEC, CCE, CCA, AAC

Aloha! As we embrace Be the Change, let’s move forward as a team of one and a family—ohana—bound together for the common good. And as a family acknowledges the accomplishments of its members, we celebrate positive changes in our organization.

To help you plan for our events, schedules for ChefConnect: Charlotte, Feb. 25-27, and ChefConnect: Newport Beach, March 18-20, were online in October 2017. We will announce keynotes for 2019 at all 2018 events, and at 2019 events, announce schedules for 2020.

Once you are on-site at an event, you will notice several changes. A pocket guide will replace the full program guide. We have streamlined registration badge options to offer a full registration with meals, an education-only registration and single-day registrations. We will no longer scan badges at sessions, workshops and general session. CEHs will be awarded post-event depending on badge type, up to 10 CEHs for each ChefConnect and up to 24.5 CEHs for national convention. And, we will no longer issue meal tickets; instead, a full registration with meals will come with a color-coded badge for meal access. A la carte options will be available for the Welcome Reception, the Chef Professional Award function, President’s/Vice Presidents’ Gala and AAC dinner.

On the certification front, the CMC exam candidate manual is in final review, and we hope to publish it by the spring. It will provide more clarity about what candidates can expect, and include steps taken to modernize the exam to more closely reflect today’s foodservice industry. In early February, a CMC retake was administered for two CMC candidates. The certification candidate handbooks are under revision, and many new levels, including CSC, have been published. And we’re pleased to announce multiple training sessions for certification evaluators at ACF events. Contact the national office for information.

Now that the holidays are over, accreditation and apprenticeship site visits are ramping up. Efforts to recruit new programs, volunteers and allies have increased, as well. This year is different, though. Operational and administrative efforts made over the past year have prepared and positioned the accreditation commission and secondary and apprenticeship committees to proactively sell our product and raise brand awareness. We are poised to engage prospects from diverse landscapes, industries and backgrounds, because our materials and strategies align with our goals of diversity and inclusion.

Throughout this evolution, staff and volunteers isolated a significant differentiator: We are workforce developers. Workforce development encapsulates who we are and what we do best. Collectively, we are preparing culinary candidates at every level and from all walks of life who exhibit a passion for our industry and a desire to work hard to achieve their goals. ACFEF educates, empowers, mentors, trains, certifies, challenges, and provides the ingredients necessary to holistically prepare and nurture the next generation of culinarians.

As we count down to the 2020 Internationale Kochkunst Ausstellung (IKA) in Stuttgart, Germany, I invite you to become a supporter of ACF Culinary Team USA. Fundraisers are a tangible sign of support, and one is being held this month hosted by ACF Chefs de Cuisine Association of California and the University of Southern California Hospitality culinary team. lt takes place Feb. 23 at Hotel Indigo in downtown Los Angeles, and will feature modern cuisine prepared by 2020 ACF Culinary Team USA members. If you would like more information about hosting a Team USA fundraiser, contact the national office.

As you know, our organization’s strategic plan reflects the priorities of ACF for the next five years, emphasizing the quality and variety of the services and programs we provide. It is a roadmap to assure relevance and growth of the organization and success for members. Please take the time to become familiar with it as we continue our efforts as individuals and collectively to Be the Change.

Finally, please reach out to your vice presidents. They are there to serve. Ask them questions and share your thoughts and ideas. Like any family, we are stronger when we act together. I look forward to seeing you at ChefConnect: Charlotte and ChefConnect: Newport Beach. Aloha!

Click here to see this message in Spanish | Haga clic aquí para ver este mensaje en Español