Strategic Plan for the Future of the ACF
By Stafford DeCambra, CEC, CCE, CCA, AAC
The ACF is not a massive, for-profit company and
thus the national office staff is charged to work effectively,
efficiently and in accordance with our strategic plan.
The plan, adopted in 2018, reflects the priorities
of the ACF for the next five years, designed to be a
roadmap for the staff and current and future boards to
assure relevance, growth and success for our members.
Our principles - those of professionalism, leadership,
collaboration and excellence - will continue to
guide us in everything we do as we continue to make
progress in the years to come.
Priority number one of the strategic plan is to amplify the ACF’s voice. It is no
secret that the most cost-effective way to broaden and engage an audience is via social
media. With a growing community of over 150,000 followers, we can safely say that
the culinary community is interested in the American Culinary Federation’s chefs.
Priority number two: convert “followers” into members. In our strategic plan, there
is a direct call to recruit student culinarians. (Coincidentally, young chefs are the
fastest growing group on ACF’s social media.)
This summer, we introduced the ACF Student Membership program and in 30
days, more than 500 students have come on board. We believe these students are
the new foundation of the ACF and we are working hard to provide them value, in
certification, events and with professional development opportunities.
Those professional development opportunities align with another key strategic
priority - the new Online Learning Center. The OLC allows culinarians to
maintain their certifications, gain CEHs, access the all-new apprenticeship portal
and learn from event presenters with Conference On-Demand.
While many of our strategic goals are currently on target, one priority will be
taking off in 2020: a renewed focus on property memberships. Hotels, country
clubs and resorts are home to many talented chefs and ACF members — especially
those that are certified - provide exceptional value to these properties.
On social media, when chefs engage with us, they like what they see. But a "like" on
Facebook doesn’t translate into a new member - not without face-to-face engagement.
That’s where you fit into the strategic plan.
Do you have a contact at a hotel? A colleague at a resort? How about a food
and beverage manager at the local country club? Introduce them to the ACF. Their
companies can benefit from our new programs and offerings in so many ways —
and our community will be better for it, too.
I wish you the best for this holiday season and look forward to seeing everyone
From my ohana to yours,
Stafford T. DeCambra, CEC, CCE, CCA, AAC
American Culinary Federation
Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or
follow me on Facebook @stafforddecambra
and Instagram @sdecambra
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