By Thomas Macrina, CEC, CCA, AAC

Thomas  Macrina

There’s something about a new year.

A new year gives us the chance to make resolutions, of course, but also to do some soul searching and decide what we want to change and accomplish in the coming year. It’s a way to start fresh. It’s a time to renew, recharge, and perhaps work to better ourselves a little.

I think I speak for most of us when I say 2021 couldn’t be a more welcome new year. The pandemic and economic woes have strained our mental, emotional and financial resources. But now there is a light at the end of the tunnel. News about effective vaccines and improved treatments bring hope. This winter has been a rough one, but we hunker down now so we can emerge safely and be together again.

That said, I cannot be more excited about what we have planned for this year, including four ACF ChefsForum events: St. Louis and Pittsburgh in March, and Tucson (Arizona) and Nashville (Tennessee) in April. Like many of you, I have missed seeing my friends and colleagues in the industry. We have put in place rigid COVID-19 safety guidelines that will help us stay safe when we meet again. As a supplement, we have a strong digital and virtual platform that offers yet another way to maintain our close connections and access ongoing educational content for learning and growth.

I’m even more excited for the ACF National Convention this summer in Orlando, Florida. The annual convention is a highlight of my year and, I’m sure, for many of you as well. This year’s event will be a little bittersweet, as my interim presidency will come to an end, but I look forward to passing the gavel to the next president who will lead our federation toward a bright future.

Speaking of a bright future, I encourage you to consider using this time to learn and try something new. Visit the ACF Online Learning Center to check out the popular COVID-19 Training and Certificate to help you navigate ongoing industry changes and assure customers that your operation has met the highest standards for safety. Also, consider participating in a competition this year; we’re in the process of building the 2024 ACF Culinary Team USA and scheduling competitions for next year (visit for more information).

Above all, now’s the time to stick together. We’re all in this change as an industry, and as ACF members, we can progress—no, blast—into the future as a united and powerful front.

Happy New Year and see you soon,

Thomas “Tom” Macrina, CEC, CCA, AAC
National President
American Culinary Federation

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