By Thomas Macrina, CEC, CCA, AAC
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 acfchefs.org 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
American Culinary Federation
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