By Thomas Macrina, CEC, CCA, AAC

Thomas  Macrina

As I write this, there is still snow on the ground, so I’m looking forward to spring. This year, I’m even more eager for spring and summer to come, and perhaps you are as well. The past year has been tough, but the future looks bright. I say this as we are deep in the process of planning our annual convention in Orlando, Florida, in August, which we hope will “Ignite Your Passion.”

After spending so much time apart, we’re designing this year’s convention to be all about bringing the ACF family back together, reuniting with old friends and connections, and hopefully making new ones. Of course, education is at the core of what we do, so we can’t wait to share with you the final lineup of presenters and all the topics to be covered. The other core part of our convention is competitions. The structure of competitions — and other programming — might look slightly little different this year as we take the necessary precautions to ensure the safety of all of our competing chefs and attendees. But they will still be as exciting and enlightening as ever.

First and foremost, I want to thank you, our ACF community, for your unyielding support. It is your loyalty and commitment to our organization, as well as the camaraderie you share with your fellow chefs, that keep us moving forward, growing stronger, and able to give back to each other and our communities at large. Also, thank you to the attendees of the first President’s Town Hall meeting. We will be hosting four more this month, featuring candidates running for National Office, so be sure to tune in! We greatly value your feedback, comments and ideas.

I would also like to give a shout out to all of our allied partners, vendors and suppliers who support the ACF and our chef-members throughout the year. We wouldn’t be able to plan a superior event without you, and we are so grateful.

Also, I am happy to report that since the start of the year, more chapters have been getting together with their own members and with other chapters — both safely in person as well as in engaging virtual meetings, the latter of which is thanks to the success of our online forum, Chef ’s Table. Our new webinar series supports these efforts to keep you connected, engaged and informed. And, stay tuned for continued programming through our Online Learning Center.

In closing, I want to remind you that we at ACF here for your needs. Our 90-day trial membership for new members and flexible payment plan have been working very well. We encourage you to take advantage of those options, should you need them, and feel free to share this information with potential ACF members. We’re also working on developing other exclusive benefits and opportunities for our members. Happy spring, and I can’t wait to see you all again!

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

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