February 2018 President’s Message
A Message from the President
It seems as though I just wished you a Happy New Year and suddenly, it’s February! As we approach each new year, we inevitably reflect upon the previous year. What were our goals, our achievements, what still remains to be completed? What changes or improvements do we want to make, in ourselves, in our lives, in our Chapter?
Reflection is good as long as we learn from the past and do not dwell on the negative. I hope we are all engaging the New Year with a sense of renewal, a clean slate, a new beginning. My fellow officers and I will be taking the best of 2017, setting new goals and continuing to build upon the accomplishments we’ve made.
Over the past several years, the CT Chefs Association has been struggling with chapter growth, attracting youth members, low meeting attendance, and getting members involved in activities. This situation is not specific to the CT Chefs or to the culinary world. In today’s hectic world and tough economy, many organizations and associations across the board are struggling.
However, due to the passion, drive and hard work of your officers and board, we are proud to announce the following achievements in 2017:
- For a long time we had only a handful of members at most meetings – attendance at our monthly meetings have nearly doubled and members are bringing guests interested in joining
- 27 new members joined in 2017– this does not sound like a lot but we were stagnant for quite a while and many of these new members are students
- The student chapter is again organized and meeting monthly
- After a 2-year lapse, we are again conducting ACF certification testing at our new host test site, Lincoln Culinary in Shelton – we conducted 2 successful tests in 2017 and have 2 scheduled for 2018
- While we have and still continually and actively seek out new host sites and educational components to present at meetings, we have had several companies and Chefs approach us interested in hosting and presenting at upcoming meetings
- Several long time as well as newer members have come forward to offer excellent overviews and suggestions to help improve and grow our chapter and attract new members
- CT Chefs as an association as well as CT Chef members on their own, have been more active in charitable work, giving back to the community
- Our own Chef Jim Oswald, head of the food industry council at FoodShare and creator and host of their Convoy of Caring, hosted another very successful convoy- over a half mile long convoy of trucks bringing food to FoodShare
- Lincoln Culinary and CT Chefs hosted the Lanterns of Hope Gingerbread Luminary fundraiser to benefit FoodShare – I mentored 2 student volunteers who worked every day, on their own time, for a month to make the lanterns. I was humbled by their selfless caring and giving. They made and sold 89 lanterns empowering FoodShare to provide over 1000 meals to CT residents in need during the holiday season
- Chef Jim Oswald, the Sheraton and staff, Cambridge Packing, US Foods, the VFW, and several CT Chefs members showed their appreciation and gave back to the Veterans, by donating product, cooking and serving, steak and lobster, salads and dessert to 300 Veterans at a cookout at the Veterans Home in Rocky Hill
2017 was a great year! We made good progress and are looking forward to making even greater strides in 2018. Of course, we cannot do it alone. We need your help!
There are officer positions open and committee opportunities available for any member who wishes to join our mission of growing a chapter that embraces change, supports and encourages the education and empowerment of our youth, works with other organizations to expand the role of nutrition and promoting the culinary arts and gives back to our community through volunteer activities and fundraisers.
Wanting, wishing, or hoping for change does not cause change. It takes passion, commitment and hard work, not just from your officers and board but from all the membership. I invite each of you to make a resolution to attend more meetings, sharing your thoughts and becoming more involved in the workings of YOUR chapter. Our February meeting is our voting meeting. Come…get involved…make a difference!
Pay it forward – give back
BE AN INSPIRATION!
Jennifer J. Tessier CEPC