As 2016 draws to a close, I want to
take this opportunity to talk about what
we’ve accomplished as a membership
organization this year. We have much to
celebrate while recognizing those areas
that continue to be a challenge. In that
regard, ACF is not much different from our
kitchens, classrooms or places of business.
We put on an awesome dinner event or
launch an exciting new curriculum, but
then it’s back to figuring out how to tackle
the next big thing on the horizon.
What a great 2016 Signature Series—
ChefConnect: Atlanta and ChefConnect:
Hawaii, where many of us gathered to learn
and connect with one another. Members
have truly embraced this conference series
that combines regions, and why not. It’s a
chance to work with, learn from and get to
know colleagues from other areas of the
country and widen our networks. Many of
you have let your board of directors know
how valuable this is.
The 2017 Signature Series promises
to keep the momentum going in two
great cities—Chicago, Feb. 5-7 at Hilton
Chicago, and New York, Feb. 26-28
at New York Hilton Midtown. Early
registration deadlines are fast approaching:
Dec. 25 for ChefConnect: Chicago and
Jan. 15 for ChefConnect: NYC, with hotel
reservation deadlines Jan. 6 and Jan. 31,
respectively. You won’t want to miss these
two events with the theme “Appreciating
Diversity—There’s Room in the Kitchen
for Everyone.” This is a conversation that
we as an organization and as individuals
need to have, and I would go so far as to
say that ACF’s future depends on us taking
up this challenge.
This year we experienced a financial
turnaround that leaves us in a good
financial place going forward. We
appreciate each and every one of you
who helped us get to this point by your
careful management of funds. Let’s keep
it going in 2017. As many of you who
handle budgets tied to your job know,
it’s a good feeling to have that part of
the equation under control.
We continue to enjoy a growth in
membership that began in 2015. Our
professional member retention rate
remains high, and a majority of culinarians
renew their membership. We’re also
expanding membership outreach and
helping student culinarians advance in
the profession, as well as enhancing
resources and collaboration for chapters.
We are enriching existing programs such
as accreditation, continuing education and
apprenticeship, all driven by our 2016-
2018 strategic bridge plan. Our numbers
for newly certified professionals and
recertified professionals continue to grow.
We have formalized relationships
with the National Restaurant Association
(NRA) and the Association of Nutrition
& Foodservice Professionals (ANFP).
These new partnerships open up additional
educational opportunities for our
members, which is good news. Learning
continues to be a priority for all of us.
In September, ACF was represented
by several of us at the 2016 Worldchefs
Congress & Expo in Thessaloniki, Greece.
More than 100 nations are Worldchefs
members, and several new member nations
were welcomed during the congress.
Also, members elected a new Worldchefs
presidium for the next four years, which
will be led by President Thomas Gugler,
founder/chairman of the Saudi Arabian
Chef Association and the Saudi Arabian
Chefs Table Circle. Every ACF member is
also a member of Worldchefs, and one of
our own, Charles Carroll, CEC, AAC, is
outgoing Worldchefs president.
Congratulations to members of ACF
Culinary Team USA’s national and youth
teams, the U.S. military team, and ACF
individuals and teams who competed Oct.
22-27 at the Internationale Kochkunst
Ausstellung (IKA) in Erfurt, Germany.
What a great show. I couldn’t have been
more proud of everyone. And, the results
were impressive, including two gold
medals for the national team and fourth
place overall among 30 countries, and
two silver medals for the youth team and
seventh place overall among youth teams.
All competitors deserve our admiration
and our sincere thanks for putting
American cuisine in the world spotlight.
Reimund Pitz, CEC, CCE, AAC,
and J. Kevin Storm, CEC, CCA, AAC,
have been named team managers
for 2020 ACF Culinary Team USA.
Additional information regarding
tryouts will be forthcoming.
Looking ahead, the 2017 Cook. Craft.
Create. Convention & Show, July 9-13
in Orlando, Florida, will be the place to
continue our yearlong conversation about
diversity, and you will want to be a part
of ACF’s efforts in this regard. There
really is room in the kitchen—and in our
organization—for everyone, so let’s figure
out a way to make it happen.
I want to take this opportunity to
wish you the happiest of holidays as you
celebrate in ways that are meaningful to
you. And I hope you enjoy the best of
times as you gather with family, friends
and loved ones.
PresideNT’s messaGe by Thomas Macrina, CEC, CCA, AAC
CelebraTioNs aNd ChalleNGes
CONTACT THOMAS MACrINA AT TMACrINA@ACFCHeFS.Ne T