This is my first president's note so I am going to cut to the chase.
The first thing I need to do in an official capacity is to thank Chef Schadler for hosting the Chefs Dinner. It was different than it's been in the past and I get the feeling people enjoyed it very much. Thankfully, Manfred said I did not have to make a speech. If anybody wants to start putting together proposals for next year it's never to early.
Thanks to John for letting us meet at Magnolias in February. In this issue of the stockpot, you will find the meeting schedule we have so far. If you would like to host a meeting, let an officer know.
My main objective as President is better communication with membership. There needs to be a way to communicate to members: first, the benefits provided by membership in VCA, and, second, that each member has something to offer the Virginia Chefs Association. Not as one chef said to me "the most expensive magazine subscription I have". It will take the new officers some time to figure out and publish on the web site and the Stock Pot all the different areas the ACF and the VCA can benefit a chef's life, but we will. I am confident that there are many of you, who may have let your involvement lapse, that can help the VCA move in a positive direction. Here's a tip for you: did you know that when we put together a Serve Safe class the ACF would reimburse you up to $200.00 dollars? That means the class is free and all you need to do is show up. Aside from the monetary benefit in the end, with the help of the VCA, you will be a certified Serve Safe culinarian. We will use all avenues of communication: the newsletter, web site, phone calls, and emails to get the membership information. You will receive a questionnaire to see how we can improve our service to you. Do me a favor, though, please return it.
That brings up the second point. You need to help yourself. Do you want to be the best chef you can? Do you want to grow, increase your earnings, be a mentor to the next group of chefs coming along, one of whom you once were? I can't promise you anything, but I'd like the Virginia Chefs Association to help you with these aspirations. We all got to where we are by hard work. We all have families and jobs. No one has time to waste. In a lot of the organizations that I am affiliated with there is a core group of people that do the majority of the work. I am not going to try to change this group by roping people into doing jobs they don't have the desire or inclination to do. That only creates animosity among us. However, please volunteer if you have the least bit of inclination. This would be a great time for me to remind us what Kennedy said about "don't ask what.." but that would be too easy. Maybe one day we ask you for a recipe for the Stock Pot or to return a questionnaire. Put your dues money to work for you by letting us know how the VCA can help you and by participating. This is more than a small group of individuals but rather an association of dedicated professionals, of which you are a part.
The best way for us to improve our organization is to communicate.
I consider myself very lucky to be where I am. I hope to see you along the way.
So the lesson endeth.