Firstly, myself and your newly elected ACF Board of Directors are all grateful and humbled by the confidence the membership has placed in us to lead this chapter for the next two years. We appreciate the past leadership's hard work in a smooth transition and have been working hard since our election to ensure we have both a sound structure and process for making our new tenure successful.
Secondly, we wished to communicate our goals for the chapter for this next year. They are simple, but that is always where I believe it is best to start:
Increase Membership: Our organization cannot survive and thrive without new members. We are grateful and appreciative of current members and their past participation. I want to personally challenge each current member to try and bring in one new member over the course of this next year. That is a small goal, yet one that we feel is very achievable. We have new funds from the FIU benefit dinner we served in November and we will be allocating some of that money to increase student membership. The National ACF has also offered new ACF logo Chef Coats to any new Professional member. Provide link here. That is a great incentive to add new members! Please join us in building our membership.
Increase Transparency: At our first Meeting scheduled for Thursday February 8th, we will share information about our membership, our finances, and more detail on our plans for developing the Chapter.
Increase Participation and Member Feedback: We want all members to feel like they have a say in the direction of this chapter and want to increase your participation. Therefore, at our first meeting, we will be soliciting feedback on that direction via a survey we are developing. Before we send the survey to members, we want your feedback on questions to be asked and how everyone views our organization. Also, many of us teach and have colleagues at work. Can we share meeting information with our students and colleagues to better encourage their involvement and attendance at meetings?
Improve Financials: This starts with increasing membership, but we also recognize there are other opportunities. We are currently discussing several new opportunities for both income and memberships. One of the areas we are looking at is local sponsorships from partner companies. Another area should be that whenever we do something as an organizaton for any group, even if they are a charity, we should ask for something in return. Can any partner organization make a donation to us or at minimum sponsor a new member? We also want to make meetings so attractive that people will want to come. If non-members join us for those meetings, then we should charge a small nominal fee, especially when we can offer education and tastings of food and beverages.
Lastly, and most importantly, I want to encourage everyone to set aside time to attend our first meeting of the new year. It is scheduled for Thursday February 8th at 3:30pm at Sheridan Technical Center in Hollywood. We have a full agenda which will be communicated in a separate email. Please join us and bring a friend or two.
As many of you know, I feel immense pride in this organization as it had given my father so much. For him, it was not what the ACF did for his career, but more of what it did towards developing lasting friendships and professional relationships with his peers that gave him the most satisfaction. I feel similarly and would love to bring that feeling back to our Chapter.