Proudest career accomplishment in the past year:
Becoming a certified dietary manager and certified food protection professional in October. This was a certification I felt would be an asset to the growth and development of my career. I extended my degree with additional foodservice and nutrition classes and became eligible to take the credentialing exam. I am excited to put into practice all that I have learned!
Biggest challenge you’ve overcome:
Being a young manager and having associates that are my age or older, many of whom have been in their current position since before I was born. Initially, they felt there was nothing they could learn from me. While it was difficult at first, the key was to be just as open to learning from my associates as I was to teaching and mentoring them. Ultimately, I have learned a tremendous amount from them because I was open to listening, and that has built a strong sense of teamwork and trust in my department.
Most valued trait in a workplace:
Values I have always believed to be crucial are diversity and inclusion. At Lenbrook, we have many associates from different cultures and backgrounds, so I decided to create a diversity board. I asked all 95 associates in dining services where they were from and recorded it. I then created a world map on a bulletin board. At the top, I posted this phrase: “Our strength lies in our differences.” It was a wonderful visual representation of how diversity unifies us.
How you see tech differently:
Our residents are becoming increasingly health-conscious and interested in what makes up the food they eat. Technology has enabled us to provide a nutrition kiosk that they now use, which lists the ingredients and nutrition facts of daily meals. Another improvement has been digital signage. Instead of posting paper menus, which can be hard for residents to read, we now have large screens that display the menus in front of each restaurant. The menus are also available each day through each resident’s TV. Being able to see the most current menus before they come down to eat has led to high resident satisfaction.