Culinary Services Wins 2023 NFEF Department of the Year

by | Apr 13, 2023 | Blog, Recognition

2023 NFEF Department of the Year

Culinary Services at The Sharon at SouthPark has reached a pinnacle of success in the foodservice field. The Grants and Awards Committee of the National Foodservice Education Foundation informed us that The Sharon at SouthPark has been chosen to receive the 2023 NFEF Department of the Year award.

The NFEF and the ANFP

The National Foodservice Education Foundation (NFEF) is the philanthropic arm of the Association of Nutrition & Foodservice Professionals. (ANFP). The NFEF promotes exceptional foodservice by sponsoring two awards each year recognizing excellence in the institutional foodservice industry.

Chef Brady Lutz

Chef Brady Lutz

The 2023 NFEF Department of the Year Award

According to the NFEF, the purpose of the Department of the Year award is “to recognize and honor an entire team for innovative practices or excellence in foodservice management.” To this end, the committee evaluates for:

  • Teamwork – How well department staff members communicate, cooperate, and work together to make the department collectively greater than the sum of its multiple functions.
  • Innovation – How the department approaches day-to-day operations for internal customers that highlight and reinforce its importance to the organization.
  • Customer service – How the department’s operational activities directly and indirectly influence high-quality service. How the department contributes to the well-being of their clients, residents, or patients.
  • Operational Contribution – How specifically the department has contributed to the overall operation of the organization. (This could include financial operations, enhanced marketing efforts, staffing, surveys, etc.)

After careful consideration, the NFEF chose a single award recipient from all nominated, non-commercial dining entities in the nation. In other words, The Sharon at SouthPark competed against other retirement communities, schools, jails and hospitals from all over the United States. The Sharon at SouthPark was chosen as the winner.

Details of the award can be found in the organization’s official press release

Director of Culinary Services, Chad Lauderbaugh

Director of Culinary Services, Chad Lauderbaugh

Team Captain

The entire Culinary Services team is responsible for winning this award. However, every great team has a strong captain, and this team is no exception to the rule. In this case, Chad Lauderbaugh, The Sharon at SouthPark’ director of culinary services, led the team to victory.

When asked how he feels about the award, Lauderbaugh responds humbly, “We do everything every day for the residents and our fellow workers. I’m grateful for this opportunity to share the award with the whole team.”

Director of Operations, Milton McGowian, has an eye toward the future. “Chad is not only maintaining what we accomplished before he arrived,” he says. “He’s going above what we had done. We didn’t win the Food Service Department of the Year award before. This is something new. So, it means that the program can be sustained. It means that we have a great succession plan in place. That we are offering great leadership. It means that we are committed and engaged to giving our residents a great dining experience. And it means that we don’t worry about the program because it will continue to grow, get even better and serve multiple generations of residents.”

The Sharon at SouthPark's culinary services staff creates an amazing dessert

The Sharon at SouthPark’s culinary services staff creates an amazing dessert

What’s Next?

ANFP will recognize The Sharon at SouthPark at the Awards ceremony at their annual conference in New Orleans, Louisiana in late June. Stay tuned for coverage of that exciting event.

The Sharon at SouthPark congratulates the culinary services department for receiving the 2023 NFEF Department of the Year award. We are proud of the hard work of the entire team — from the director to the managers, from the chef to the sous chefs, from the servers to the utility staff.

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