Chad Lauderbaugh has joined the The Sharon at SouthPark community as Director of Culinary Services, excited for the opportunity to share his love of food and hospitality.
“We all need to eat,” he says. “We all look for the social connection that comes with sharing a meal around the table.” To him, this isn’t just a job: “I want to do something more than just earn a living.”
Chad started work overseeing the culinary operation on Jan. 3. He succeeds the recently promoted Vice President of Residential Services, Milton McGowian. Chad has no big to-do list. “I’m not trying to reinvent the wheel,” he says. “We already have a really good wheel. Maybe add some new hubcaps.”
He’s big on letting the culinary staff do their jobs. You will find him at various times offering support in the kitchen, mentoring younger members of his staff, and out front talking to residents. That last one is a particular favorite of his, welcoming feedback and building relationships.
“Most people think I talk too much,” he admits. “That’s accurate.”
Chad, 44, a native of Passaic, N.J., is a classically trained chef. He graduated from The Culinary Institute of America and cooked in restaurants in Aspen and Pittsburgh. He has also consulted with restaurants and has worked in a senior living setting. That experience will serve him well as The Sharon at SouthPark adapts to growth. The senior living experience is where Chad discovered the joy of working with and for seniors. He’s long had a deep connection to that generation, starting with his own grandparents.
“Maybe I’m an old soul,” he says.
Chad’s family, of course, is the true love of his life. He and his wife, Kelly Kozon, have one daughter, Natalie, 11. He is proud to say he served his country in the Air Force and is active in his family’s church.
His Outlook on Food
Since we’re talking food…
Chad’s go-to cuisine is Mediterranean. He’s traveled to Italy, Japan and Iceland and loved all the food. His favorite restaurant in Charlotte is Customshop on Elizabeth Avenue. Chad’s go-to meal to cook at home (yes, he does the cooking) is homemade chili spiced with chipotle (smoke-dried jalapeno chili pepper). His guilty pleasure is cream cheese in excess. Some evenings, after he has spent the day serving the The Sharon at SouthPark community, he might make himself a PBJ and reflect on the rewards of feeding people in the truest sense of the word.