As reported previously, The Sharon at SouthPark’ culinary services won the National Foodservice Education Foundation’s (NFEF) 2023 Department of the Year Award. This highly coveted award officially honors a culinary team “for innovative practices or excellence in foodservice management.” It is chosen from nominations of other retirement communities, schools, jails and hospitals from all over the United States. In short, it is a very big deal.
Although the Association of Nutrition and Food Service Professionals (ANFP), announced the winner in April, the presentation occurred in June. The Sharon at SouthPark received the award at the 2023 ANFP Annual Conference & Expo (ACE) held in New Orleans June 25-28. Two team members traveled to New Orleans to accept the honor.
Lockhart and Ritzel Represent The Sharon at SouthPark Culinary Team
Culinary supervisor Altravis Lockhart and Certified Dietary Manager (CDM) and Certified Food Protection Professional (CFPP) Maryann Ritzel (2021 recipient of the ANFP Everyday Heroes Award) accepted the NFEF Department of the Year Award on behalf of The Sharon at SouthPark. At the banquet, Lockhart said, “I’ve been employed at The Sharon at SouthPark for 18 years. Being able to attend the banquet, walk on the stage and receive the award on behalf of the culinary team was a great honor.” The thundering applause of hundreds of conference attendees bore testament to that.
Kudos from McGowian
It is remarkable that The Sharon at SouthPark won the NFEF Department of the Year Award in the midst of significant transitions. After former culinary director, Milton McGowian, became vice president of resident services, the new director, Chad Lauderbaugh, led the team to achieve the award. “That says a lot about our culinary program,” McGowian says of the group’s steady success. “It is so special to see the The Sharon at SouthPark culinary team continue to exceed expectations and persevere during challenging times.”
Please join us in congratulating the entire culinary services team for winning this prestigious award.