Dear Chefs, colleagues and friends,
Here we are at the close of 2013. It is a busy time of the year for us all and it is also the point at which many of us reflect on what the year has brought to our lives, our families, friends, culinary careers and adventures. Some of us may carry a few regrets forward, others enact resolutions to change and others may simply remain the same.
2014 will bring that wonderful blank slate where you may freely reinvent yourself, shrug bad habits, exercise more, eat less, slow down, give onto others and perhaps capitalize on those points of light that bring you happiness, fulfillment and peace. The coming year also brings the 40th anniversary of this ACF chapter we call our own.
Next year there will also be opportunities for renewed involvement in your chapter’s life. I have had the bird’s eye view on the “life within” the Virginia Chefs Association and have seen new certifications, involvement in our programming, risk taking and challenges met. We have benefitted from involvement with industry partners, artisanal farmers, growers, watermen and, of course, one another. The Virginia Chefs Association continues to partner with the Virginia Institute of Marine Sciences and all those individuals who enhance our culinary knowledge and daily lives. We care about one another and our partnerships. We are aware of the standards and expectations required by virtue of our professional heritage as leaders and chefs.
Whatever our beliefs, whatever our circumstances, we must support the Virginia Chefs Association at its primary, gut level – local chapter involvement. It is our responsibility to carry that torch, the foundation of the national movement – here in our own chapter. One cannot be a true force for change or champion our profession while failing to participate within the federation that has given us so much. Do not forget the words of John Fitzgerald Kennedy – “Do not ask what your Country can do for you but what you can do for your Country”. There is no justification for the lop-sided mindset “What does the ACF do for me?” None whatsoever. Step back and look at the possibilities.
The Virginia Chefs Association is a strong, legal, not for profit entity. This alone has taken time and our valuable chapter resources. And, not unlike our freedoms, your chapter will always require the care, protection, vigilance, involvement and passionate concern of its membership to remain viable, vibrant and the best chapter within the Commonwealth of Virginia.
May the New Year bring you, your families and brigades health, happiness and joy. Also, I hope that 2014 will find you sharing the joys and the responsibilities of chapter life.
Nancy L. Geddes, C.E.C., C.D.M., C.F.P.P.