Message from ACF National President, Thomas Macrina, CEC, CCA, HGT, AAC

Message from ACF National President, Thomas Macrina, CEC, CCA, HGT, AAC

On a New Path

Thomas Macrina

By Thomas Macrina, CEC, CCA, HGT, AAC

It’s an exciting time for ACF. The ACF Board of Directors has been hard at work since new members took office in July 2013, and we envision great things for our organization. Starting today, we are on a new path to growth and global recognition.

Our history is rich, and it is our duty to build on it by creating a sustainable legacy. To do this it is important to work toward mapping out our future, from developing ways to increase our professional member base to strengthening our brand and reinvigorating our events to put an emphasis on what we as chefs do best and love, cooking.

One of our goals is to increase the number of professional chef members. We need working chefs in the industry as members to help us grow and bring ACF to the next level. It is also vital that these chefs interact with our culinary students and hire them when they graduate so that these students stay involved.

Many chefs do not know that ACF exists, and if they do, they are either not aware of what we can do for them or have incorrect perceptions of who we are. It’s our job to change that. Getting involved in the community is key, and one way is to participate in local charitable tasting events. Get to know your fellow chefs and spread the word about how belonging to ACF can help them. This not only increases awareness of ACF but awareness of your establishment with the public—a win-win for you and ACF.

Programs are being developed to increase member benefits, including enhancing the ACF member advantage program and assisting chapters with expanding membership. We are rolling out two chapter incentive programs: the opportunity for each chapter to offer one honorary complimentary membership to a local chef who has made an impact in the community; and a year-long contest that rewards chapters that have the highest percentage of professional member renewals and those that increase their professional chef ranks with new members.

The board of directors took a hard look at our regional conferences and national convention. We went on a fact-finding mission to learn what attendees want, why some members don’t attend, what we need to do to attract nonmembers and what similar organizations offer. We are making our events more attractive and encouraging attendance by providing chefs with what they need to thrive and succeed professionally and personally. Our theme, “embracing a sustainable future,” focuses on teaching chefs to embrace a sustainable future through life, learning and legacy.

Branding and marketing ACF is instrumental to sustaining our future as an organization. The first step is to create a more cohesive look for stronger brand recognition, and I am proud to announce that the ACF logo has been redesigned and updated. The new logo underscores ACF’s commitment to growth and transformation and brings the chef to the forefront, emphasizing the message that ACF is the professional standard of excellence for chefs.

Moving forward, all ACF entities—chapters, the American Culinary Federation Education Foundation, ACF Culinary Team USA and the Chef & Child Foundation—will use the new logo. However, individual chapters, the foundation and the team will be identified as such.

Finally, as discussed at our July 2013 Board of Governors meeting, the ACF Bylaws & Resolutions Committee is reviewing and rewriting our federation and foundation bylaws. Bylaws should be governing documents that provide structure and direction for today and the future.

An emphasis on professional chefs, the launch of a new logo and aligning ACF’s governance kicks off a new era at ACF that speaks to who we are. It is a direct reflection of our profession and the culinary industry, from our 85-year history to creating a sustainable future together.FL201 ACF small Chapt logo

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