Well Planted and Carefully Cultivated

(Top to bottom): Tim Baumann accepts ASHFSA's Jacques Bloch Award; Walter Thurnhofer is recognized by outgoing president Regina Toomey Bueno as ASHFSA's Operator of the Year; Basic American Executive Chef Keith Darling leads an operator team during culinary demonstrations; and FM Editor John Lawn moderates a supply-chain panel of GPO and distributor executives.

Over 400 attendees gathered in Napa Valley last month to attend the 39th national conference of the American Society for Health-care Food Service Administrators, the largest ASHFSA event in many years and solid evidence that the association's new management and strategic plan has borne results.

In-depth educational sessions covered broad topics of importance to healthcare FSDs, ranging from emerging technology trends to emergency preparedness to supply-chain relationships.

The agenda also included motivational speakers, culinary demonstrations and plenty of time to visit the business partner exhibit hall, which also was significantly larger than it has been for many years. After hours, attendees enjoyed the rustic charm and beauty of California's world famous wine country.

At its President's Banquet, ASHFSA awarded its highest honor, the Jacques Bloch Award, to Tim Baumann, nutrition director of Wood Country Hospital, Bowling Green, OH. Sysco's Karen Horsley received the organization's Allied Award and Walter Thurnhofer, FSD at the University of Washington Medical Center,was recognized with ASHFSA's Don Marsh Operator of the Year Award.