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SFM Presses a Leadership Agenda

SFM Presses a Leadership Agenda

Incoming SFM President Russ Benson.

Outgoing SFM president Jim Wulfhorst presenting the SFM Lifetime Achievement award to Andy and Matt Lackmann, who accepted it for their late father, Tom Lackmann; Jay Silverstein and Amy Greenberg accepting SFM Leadership awards. Bob Pacifico, FFCI, of Romano-Gatland received the Richard Ysmael Distinguished Service award.

SFM 2005 Conference Chair Kathy Sanders. At right: SFM’s Women’s Group leadership team.

Evicted from its planned New Orleans conference site by Hurricane Katrina, the Society for Foodservice Management demonstrated the resiliency of its members and management by turning out in nearly full force at alternate site Bal Harbour, FL, only weeks later.

There, even as the group again had to modify its plans because of approaching Hurricane Wilma, SFM members managed a highly productive meeting, with content emphasizing leadership skills and personal effectiveness and with business meetings focused on ways to extend the reach and benefits of the organization.

Incoming SFM Presdident Russ Benson, vice president of guest strategies for Parkhurst Dining Services, said his goals would be to:

  • expand SFM programs to include activities in Canada;
  • work to ensure a greater involvement of its President's Council in planning and managing the organization's affairs;
  • continue SFM's commitment to food-focused programming and original industry research;
  • oversee a review of SFM's mission and vision statements and bylaws to ensure they re-main congruent with the membership's objectives; and
  • re-engineer the SFM site to improve its functionality.

"My big picture objective for next year is to enhance the members' experience with SFM," says Benson. "We want to extend that experience broadly, and well beyond the annual conference."

In other business, the SFM Women's Council reviewed the significant progress it has made with its program over the past year and announced a new mentoring initiative in which it will seek a strategic partnership with the Women's Foodservice Forum. According to Amy Greenberg, the Women Council's chair, the program signifies "SFM's commitment to creating new opportunities and a new generation of liaisons and contract executives for the longer term."

Conference Chair Kathy Sanders observed that the 2005 conference program reflected this emphasis on broadening the contribution SFM is looking to make to its members' careers.

"There is so much emphasis on 'the numbers' and the 'dog-eat-dog' nature of this business that we felt it was important to remind members that while financials and benchmarks are important, the human factor is just as critical a part of our business," she said.

"One of the real values of SFM is its ability to bring together vendors, customers, associates and competitors and to remind them that it is indeed a mark of emotional intelligence to see that together we can all be part of a more professional, foodservice management culture."

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