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FM Profile: Paula Bradley

FM Profile: Paula Bradley

National Chair, 2013-2014 Association of Nutrition & Foodservice Professionals

When I complete my term in office, I will feel I have been successful if our members see we have successfully engaged our state chapters to create more member involvement at the state and national levels.

Our members would like to see ANFP as the go-to place for their professional needs and development.

The most unexpected reward has been the chance it gave me to get “out of my box” and gain a national perspective on the industry and our membership; for example, speaking to over 450 members at our NLC and visiting and speaking to our state chapters.

My first job in foodservice was at 16 when I worked at our local “Hob Nob.” It was a small eating place where kids hung out after school. I learned then that I had the ability to lead—not many owners would leave their business in the hands of a 16-year-old when they went on vacation.
The most important career decision I ever made was to stop looking for another job  and instead focus on changing myself. Following that advice—I got it from our leadership institute—gave me a more positive attitude and made me a better employee, leader and supervisor.

The biggest misconception people have about senior living is that it’s the end of life. They are so wrong—the elderly have so much to offer and bless us in more ways than most people can imagine. Not only do we touch their lives, they touch ours.

I think my strongest personality is tenacity. If I believe in something, I will always find a way to make it happen.

The most challenging aspect of my job is finding employees who know the value of hard work and what it means to be dependable.

Looking ahead 25 years, the biggest challenge I see in senior dining is making the dining experience more memorable. The biggest trend will be the need for our workers to have a broader set of culinary and other qualifications.

The most important book I’ve read recently is “Change Your Word, Change Your Life,” by Joyce Meyer. I am always working on thinking before I speak. Our words affect people in ways we don’t always realize.

The reason more young people don’t enter foodservice  is that the love of cooking is no longer the priority it was many years ago. Families don’t have ot take the time to demonstrate the value of preparing a great meal.

The most challenging situation I’ve addressed in my professional career was educating my staff on the new culture change and how it affects a resident’s quality of life. We have come a long way since I started working in health care.

If I could pass one piece of legislation, it would be our Safe Food for Seniors bill.

If I could speak to my earlier self during freshman year in college, the advice I’d give would be to believe in myself. I lacked self confidence when I was young and didn’t have anyone to push me. We never know our own potential until we are pushed out of our boxes.

At a Glance

Association of Nutrition and Foodservice Professionals (ANFP)

No. of Members: >15,000
HQ Address:
406 Surrey Woods Drive St. Charles, IL 60174
President/CEO:Dr. Joyce Gilbert

Phone: (800) 323-1908


To position Certified Dietary Managers as recognized experts in Foodservice Management and Food Safety.

Job: Dietary Supervisor,Protection Valley Manor, Protection, KS

ANFP Sunflower Award, 1997, 1998; ANFP National Platinum Award (KS chapter), 2007-08; CDM of the year, 2007-08; ANFP National Director at Large, 2009; ANFP National Treasurer, 2011; ANFP National Chair-Elect, 2012; ANFP National Chair, 2012-13.

Born: Coldwater, KS
Family: Married to husband, Greg; two sons and a daughter-in-law: Hugh, Nicole Bradley  and Daniel Bradley

Community: Served as our community’s recreation director for 15 years; resigned after creating a variety of new programs and obtaining grants to upgrade our ball field, leaving the program much more financially sound than when I started.

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