The Association for Healthcare Foodservice (AHF) held its eighth Annual Conference, last month, at The Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in National Harbor, Maryland (outside of Washington, D.C.).
It was a highly successful confab for Tri-State delegations as the New Jersey chapter won top honors as the AHF national chapter of the year.
The Garden State chapter under the guidance of its president Gary Triolo has long been known in local and national circles for the quality and passion of its membership. “Tony Almeida of Robert Wood Johnson and Betty Perez really set the standard for our members early on,” noted Triolo. The foodservice executive was quick to credit board member Angela O’Neil of the Hunterdon Medical Center with championing the New Jersey chapter’s bid for the annual award.
“She did a great job of profiling our group’s dedication to giving back to the communities we serve.”
Highlighting AHF New Jersey’s annual calendar is the association’s annual full day Fall conference. The group makes an annual gift of the event’s fees to the Food Bank of New Jersey. Those donations have grown to as much as $5000 to feed the hungry in the Garden State. Prior to that program AHF-NY sponsored a toy drive so that young children in the state would enjoy a Merry Christmas. Under Triolo’s leadership, the group has continued its commitment to support the national association’s scholarship initiatives.
“I’m convinced that the work we do as a group reflects many of the characteristics of our responsibilities at our facilities,” Triolo continued. “We are part of the puzzle in which the patient and their family know that we are providing healthy, nutritious and tasty food to contribute to their caregiving and healing.”
In addition to accepting national honors, New Jersey’s healthcare foodservice professionals had busy agendas for their annual national conference. “Education, networking and monitoring are key components,” noted Triolo.
The conference featured a wide diversity of educational seminars from branding to salt free cooking as well as benchmarking and a moving piece on motivating employees with Colonel Joe Ricciardi, PhD. The army veteran spoke on how The Brave Lead with Love, and detailed his approach to leading a team of over 1000 Soldiers to Afghanistan.
“The modernization of our industry truly means Healthcare Foodservice Reimagined,” said Julie Jones, AHF President and Director of Nutrition Services at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. “At this year’s conference, we were able to explore the abundance of new opportunities and innovative models for delivering delicious, healthy food options in our communities.”
Formed in 2009, the Association for Healthcare Foodservice is composed of food and nutrition professionals from facilities that are self-operated. AHF advances the foodservice and hospitality industry in all healthcare segments by enabling its operator members to grow through continuing education, networking opportunities, annual conference, and innovative equipment and service through our business partners. AHF advocates for and supports its members to create best practice, while connecting the leaders that advance the industry.
To learn more about the AHF, please visit their website.