My Fellow Colleagues:
(View and print Michael’s Platform Brochure.)
(View Michael’s Campaign Video on the ACF Web site.)
Thank you for allowing me to share my visions with you as a candidate for ACF National President. As I previously served in this position in 1993-1994, I came to realize that “once is not enough.” Indeed, one year is not enough to make significant contributions to our organization and profession. The year went quickly and before I really got my feet wet, it was time for the changing of the guard.
My experience as your National President was both priceless and educational. But times change and with it organizations need to change. Today, we need to look at the ACF and run it more efficiently. I bring 30 years of industry management experience “to the table” which will allow me to more fully operate the ACF as a business. We need to increase our current assets and reduce our liabilities, both financially and otherwise. It is imperative that we reach out to all culinary professionals; as we can accomplish great things through the strength of membership.
My passion for our profession and my commitment to serving is evidenced by my history with ACF that spans 26 years. I am a former ACF Convention Chair, in addition to having held numerous offices at both the national and chapter levels. I have always strived to be an unbiased leader in both my business and personal life … and for the ACF, a leader that strives to be the fairest and most fiscally responsible to our members who deserve no less.
A Recipe for Change!
I would like to share with you my recipe for change and give you insight, on how I envision our moving forward together into the future.
My platform consists of five key concepts: Fiduciary Responsibility, Membership Empowerment, Membership Enhancements, Public Awareness, and Building for the Future. Please do note however, that each of these revolves around my firm belief that “Ownership of the ACF belongs to its Members.”
Monetary and Operational Responsibility
While all of these concepts are interrelated, I will begin with monetary responsibility as without the judicious spending and guarding of precious member funds we cannot continue to exist. Nor can we ignore the global financial crisis that has been thrust upon us … which will require great forethought, member collaboration, and planning for … the budgeting of, and the investing of … ALL of our assets … both monetary AND human.
Fundamental to the stability of our national organization is the stability of our chapters. I suggest that we infuse and allocate membership funds back to the chapters on a sensible and equitable basis … a “stimulus package,” if you will. This will necessitate a manageable budget and the implementation of policies and procedures that recognize flexibility. We must be ready to tighten our belts, and ready to make “unpalatable decisions” because of uncertain economic times.
This in turn requires that we run our “ACF” as a business, an efficient business that allows the audit committee full reign to report our financial status to our members.
My pledge to you is a responsible and transparent administration that recognizes our mission … to serve the needs of our members.
To operate efficiently and professionally, we must empower our membership. We will communicate information of importance to you, in a timely manner, utilizing 21st Century Technology. We must re-establish confidence within the ACF to develop a cohesive administration that respects the expertise of our members. We seek to restructure staff … to increase and reward productivity, to “match” talent, aptitude, and skill sets so that jobs are performed correctly without hindrance. We will seek “diverse thinkers” and will value highly their input.
My pledge to you is a demand for open and ethical decision making by all, for the good of the organization.
There is a great deal of work to be done by your successful electees. And, right about now, and rightly so, you should be saying to yourself, “What is in it for me?”
Three of the most pressing issues facing our countries today are retirement income, salary and wages, and health care. My plan is threefold.
First, it is my intent to establish a retirement plan for our Professional Culinarians. Senior Members will be grandfathered into the program. We will strive to provide this at little or no cost to you. This will not make you rich, but will provide some assistance in your later years. This is a long-term goal and will require compromise, strategic planning and carefully managing our investments for growth.
Second, increased salary and wage levels are a result of many macro and micro-economic factors, over which we have very little control. One of these factors … culinary skill level … is … within our control. Higher skill levels result in higher wages and generate more respect for all. We can universally validate these skill levels by lobbying the United States Department of Labor to certify the ACF as the only organization to administer certification programs.
Third, I do not envision the possibility of a medical healthcare plan for all, at least during my first term in office. Many members currently have medical coverage through their employers. Generally, these plans lack vision and dental coverage which “MIGHT” be a possibility within our realm. While I do not guarantee or promise this, it weighs very heavily on my mind, and I will endeavor to “germinate a seed” for the future on this issue.
That being said, my pledge to you is to evaluate and implement all member enhancements … that are equitable, and within our ability to finance.
Another very important venue for enhancing membership is to increase public awareness of the ACF and the multitude of charitable works performed tirelessly by many of our members. We are a global organization and this requires a sophisticated approach to both public relations and publicity. I will seek Board of Governor approval for the evaluation and selection of a first-rate firm … to create a three-year strategic marketing plan that will enhance our mission and reputation around the world utilizing major media.
On the home front, alliances and partnerships with the Food and Nutrition Services of the USDA, and the FDA must be recreated and improved. With the advances in Web site interactivity and the proliferation of Internet video, we can overhaul and enhance our Culinary Enthusiast membership program.
My pledge to you is to re-invigorate our organization as the “Voice and Army” of the Culinary Arts World.
Building for the Future
Everything previously mentioned is an avenue leading to building for the future. Like any well-run business, we must increase our client base … that is our membership rolls.
We must reach out to refresh and energize our ties with our sister organizations. We should consider deregulating membership and extend a warm welcome to those culinary professionals in the non-traditional culinary industries, such as military chefs, school food service professionals, healthcare professionals, and supermarket chefs. Several members of these diverse culinary groups have contacted me … they are eager to enter the mainstream of our organization and be recognized as culinary chef members.
A path must be created to ensure the transition from Student Culinarian to Culinarian. Formal networking opportunities could be created within our conferences allowing us to survey and act against potential student membership erosion. The topics and structure of our conferences should be examined … we need to provide the right information, at the right time, in the right locations.
Last and exceptionally important … it is imperative that we “bond” with the NRA. We must recognize that the NRA “Pro-Start Program” is the foundation of our culinary profession.
My pledge to you is to explore and act on every opportunity to strengthen our organization for the decades ahead.
In summary, it is my inherent nature to show support for EVERY American Culinary Federation member. I will endeavor to make the organization beneficial and transparent to all members … with urgency … as times have changed drastically; we need to move quickly to keep up and venture forward. I call for the ideas and participation of all members on a grand scale … to imprint our organization as the most viable entity in the “World of Food.”
I look forward to hearing from all who desire more information on my commitment to the American Culinary Federation and my recipe for change. I urge you to learn more, to visit and post comments on this blog, and to ask questions. I ask you to provide your email address, so I may add you to my email distribution list. Please forward my messages to fellow ACF colleagues … make a difference for our future.
Finally, I ask you not to vote with your heart, or by gender, ethnicity, or region. I ask you to research the facts, issues, and platforms … I ask you to research the experience, ethics and character of the candidates, and then decide who will be the best person to lead you in the next two years and beyond. These are the reasons to vote and the attributes that should be evaluated … for the betterment of ACF.
I sincerely thank you for your attention and seek your vote for the future of the ACF.
Michael Ty, CEC, AAC
2009-2011 Candidate for The ACF National Presidency