New lyrics were added to the classic tune “Thanks for the Memories,” in a final singalong that accurately captured the bittersweet memories and hopeful expectations of those attending the final conference of ASHFSA (American Society for Healthcare Foodservice Administrators) in Clearwater, FL in early June.
Over 400 attendees were there to celebrate ASHFSA's 40+ years serving the healthcare foodservice community and to honor the leadership which recently agreed to combine operations with HFM (National Society for Healthcare Foodservice Management) to form a single, larger organzation.
In award ceremonies, the association presented its top honor, the Jacques Bloch Award, two recipients: ASHFSA's current executive vice president, Keith Howard, and to 2008 ASHFSA president Bill Notte.
Howard was recognized for his commitment in helping guide ASHFSA as it transitioned from being a personal membership group of the American Hospital Association to successful, independent association. Notte was recognized for his long contributions to ASHFSA and the industry, but especially for co-chairing, with HFM's Bruce Thomas, the joint AHSFSA-HFM Task Force that resulted in the consolidation that creates the Association for Healthcare Foodservice (AHF).
ASHFSA's Donald E Marsh Operator of the Year Award went to Neal Lavender, FSD at Presbyterian Hospital of Dallas. Its Chapter Leadership Award was presented to Tony Almeida, President, Greater New Jersey Chapter of ASHFSA, and its Allied Member Award went to Barbara Kane, of Ecolab.
An emotional slide show during the award banquet recalled past conferences, members, leaders and partners of the organization. In another salute to the past, blank note cards were passed out and and then re-collected with messages that were boxed up and sent to ASHFSA founder Jaques Bloch, who has been in poor health and was unable to attend the conference.
In final remarks, AHF Conference Planning Committee co-chairs, Regina Toomey Bueno, Betty Perez and Dick Hynes called upon all to support the 2010 AHF Conference in Austin next June.