A Message From your Western Region
Vice President
“Let’s get engaged”

No, not that type of engagement. (I am already married.) I am talking about engagement with our membership and community.

Let's think about our members or potential members as customers. A customer wants to buy something; a member wants to belong to something. You must remember that current and soon-to-be members are our customers who have developed a deeper, ongoing relationship with the ACF and the chapter.

Keep in mind that relationships don’t happen by accident. Some brands can develop deep cult-like followings, just like me and Starbucks, or possibly you and the brand of car you purchase.

To develop this type of engagement start small. If we try to go too big we will fail for many reasons.

Start by adding extra benefits. This has to be done on a chapter-by-chapter basis . We are not all the same; what may work in one area may not work in another. These benefits provide highly anticipated rewards that enhance the main attributes of the chapter. And they provide enough value to make someone think twice before leaving.

Studies have shown that people rarely travel more than 20 minutes for everyday purchases. People love connecting online, but their money goes local. That is why we need to concentrate our resources in the very communities in which we live.

Getting our members from our own local area is a common tactic among larger membership organizations. They have regional meetings, local sub-groups, and sometimes events that go on tour. Host a local event for your members or to help garner or hook that new member. Partner up with a local business or charity that your crowd might have a shared interest in. Popular chapter-supported efforts in many areas include food banks, homeless shelters and the like.

Connecting human-to-human makes your chapter very real. It adds a person, a name and sometimes a face to the emotional connection a member forms with you. Find a way to connect your members with at least one person in your organization. It doesn't have to be face-to-face. It could be automated — sending an email from an actual name, for example.

"Align your voice" sounds so 2010, but what I mean is "speak the language of your members."

Taco Bell, for example, does a great job of this. Their ideal customer isn't affluent men in business suits. It's people whose bodies are tired from working all day and other young, broke people. And they mirror how those people talk.

Meanwhile, culinarians know that the ACF brand doesn't speak for itself, in a singular voice. Our members do in their promotion of that brand. And the more personable the brand is, the more likely they are to fall in love with it.

Here's the best news of all this: You can't fail when it comes to engagement. You won't be hurt by thinking of that member who wants something. Your brand won't suffer by adding more value to the membership experience and playing the long-term game.

People won't run away. Not everyone will engage, but your most engaged members, like cream, will float to the top.

In conclusion, remember the Pareto Principle, named after its founder, the Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto, who first wrote about it in 1895. Today it is called the 80/20 rule.
Basically it states that 20% of your activities will account for 80% of your results. So 20% of your members will account for 80% of your activities. 20% of what your chapter does will account for 80% of your profits. 20% of your tasks will account for 80% of the value of what you do, and so on.

Choose where to place your resources and GO GET THEM!
Carlton W. Brooks, CEPC, CCE, AAC
ACF Western Region Vice President
ChefConnect: Newport Beach Award Winners
Member News
The College of Southern Nevada hosted the 2019 Western Regional Competition February 1-3. Congratulations to all of the winners:

  • Reilly Meehan - Chef of the Year
  • Emma Rae El-Farra - Student Chef of the Year
  • Kurt Lechner - Pastry Chef of the Year
  • Oregon Coast Culinary Institute -Student Team

These regional winners will compete at ACF National Convention in August.

ChefConnect: Minneapolis is coming up March 31 - April 2, 2019

The deadline for standard registration is March 1! 
We are giving away 3 each of the following to everyone who is already registered or completes their registration for ChefConnect: Minneapolis before March 1, 2019:

• VIP Badge Upgrade ($90 value)
• Craft Brewery & Cocktail Culinary Experience ($90 value)
• Heart of Minneapolis Food & Walking Culinary Experience ($75 value)

Already registered? Great! You're entered to win. Haven't registered yet? Click here to sign up!
The Final Countdown has begun – REGISTRATION CLOSES MARCH 31!

The 2019 American Culinary Classic is open for registration! The competition is ACF and WorldChefs Sanctioned so you will be showcasing your talents among the best in the world. All requirements and information are listed on the ACF website
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