SHFM Insight
Doug  Hawthorne, Chemung Township Assesor, McHenry County, IL 

What do you see as the biggest challenge facing corporate foodservice and workplace hospitality in today’s business climate?

Having been away from Corporate Foodservice for many years, I do not know if the challenges have changed much. Exemplary customer service, high-quality food, impeccable sanitation, variety and financial responsibility were what I remember as the driving forces. I would think that future challenges might include, viability of corporate foodservice, locally sourced food products, organic or healthfully raised foods, nutritionally based menu decisions.

In what ways has the association grown/stayed consistent since your Presidency? 

It appears that SHFM continues to excel in the quality of programming. One of the things I always felt SHFM did was work ahead of the curve on programming content. Incorporating the “Hospitality” element into the organization was something that SHFM will look back on as a game changer.

Looking back, is there anything you would have done differently?

Being elected as the President of SFM was the highlight of my career! Since I am not sure how I did it I guess I would not change much. One thing that I got wrong was the “Y2K” planning. This was a very large scale initiative that was way overblown. A lot of time and resources went into this that may not have been necessary.

How has your professional role changed since your 1999 - 2000 year of Presidency?

I left foodservice operations in 2004. I now have taken my hospitality background and the role of the local Property Assessor and call my current field “Asspitality”. I take pride in the customer (aka Taxpayer) service my office provides to the jurisdiction for which we are responsible.

What is your most fond memory from that year?

My time on the SHFM Board will always be underscored with the high caliber of the people within the SHFM Community. I know SHFM was responsible for me being a more valuable employee to my employers! However, my fondest memory was the National Conference in San Diego, where I had the honor of passing the gavel to Mr. Kent Bain in 2000.