Our plans are changing almost as we adjust to how fast things are happening. In the original business plan, we had allowed six to eight months to get our 501(c)(3) status and built the plan around that typical timeline. We had no idea that we would get it in one month, how fast other things would happen, nor how much demand there was for the programs and services.
We are in the process of filing our Board of Directors. A search is underway to fill key slots, starting with a Treasurer and then one reserved for someone with successful national business experience, one to be held by someone with experience in combat arms (preferably at the general officer level and with a CIB, CAB or other service equivalent), and someone with appropriate credentials in the food and beverage industry.
Within Food Events, we are seeking to fund several events in the mid-Atlantic area and to expand the barbecue program nationwide. In addition, we are looking to secure funds for special food events that have been requested. Finally, we are looking to fund European events that will encompass several facilities in Europe and provide an educational component as well as food events. European events will feature guest chefs, and we are pleased that a number of celebrity and leading chefs have indicated their desire to serve as such.
Our Culinary Career Transition Program is in the early stages of development. We have had talks with culinary education institutions, such as the Culinary Institute of America, and with education programs for the wounded at various medical centers. Along with help from those in the culinary field, we are working to develop a program that will help troops, families, and caregivers — particularly the wounded — explore culinary career options and assist those serious about same with obtaining that goal through education, internships, and other activities.
Thanks to a very generous grant, our Homefront Suppport Program is scheduled to kick off this July. Developed by volunteer Chef Ellen Adams, these events are designed to show how to do good food fast while providing basic nutrition, sanitation, and cooking instruction. There are three different events developed, one focusing on the wounded, one on adults such as spouses and caregivers, and one focused on children. Thanks to the grant and generous donations by Messermeister, Henckles, Microplane, and Le Crueset the initial events for the wounded will see each participant receive a basic chef’s tool kit.
We also hope to launch our Frontline Support Program in 2011 as well. This program will have two components. One part will focus on helping those here at home get good and tasty treats and proper supplements to the troops through care packages and related. The other will focus on covering life on the front lines first hand, and conducting food events as close to the front line as possible (subject to DoD approval).