Thomas Macrina, CEC, CCA, AAC, American Culinary Federation (ACF) national president and a graduate of The Culinary Institute of America (CIA), Hyde Park, New York, shared words of wisdom with graduating students at the college’s Hyde Park campus, Friday, June 13, 2014, as commencement speaker.
Macrina spoke to the recipients of associate degrees in culinary arts and baking and pastry arts about the direction his life took after his own graduation. He gave inspiring examples of learning to listen to his mentors and advice on how to achieve success.
“It has been an incredible journey,” said Macrina. “But, I paid my dues. Chart your career path and set goals, optimize every opportunity and build a network of mentors.”
Macrina began his culinary career at the Downingtown Inn Resort, Downingtown, Pa., moving from there to the executive chef position at the Clayton Plaza Hotel, St. Louis, and then to Tabas Enterprises, Philadelphia, as corporate executive chef, until 1997. He then joined The Desmond Hotel and Conference Center, Malvern, Pa., as executive chef. In 2011, he became executive chef and product specialist manager at US Foods, Philadelphia Division, Philadelphia, and in June 2013 was selected as a Food Fanatics Chef for the company.
As a dedicated member of the culinary industry, Macrina served on ACF’s board of directors in several positions before his election to ACF national president in 2013. He also serves as an advisory board member for several culinary schools and enjoys giving back to his local community.
“Lead like a leader and treat your staff as you would want to be treated,” said Macrina to the graduating class. “Take pride in your work, establish yourself and return to the CIA as a role model. Share your success.”
Macrina closed by wishing graduates the best of luck in achieving their dreams. He expressed his appreciation for the opportunity to speak at his alma mater’s commencement ceremony.
After the speech, Dr. Tim Ryan, CMC, AAC, president of the CIA, past president of ACF, recognized Macrina’s many achievements and proclaimed him an Ambassador of the CIA. He also presented him with a corporate gold medal and ambassador’s certificate.
Founded in 1946, The Culinary Institute of America is an independent, not-for-profit college offering associate and bachelor’s degrees with majors in culinary arts, baking and pastry arts, and culinary science, as well as certificate programs in culinary arts and wine and beverage studies. As the world’s premier culinary college, the CIA provides thought leadership in the areas of health & wellness, sustainability, and world cuisines & cultures through research and conferences. The CIA has a network of 46,000 alumni that includes industry leaders such as Grant Achatz, Anthony Bourdain, Roy Choi, Cat Cora, Dan Coudreaut, Steve Ells, Johnny Iuzzini, Charlie Palmer, and Roy Yamaguchi. The CIA also offers courses for professionals and enthusiasts, as well as consulting services in support of innovation for the foodservice and hospitality industry. The college has campuses in Hyde Park, NY; St. Helena, CA; San Antonio, TX; and Singapore.
About the American Culinary Federation
The American Culinary Federation, Inc. (ACF), established in 1929, is the standard of excellence for chefs in North America. With nearly 20,000 members spanning 200 chapters nationwide, ACF is the culinary leader in offering educational resources, training, apprenticeship and programmatic accreditation. In addition, ACF operates the most comprehensive certification program for chefs in the United States, with the Certified Executive Chef, Certified Sous Chef, Certified Executive Pastry Chef and Certified Culinary Educator designations accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies. ACF is home to ACF Culinary Team USA, the official representative for the United States in major international culinary competitions, and to the Chef & Child Foundation, founded in 1989 to promote proper nutrition in children and to combat childhood obesity. For more information, visit www.acfchefs.org. Find ACF on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ACFChefs and on Twitter @ACFChefs.