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Growing Others



Left to Right: Braxton McKee, Brittany Beck, Jeanette Bullock, Bob Speelman, DeAngelo Fordie

August 28, 2019

I wrote a blog a few weeks ago about the dietary team at The Home at Hearthstone. Anita Bryant is the dietary director there and was also the winner of our companies 2019 Last Tray Standing Competition for the entire company. I was impressed that DeAngelo Fordie, another director whom Anita Bryant beat earlier in the competition, was there at the finals helping her. I asked Anita about that and she told me, “He’s my mentor. He saw something in me and invested himself in me to help me become a director someday. He started taking me to corporate food meetings, allowing me to do orders and things like that.”


I knew I needed to work with DeAngelo and learn more about how he mentors people. Yesterday was that day. I went to The Residence at Salem Woods, where DeAngelo is the dietary director and chef. I talked with DeAngelo about him mentoring Anita and what that meant to her. I asked him if someone had done the same for him. He said, “Yes, Mike Cooper was a dietary director that I worked under and did the exact same thing for me. I was making a chef salad for him and just made it with lettuce and cheese. Chef Mike stopped me and said, ‘What is this?’ I told him a chef salad and he said, ‘No son, that lettuce and cheese. If you’re going to be a chef you need to do things right and be proud of what your presenting.’” DeAngelo said from that moment he took pride in everything he cooked and made and Chef Mike saw the improvements and started grooming me to be a director.

I asked DeAngelo if he had someone on his team now who he’s grooming and mentoring to be a director. He smiled and said, “Yes, of course.”

I absolutely love my time with DeAngelo and his team. Their food was absolutely amazing and so many of our employees eat there because it is better than any restaurants in the area.

I’m so proud to have someone like DeAngelo on our team at Foundations. He truly lives our Culture of Care as a leader.

Mike Cooper – If you happen to read this blog, I would love to take you, DeAngelo and Anita to lunch and thank all of you for investing in others and mentor people.


“Before you’re a leader, success is all about growing yourself.

When you become a leader, success is all about growing others.”
Jack Welch


Thanks to all our leaders at all of our Foundation facilities. Your time and investment in others and their growth is another shining example of our Culture of Care in action.


Bob Speelman, STNA

The Residence at Salem Woods

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