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National Restaurant Association - NRA's Mallet to CIA grads: Keep learning; give back to others

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NRA's Mallet to CIA grads: Keep learning; give back to others

National Restaurant Association chair Roz Mallet delivered this year's commencement address at The Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, N.Y., on June 15.

In her speech, Mallet, president and CEO of the PhaseNext Hospitality franchising group, exhorted this year's graduates not only to keep learning, but also give back, every day. She also told the graduates to stay involved in activities at the community level.

A 35-year industry veteran, Mallet pointed out there are boundless opportunities in the restaurant business, and that her own success is a testament to that.

"Remember there are nearly 1 million eating establishments in this country and they're not just your competitors, they're your colleagues," she said. "Take every chance you get to learn from other chefs and restaurateurs - and from wait staff and accountants and marketers and bartenders and everyone you talk with who enjoys eating and dining out."

She advised the graduates to share experience as they gain it and be mentors.
"Teach," she said. "Invite the curious into your process, and play your part within your own community. "One of the most wonderful things about our industry is its deep roots in communities across the nation."

Mallet further stressed the importance of getting out of the kitchen and volunteering time and resources to other things.

"Make a point to get out - as a professional - when you can," she said. "Help out on a farm or at a community center or join a local volunteer organization. Work with your local high school to grow their ProStart [culinary and restaurant management] program for high-school students."

The Culinary Institute of America, which was established in 1946, offers two-year Associates and four-year Bachelor's degrees in culinary and baking and pastry arts, business management, and liberal arts.

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