By Jason Hewlett, Vice President of Operations, Morrison Healthcare
One of the best parts about my job is seeing others advance their careers and move up the ranks throughout the business. It’s partly because I am continuously looking for ways to grow in both my personal and business life.
Many years ago, I was running a wholesale bakery and wanted to become a pastry chef traveling the world. At the time the bakery was a privately owned company and the ability to advance beyond my current position was extremely limited. Due to that limitation as well as a new family on the way, I started with the cafeterias as a manager in training. Through the years as my career continued to grow and many of my cafeteria colleagues moved into the healthcare side of the business and encouraged me to take a leap of faith with Morrison.
I now faced a dilemma; I never expected to work in a hospital, and I didn’t know how much about preparing and serving “hospital” food. But after hearing from former colleagues about Morrison’s great working environment, in 2007, I decided to make the jump.
The career change turned out to be the best choice for my career! I began as director of Food & Nutrition Services at Baptist East Hospital in Montgomery, Ala. Over an 8-year period, I advanced through the company, landing a job as Regional Director of Operations in 2015.
Like most young directors, I was ambitious and determined, but I needed help. Fortunately for me, one of my senior leaders, Matt Gleason, was always willing to meet with me at regular intervals, giving me tips and guidance to help me grow and succeed.
Even today, I benefit from the knowledge and experience of our leaders. Erin Meehan, my current supervisor, has high expectations and she always coaches me to be the best. Erin along with several leaders throughout our company continue to be instrumental in helping me learn the business, as well as teach me the right way to grow and coach my own team.
Helping My Own Team Succeed
Because I’ve benefitted from the expertise of others, I’ve tried to do the same with my team. Since I’ve been an RDO, I’ve watched more than 30+ associates start as hourly associates and move into the management ranks.
It’s a wonderful feeling to see people succeed. With our company it doesn’t matter, men and women with a variety of different backgrounds always have a chance and opportunity to move up. All they must do is go for it!
Often, just by listening to people and their ambitions, I can determine how to help others and provide some useful advice. By giving our associates the power to speak and share their views, we can take that information and use it to develop better ways to do our own jobs.
I remind myself every day that all of us have the opportunity to help people. The wonderful thing about Morrison Healthcare is that they provide us with the tools, training, and resources needed in this industry. We have the best team members in the world, and we can make a difference with every single meal we serve!