In October, Becky Whitfield took a trip down memory lane, visiting the only remaining Morrison Cafeteria in Mobile, Ala. It is a place of familiarity where the recipes are recognizable and the atmosphere comfortable. As she walked down the line with her son, she reflected on how the company evolved and everything she has seen over her 35-year career at Morrison.
She recalls an experiment in fine dining that included peacocks roaming around a courtyard. She remembers when Morrison waiters wore distinctive green jackets. She can still see children scrambling for Lego-sized bricks of green Jell-O. Those days are gone as Morrison has matured into a contract foodservice powerhouse, but they represent an important part of the organization’s history that laid the foundation for today’s growth.
“I love working here and have since day one,” said Becky Whitfield, Director of Accounting. “It has always been a challenge—in a good way. The family atmosphere that kept me here and made me want to build my career with Morrison.”
Becky Whitfield will retire in December after serving in critical accounting positions for three and a half decades. From a sales tax clerk to her current role as director of accounting, she has been a stable fixture in the department through periods of change and acquisition. That change filtered through her role, bringing new responsibilities and opportunities as the business model shifted.
“It was a big learning curve when I went to contract food service. The accounting is a lot different. I am fortunate to have great mentors who have helped me along the way.”
Notably, she takes pride in her work to develop eFinance, which still drives results for the organization and its clients. However, her biggest impact may be on the people around her. Often described as outspoken, Becky is a tireless advocate for her team.
“Don’t be scared to hire people that are smarter than you. Bring in the best people and support them,” said Becky. “That’s what I’ve done my entire career. The team is amazing. They work together to overcome obstacles and continue to supply the best support to operations. There is a community feel that fosters camaraderie. We really work well together and in many ways, we are like a family.”
Becky has been contemplating retirement for a couple of years and finally decided that it was the right time.
“My son asked me, ‘What will you do in retirement? You’ve been so busy for 50 years,” she said. “I was initially scared of it, but now, I’m ready. I’m excited to get out and travel more.”
When Becky looks back on her time at Morrison, she is proud of what she accomplished and the people she worked with.
“Nothing has ever stayed the same since I started working at Morrison, which has made my work interesting and rewarding. We have a great group here, and I feel comfortable retiring, knowing that the team will be able to carry on and take Morrison beyond my wildest dreams.”