Nominee: Manny Vasquez
Manny Vasquez, Lead Steward, Kitchens for Good
Nominated by co-worker, Jennifer Gilmore:
Manny is Kitchens for Good Lead Steward. He oversees the kitchen sanitation. This includes washing dishes, overseeing KFG's composting efforts, and managing waste and recycling. Manny has worked with Kitchens for Good for 7 years, since KFG's inception.
Manny is integral to our program and our kitchen, and shares the life experiences of many of KFG's apprentices. He intentionally infuses positivity in all that he does and is an excellent role model and champion for every apprentice. He takes the time to train the apprentices on the dishwasher, chemical handling, equipment ID, and cleaning techniques. He always shows patience, kindness, and is truly generous with his time. At every promotion the apprentices thank him. He, like many stewards and dishwashers, are the unsung heros of the teaching kitchen. Yet, supporting them whenever an aspiring cook is able, will take them far. Manny is a natural teacher even though he would be the last to admit it.
Manny has worked with more than 500 apprentices during his time with Kitchens for Good. He has lifted their spirits and instilled in them that every job in the kitchen is important and makes a valuable contribution. For seven years, Manny has been a role model for what a positive and professional attitude looks like. In addition, he has demonstrated the value of decreasing food in the landfill and has composted more than 22,000 pounds of food waste. His actions are more impactful than any lesson from an instructor could ever be. This is probably one of the reasons he is thanked by the apprentices at every promotion (KFG's name for their graduation ceremony).