Welcome to the April edition of Leadership Spotlight! In this entry, we sit down with Eric Johnson, Vice President of Culinary services, as he dishes out Trilogy’s commitment to culinary excellence.
Tell us about yourself!
I’m originally from New Orleans – having graduated from the University of New Orleans as part of the Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism program. I’ve been married to my wife Kerri for 30 years (yes – we met working together in a restaurant!).
Together, Kerri and I have two children – both now adults. Our daughter, Lauren, is 18, and our son, Adrian, is 24. Lauren will be attending the University of Cincinnati in the fall. She’s also a Culinary Aide at one of our Louisville campuses and loves it! Adrian graduated from the University of Kentucky and is working in his chosen field of Accounting. We’re very proud parents.
What brought you to the city?
We moved here in 2005 due to Hurricane Katrina. At the time, I was Director of Suites and Catering at the Louisiana Superdome and New Orleans arena. The experience of living through Hurricane Katrina followed by the loss of that role was life-changing, to say the least. It wasn’t long after moving to Louisville that we were embraced by the city and the people. We felt right at home.
*Being a New Orleans native is a large part of my personal identity. I’ve have had the “nolafoodguy” email address for quite a long time.
How did you discover Trilogy – and what does your role within the company look like?
About six years ago, I was at a point in my career that I was searching for a role that would allow me to leverage my career experiences at a higher level. From my very first interview with Randy Bufford, and then with the senior Trilogy management team, I was convinced that this was where I wanted to be. Once I stepped foot into a campus and met some of our residents, I instantly fell in love.
As the leader of this department, it’s my job to ensure that the Trilogy culture and vision is mirrored by every initiative we undertake in Culinary services. I’m tasked with finding both the long-term, “big picture” solutions as well as the day-to-day successes of our teams in the field. I also relish the opportunity to help grow and develop the teams that I support. It’s something I take very seriously.
It’s the most challenging – but most rewarding – role that I’ve ever had.
Tell us about Trilogy’s latest signature dining programs, Flavorful Dignity and Flavorful Balance.
Flavorful Dignity is driven by our desire to provide as much dignity as possible to the residents who have altered consistency diet needs. We ensure that these residents are presented with meals that look just as mouth-watering as the real thing – and taste just as delicious. We’ll continue to train and develop our Culinary teams on techniques to create even more beautiful presentations as we step into the future!
Flavorful Balance is about ensuring that our residents have the very best of all of their favorite foods in the healthiest manner possible. It focuses on utilizing food in its natural state without additives or preservatives – straying away from the harmful ingredients of so many processed foods.
What about the future of Trilogy excites you the most?
Leading and contributing to the development of our Culinary team members. As a leader, it’s vital for the long-term success of our program to focus on helping people grow technically, personally, and professionally. I have no doubt that the outcomes of developing our team members is directly tied to improving the experience of our amazing residents!
To learn more about our restaurant-style dining experience and the culinary services we offer, visit our dining page at https://trilogyhs.com/dining-services/.