Team Mixes Up New Ideas with Catalyst Kitchens Summit

August 24, 2023

Two woman standing in front of poster "don't burnout the chef"

Leaders in our social enterprise ventures made a trip to the 2023 Catalyst Kitchens National Summit in North Carolina to learn with others engaged in community-serving culinary training. As a longtime Model Member of the Catalyst Kitchens network, Homeward Bound had the chance to join several presentations.

The first one by Mary Kay Sweeney, our co-Chief Executive Officer, offered ideas to avoid burnout in a busy training kitchen that also produces 12,000 meals per month for our programs and caters for events in The Key Room. Homeward Bound has developed a robust wellness program for its staff.

Events and Catering Coordinator Alli Kleinke shared her perspective on creating event spaces that serve the community and give trainees valuable experience. Others in our delegation were Matt Shapiro, Training & Kitchen Operations Manager, with Culinary Trainer Jasmine Howell and Training Chef Andrew Wild.

Co-Chief Executive Officer Paul Fordham, who serves on the Catalyst Kitchens Board of Directors, says the conference highlights his year by providing a wealth of ideas and perspective to refine our programs. Along with Fresh Starts Culinary Academy, Homeward Bound operates The Key Room event venue, hosts celebrity chefs at Fresh Starts Chef Events and produces Wagster Treats premium dog biscuits.