Today we’d like to introduce you to Nesha Bailey-Mason.
Nesha, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I started with HEFG in July of 2016. I was drawn to the opportunity because of my experience as an educator and my desire to empower teens with the confidence and knowledge needed to pursue their dreams. As an educator, I saw how disconnected many students are from traditional education, and how they internalized that disconnect as failure. HEFG is all about connecting students with the career paths and options available in the hospitality industry. This type of exposure is invaluable in nurturing student’s passion, building their confidence, and empowering their future.
Prior to being a Georgia Educator and my role with HEFG, I served as Marketing Communications Manager with Blimpie International, Program Director with the Quality of Life Coalition, and Mayor of Abilene, KS.
Fortunately, when I joined HEFG the foundation of resources and events had already been established by my predecessor Lee Gray. She served as executive director for 13 years and in that time cultivated many the relationships necessary accomplish our goals.
The biggest challenge for us today is communicating the ROI on investing in high school students who may or may not join our industry. Most people/companies want to support the next generation. Unfortunately, in a time of austere budgeting and limited resources, educational outreach is sometimes first on the chopping block.
So, as you know, we’re impressed with Hospitality Education Foundation of Georgia – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
To ensure the future is in good hands, students need access to a full range of opportunities and experiences. When teenagers are inspired, those memories affect them forever. The Hospitality Education Foundation of Georgia connects passion with obtainable careers and the inspiring professionals who motivate students to perform at their best.
The annual HEFG Hospitality Career Expo is our one-of-a-kind signature event that provides students with an interactive view of the careers available in the hospitality industry. Each year thousands of students and teachers from hospitality pathway programs across the state travel to Atlanta to interact with industry professionals ready to share their expertise.
As part of our mission to inspire the next generation, HEFG is partnered with the Georgia Restaurant Association in administering the ProStart program for the State of Georgia. ProStart is the premier culinary program developed by the National Restaurant Association for high school students. From culinary techniques to management skills, ProStart’s industry-driven curriculum provides real-life experience opportunities and builds a foundation of practical skills that will last a lifetime. ProStart is the only high-school culinary program that offers industry-supported management and culinary career paths in the food service industry.
Each year HEFG hosts the Georgia ProStart Championship which gives students the opportunity to showcase their knowledge in a high-stakes competition. Culinary teams must prepare 2 three-course meals within one hour on two burners, without electricity or running water. Management (BIS) teams work with an industry partner to develop a research book that includes the costing of two new recipes and the marketing strategy to launch their new product.
For culinary & hospitality educators and students, HEFG is the only organization that focuses on the depth of career paths and the value these students offer to employers.
HEFG uniquely positions support for hospitality and culinary arts programs by connecting the educator with the food service and hospitality industries.
So, what’s next? Any big plans?
HEFG will continue to grow our signature events and support for students and educators. We hope to extend our impact into workforce development. As part of that effort, HEFG is partnered with the Georgia Restaurant association in leading the charge for implementation of the Hospitality Registered Apprenticeship program throughout the state. The apprenticeship program offers our students a debt-free path to a nationally recognized management credential and the opportunity to earn while they learn. Additionally, we look forward developing more partnerships and programs to strengthen the network of support for the educators and students we serve.
- Address: 1579 Monroe Drive
Atlanta, GA 30324
- Website: www.hefg.org
- Phone: 6788878009
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Facebook: @HEFGeorgia