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Zins awarded Minnesota Dietary Manager of the Year Award

November 3, 2012

Sue Zins 
Sue Zins
By Norma Dittman
Upon leaving her Fulda home to attend the Association of Nutrition and Foodservice Professionals Fall 2012 State Conference, Sue Zins had no idea that she was about to receive a very prestigious award. Zins is a Certified Dietary Manager who is employed by Maple Lawn Nursing Home, Inc.

This year's ANFP Conference, held October 17-19th, at the Holiday Inn and Suites, in St. Cloud, MN, included two Leadership Skills workshops taught by Zins. On Thursday, a new officer installation was held and awards were presented. “I listened as the award for Vendor of the Year was presented and I was very happy for the gentleman who received the Employer of the Year award who had been nominated by our ANFP President-Elect Shona McCue. He was so delighted to have received the award. It was a pleasure just watching him,” Zins stated. “When they began the Dietary Manager of the Year Award, I wasn't really listening, but then they were saying some really nice things about the award winner. Those statements did catch my attention. And then they announced my name! I was very, very surprised and delighted!” It was after her name had been announced as the award recipient that she looked off to the left side and saw that her husband Jeff, daughter Holly, and son Levi were present in the audience. “They were there with flowers and hugs for me,” Zins commented. “It was wonderful.”

The Dietary Manager of the Year Award is one wherein the recipient is been nominated by their peers in the ANFP. Zins learned that she wasn't only nominated once- but three times for this year's award.

Arlan Swanson, Administrator for Maple Lawn Nursing Home, Inc., wrote a letter to be used at the award ceremony and stated,” One of Sue's best qualities as a leader is that she is self-motivated and rarely shows it if she is 'down'. She is an 'energizer bunny.' This year she hosted the 26th annual 'Dietary Update' seminar in Fulda. It is now a two day event which normally sees 60 to 100 attendees over the two days. This is all her project with only minor (mostly moral) support from me and others at the facility. She has a broader view of dietary than just local and has thus worked to further the Dietary Managers position in the state and nation.”

The current ANFP President , Sue Tackaberry nominated Zins and stated, “Sue has exhibited above and beyond dedication to our association. Her leadership skills are used consistently in her every day work as well as within our organization. Although she is no longer the president of our organization, she continues to work as a mentor to others and is always willing to give of her time and talents as needed, both at Maple Lawn where she works and within our organizations.”

ANFP President Elect Shona McCue, penned, “She encourages everyone to do their best and recognizes their strengths.” Jan Danielson, the outgoing secretary for the Minnesota ANFP, wrote: “Sue has been involved in the Dietary Managers Association for 34 years. During that time she has been president for District 7 and served two terms as the Minnesota State Treasurer. She has served as Minnesota State DMA President at which time the State of Minnesota won the Diamond Award. She is currently the Immediate Past President (of ANFP). During her time as President, she felt that it was very important to have a training program started for the incoming state and District Officers. As Immediate Past President, she has continued to stay active in this training and Mentoring project. Her goal is to have all District Presidents receive their Achievement Award yearly.”

“I have worked with Sue since 1991- just over 20 years. She has always been a thoughtful manager,” Swanson stated. “She is always thinking about a better way to get things done and provide better quality. Anyone that is on a mission will invariably step on a few toes along the way, but Sue steps pretty lightly and we wouldn't trade her!”

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