“Dedicated” was the first word used by both MANNA’s Head Chef Keith Lucas and First Cook Stan Wilson to describe Sous Chef Lynn Jamison. Lynn retired this month from MANNA after 23 years of incredible service. A talented pastry chef, Lynn’s baking skills are praised and valued in the MANNA kitchen. Stan recalls, “pastries, baking, cookie dough, the scones…everyone would wait for the scones.” CEO Sue Daugherty spent years working with Chef Lynn and can testify that her commitment to MANNA is as nourishing as the food the organization delivers. “I feel so very fortunate to have worked with Lynn for 19 years. Her contributions to MANNA will live on forever. She is an incredibly talented woman – an amazing chef and baker – and has been a warm and welcoming face in the MANNA kitchen that has greeted over 10,000 volunteers. She will be greatly missed and I’m so thankful for all she has given to MANNA, the staff and our volunteers!” Director of Operations Eric Gantz agrees. “Lynn has always been someone I could lean on. She was always willing to take on new tasks and open to learning. She will certainly be missed in the MANNA kitchen.”
Beyond her culinary skills and years of dedication in the MANNA kitchen, Chef Lynn’s commitment and her tireless, infectious spirit have left a lasting impression on MANNA. That impression extends beyond the MANNA kitchen and staff – Tim Hyde, a longtime MANNA volunteer, shared his thoughts: “She made you feel welcome, that what you were doing, volunteering your time at MANNA was a great endeavor. She just made you feel like a person, never any status between the hired workers and volunteers. We were all treated the same under Lynn. That is a great attribute she has.”
In addition to her role as a Sous Chef, Lynn became a teacher in the MANNA kitchen, educating both volunteers and chefs on the importance of hard work. “As a volunteer in the kitchen I always felt like I could learn good things from Lynn, if there was something new to try she would help you do it,” says MANNA volunteer Andy Bader. “Work ethic, she showed us that working hard pays off,” says Stan. Chef Keith added, “The one thing she taught me that always stuck was to always care about what you’re doing. Don’t just throw some stuff together because it’s easy to do, do it the right way, make it good because you’re signing your name on it.”
We asked Chef Keith which food he would use to describe Lynn, and his response was incredible: “I’m going to go with fettuccini, because it’s a very strong pasta. Lynn has a small frame, but she’s very strong with what she did: her character, her job. Fettuccini is what we use in our turkey noodle soup, it has longevity, it won’t break. It just stays solid”.
When asked to reflect on her time at MANNA, Lynn shared “I just loved my time here and loved everybody. I made a lot of friends from working with all of the volunteers and will miss the relationships I built with them the most. I was there for so many changes, both for MANNA and myself. I was a part of the move from 20th to Ranstead and then again to MANNA’s current home. I’m looking forward to spending my time now giving back to the community by volunteering…and maybe sleeping in late every once in a while.”
On behalf of the entire MANNA staff, we thank Chef Lynn for her 23 years of amazing work here at MANNA. She has left a lasting impression on all of us, and we are so appreciative of her work, her love, and her commitment to the MANNA family.