NC Correctional Food Service Personnel Honored at National Conference

Tuesday, December 3, 2019 - 11:53am

Two of North Carolina prisons’ food service personnel were honored recently at the Association of Correctional Food Service Affiliates’ Annual International Conference Vendor Showcase in Memphis. Central Prison Correctional Food Service Manager Conell Chapman was presented with the 2019 ACFSA Operator of the Year Award, while Maury Correctional Institution Food Service Manager Clarence Godley received the ACFSA Heroism Award for his actions during Hurricane Florence.

Chapman received the award for directing the food service unit both in the Central Prison custody areas and the prison hospital. According to ACFSA, Chapman has maintained food costs despite the complexities he and his staff face during the ever-changing menus and diets presented to prison kitchens throughout the state.

“Mr. Chapman has been instrumental in bringing the ACFSA Chapter back to North Carolina,” said Kelli Harris, the director of DPS Food and Nutrition Management. “He is a dedicated leader who is committed to the success of others. He is always willing to go above and beyond in helping others.”

Chapman researches current trends and provides innovative ideas and solutions to face the challenges. He also assists other prison food service managers across the state with issues including fiscal management.

Chapman participates in numerous other areas of food service training including:

  • ServSafe® instructor for offenders in the Apprentice Program recognized by the North Carolina Community College system;
  • Provides support with Food Service Officer’s Comprehensive Training Classes as well as training provided to assistant wardens; 
  • Developed a training program for staff at his unit that has prepared them for challenges. As a result, during the past two years, seven of his staff members have been promoted or taken on leadership roles within Prisons;
  • Serves as a member of the Prisons Recipe Committee; 
  • Assists in Test Kitchen training food service apprenticeships through the North Carolina Community College system. Offenders are able to learn a skilled trade that can lead to employment once released.

Godley’s recognition came from his response while attending last year’s conference in Norfolk, Virginia. Godley left in the middle of the night to head back to Greene County to assist with Hurricane Florence cleanup. He then returned to the conference a day-and-a-half later with no fanfare.

When he returned to Greene County, Godley helped raise money to aid area storm victims. The Maury food service employees also worked with the Greene County Department of Social Services to sponsor a family affected by the storm.

“Mr. Godley’s selflessness and dedication to others is a true inspiration. He is a role model not only to those in food service, but to the community,” Harris said.

Godley, the treasurer for the North Carolina chapter of ACFSA, has been involved in other community outreach opportunities. He has helped raise more than $12,000 for staff in need, employee appreciation, family sponsorships, hurricane relief and Toys for Tots. He received the prestigious 2017 John R. Larkins award, the highest civil rights award honor for North Carolina state employees.

Harris said, “We are very blessed to have both of these individuals represent NC DPS Prison Food and Nutrition Management Department.”

ACFSA is an international nonprofit organization dedicated to the professional growth of correctional food service employees. Association members are food service professionals employed in correctional facilities and agencies within federal, state and municipal prison/jail systems.

Jerry Higgins