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The dish on dining at Greenspring

New dining director brings fresh ideas to the table

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December 13th, 2016

Greenspring, an Erickson Living community in Springfield, Va., announces Tyshan “Ty” Wilson as the new director of dining services. 

“I look forward to the opportunity to serve our senior community, those who’ve paved the way for younger generations,” says Wilson. “I consider myself lucky to create a signature dining experience for the residents at Greenspring.”

Wilson oversees almost 200 employees including, chefs, restaurant managers, service managers, catering staff, and servers at Greenspring’s five restaurants. 

Early roots

“I have always been passionate about food,” says Wilson. “Even as a young child I helped my mother cook dinner and holiday meals.” 

As a high school student, Wilson participated in the vocational program Food Occupations to study culinary arts. He also competed in several culinary competitions through the school-based club H.E.R.O. (Home Economics Related Occupations), winning four national gold medals and earning a full-tuition scholarship to Johnson & Wales University to study culinary arts. 

“I became the first student to win such an honor and received the National High School Board Award, as well,” he says. “I’ve been in love with the hospitality industry ever since. For me, it’s about affecting people’s lives daily. Food has always been a way to bring smiles to people’s faces.”

Wealth of experience

Before arriving at Greenspring, Wilson served as the area director of operations in the higher education division of Aramark, a national food service provider. 

Although he has more than 21 years of food and beverage experience in all sectors of the hospitality industry, including hotels and restaurants, health care, country clubs, and government and contract management, he began his career working at a continuing care retirement community (CCRC) in the New England area.

Wilson is a certified food safety professional and, previously, a certified executive chef. He is a member of the James Beard Foundation and the American Culinary Federation, and holds an A.A.S in culinary arts, a B.S. in culinary nutrition, an M.B.A. in international business, and an M.S. in project management–supply chain management.

“What I bring to Greenspring is a passion for food as well as knowledge and experience within the hospitality industry,” says Wilson. “I look forward to working with my talented team in making the dining experience at Greenspring not only exceptional but also memorable.”

Hitting the ground running

In the few short weeks since Wilson arrived at Greenspring, he’s jumped right into community life, meeting residents and staff members, dining in each of the restaurants, and sharing ideas on the future of Greenspring dining.

“We have an outstanding dining program at Greenspring,” says Wilson. “I hope to enhance the program with several new dining initiatives, including new menu items, sustainability practices, monthly events, and new décor and signage.”

In November, Wilson introduced a monthly dining services newsletter as a way of informing residents and guests about upcoming dining events and programs hosted by the dining services department. As his primary goal, he aims to include community member feedback into all aspects of dining services.

“It’s important to me that the members of the Greenspring community influence the meals we serve,” he says. “We have a very diverse group of residents who enjoy sharing their experiences and culture on a daily basis. I hope to tap into their energy by adding their love and passion into our menus.”

As a result, Wilson plans to introduce a “Spotlight on the Resident” program, highlighting a different community member each month.

“We will interview a resident and learn about their upbringing and culture, including their favorite meals while growing up,” he says. “We will then recreate that favorite dish for a day and allow the resident the opportunity to serve their special dish. Diversity is such an important part of community life. I believe this is a great way to share a little of what makes each person unique.”

Enjoying life

When not at Greenspring, Wilson, a self-proclaimed movie buff, enjoys watching films, playing the drums, and cheering on his favorite football team, the Philadelphia Eagles. 

“I’m thrilled to be a part of the Erickson Living team at Greenspring,” he says. “I look forward to working with my team to bring new ideas to life, meeting many residents and staff members, and continuing to strengthen the commitment to making dining at Greenspring a wonderful experience.”

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