Friends & Neighbors
Though she's only been on the job at Emmanuel Community for two weeks, Wendy Gordon says she really enjoys the unique challenges it offers.
"I'm liking it a lot," she says. "I'm really looking forward to this experience, and all the different aspects of it. There's a lot of diversity to my job."
Gordon was hired late last month as Emmanuel's first-ever nutrition services director.
Her duties include "directing all aspects of on and off campus food services, including meeting the nutritional and clinical needs of residents and meeting customer expectations of quality, variety and service needs," according to a news release from Emmanuel.
"She will be establishing standards, policies and procedures for food preparation and department operations."
Gordon lives in the Detroit Lakes area with her husband, Timothy -- no, not the county sheriff, she is quick to point out, but "the other Tim Gordon."
"We still get a lot of his mail," she says with a smile.
Though Canadian-born, Gordon has lived most of her life in the Detroit Lakes area, since moving to the community with her family when she was in third grade.
"I graduated from Berean Baptist Christian School in 1985," she says. After graduating, she worked at Pamida for about five years before deciding to continue her education at the North Dakota State College of Science, where she received a degree in dental hygiene.
She worked for 13 years in that field, including 10 years at a dentist's office in Park Rapids.
"I started to see the need to work with the whole body, not just the mouth," Gordon says. "But I needed a different degree to start working with nutrition, so I went back to school."
So she enrolled at Concordia College in Moorhead, where she earned a bachelor of arts degree in food, nutrition and dietetics. While at Concordia, Gordon also completed an internship program through Concordia, where she gained experience in: community service in Valley City, N.D., food service management at Concordia College Dining Service, and clinical experience at St. Joseph Hospital in Park Rapids.
Gordon believes her experience in the clinical, food service management and community health aspects of nutrition will serve her well at Emmanuel, where her work will encompass all three of those areas.
"I will have the responsibility for restructuring the kitchen facilities, food planning and menus, and taking care of the individual dietary needs of 140 residents (at Emmanuel Nursing Home, Lamplighter Manor and The Madison)," she says.
Gordon also hopes to provide a little bit of nutritional education for the families of the residents when they come to visit.
"Good nutrition starts when you're young," she says. "What you eat now all affects the quality of your life as you get older... you can't put garbage in(to your body) and think that your quality of life is going to continue to be pleasant.
"I believe it's our responsibility to take care of what the Lord has given us -- our bodies. We all have choices (in eating and exercises habits). I love to educate, I love to teach and enhance a person's quality of life (through better nutrition), from babies to the elderly."
Married for nearly 20 years, Gordon says she enjoys spending her spare time with her husband, enjoying outdoor activities such as hunting and fishing, and the occasional trip Canada to rejuvenate her spirit.
"We love to travel, and to spend time with family," she adds. "And my church is a really important part of my life as well."