Derone (pronounced Darren) Martin, executive chef at Buckner senior living community, Parkway Place, in Houston, is being recognized this year by LeadingAge Texas for his outstanding leadership. A chef winning a leadership award? Shouldn’t that go to an executive director?
"His exceptional dedication and commitment just keeps him aside from everyone else," said Abraham Mathew, executive director of Parkway Place. "He's separate. He can be commended for a series of things. I can count on him. He is somebody I can count on. A guy with exceptional dedication and he leads his team that way every single day."
It doesn't take long watching Martin in the kitchen to recognize his skills as a leader match his culinary expertise. A “conductor of crazy” is how Martin describes his work leading the culinary team.
"To be nominated by the great people I work with ... it means a lot to how they think of me as a leader, someone they can come to, someone they can look up to," Martin said. "Being a leader is something I was born into. My favorite food to prepare is the food that is going to make someone smile. I know it's a cop out answer, but that is my answer. I'm really lucky to work with some fine men and women."