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Collegiate Dining Successes

The past few weeks have drawn attention to collegiate dining services and key leaders in the profession. We are proud to showcase some of the recent NACUFS members who have been honored for their accomplishments in the industry.

Kevin D’Onofrio, director of food services at the United States Military Academy in West Point, N.Y., is the IFMA Silver Plate Award winner for the Specialty Foodservice category. 

"Receiving the IFMA Silver Plate is an incredible honor and extremely humbling. I am proud to be considered among such an outstanding group of professionals. This award is clear validation that perseverance in a very challenging industry is rewarded. The IFMA Silver Plate rewards the entire Culinary Group, all of whom made this honor possible. It recognizes not only me, but all of the incredibly talented people who have inspired with me and supported me throughout my many years in food service. I have been extremely fortunate to have had many outstanding mentors over the years. These include General and Kathy Boylan, Colonels Hudgins, Kinney, Endres, Flowers and Orecchio. This award serves as a reminder that my organization must continue to set the standard for success in the food service industry," he stated.

D'Onofrio is one of eight award winners who will be featured at a banquet on May 19 in Chicago, Ill. during the National Restaurant Association Show.

Read more >

NACUFS president Mark LoParco was chosen as the winner for the International Foodservice Manufacturers Association Silver Plate Award for the College and Universities category. LoParco is the director of dining at the University of Montana where he directs all UM Dining Services such as Food Zoo, UM Farm to College Program, and UM Catering. He is the first standing NACUFS president to win a Silver Plate Award.

“Thank you all so much for the heartfelt congratulations and support that have poured in. I am thrilled and humbled to receive this honor and wish to express my immense gratitude for the people who rightfully share this award with me,” stated LoParco in his blog.

Read more >

Rafi Taherian, executive director of Yale Dining at Yale University, was named FoodService Director Magazine’s Foodservice Director of the Year for 2013. He was selected by a panel of FoodService Director editors, the FSD advisory board, and the FSDs of the Month from 2012. 

"I am very humbled, very, very grateful; I am very proud of just being named FoodService Director's FSD of the Month for the month of February," Taherian said. "Obviously, this was an extra bonus I was not expecting. I can only be even further proud I am one of this group. This industry is all about excellence. What I know and what I've learned is from the people in this room. We don’t get credit for what we do—we stand on other people's shoulders."

Read more >

Congratulations to all of the recipients of these honors. We are proud of our members' many accomplishments!


Helpful Hints for Applying to the Three Most Popular Institutes

Do you ever wonder why the Foodservice Management Institute (FSMI), Leadership Institute (LI) and Human Resources Institute (HRI) are the most difficult institutes to get accepted into?  Have you applied more than once and yet haven’t made it past the waiting list to attend?

These three institutes are the most coveted professional development opportunities NACUFS offers.  All of the institute programs provide high-quality learning at a very reasonable out-of-pocket cost to the participant and his/her institution.  Because of the value of the content and the popularity of the speakers, these are the most difficult institutes to get into.

The following provides information specific to each institute.  Click on the links to learn more about who should attend, as well as to find helpful hints for applying to each program:

The Foodservice Management Institute (FSMI), to be held June 2-7, 2014 at the newly renovated Rich’s Renaissance Center in Buffalo, NY, is an excellent place to start for someone new to collegiate foodservice, or new to the institute programs.   It is a very hands-on institute, with participants working in teams applying all of these components to a virtual operation.  It is also one of the most intensive institutes, with several opportunities to put the program content into practice.  Learn More > 

The Leadership Institute (LI), June 15-20, 2014 at the Nestlé Professional Customer Innovation Campus in Solon, Ohio has several reasons for being one of the most popular institute programs.  Not only does the content focus on personal skills that will help you effectively get things done through others, it also features one of our most popular program presenters.  Once you’ve gained new insight into your beliefs, perceptions, and behaviors, you will learn how to apply your strengths and overcome some of your blind spots when communicating with others. Learn More >

The Human Resources Institute (HRI) is another long-standing and popular institute program.  It provides a broad overview of the skills necessary for effectively managing and directing a workforce.  For many years the program has been held at the Schwan’s Food Service headquarters in Marshall, Minnesota.  In 2014 the program will be held June 9-14, once more at Schwan’s – at their newer headquarters and research facility outside of Minneapolis, MN.  Professional trainers from Schwan’s will share their expertise on topics ranging from interviewing, coaching, evaluating and documenting employee performance, working through conflict, and adapting to change.  Learn More >  

In addition to the specific hints provided for applying to each of these institutes, you may also want to review these general hints for applying for the NACUFS institutes.  General Hints >

For more than a decade, the NACUFS institutes have been helping foodservice professionals develop the skills needed to advance their careers and strengthen their foodservice programs.  Because of this, they continue to be among the most rigorous – and rewarding – professional development programs offered by the association.   Their content is based on the NACUFS Professional Practices in College & University Food Services manual, focused on practical outcomes and core competencies that have been identified as critical to success in the collegiate foodservice profession.   They are definitely worth the effort to make your application a strong reflection of your desire and readiness to attend.

The deadline for applying for the summer 2014 institutes is 12:00 noon (EST), Friday, March 7. 

The deadline for attending the winter Marketing Institute is 12:00 noon (EST), Tuesday, September 2. 

Institute Grants >  

Frequently Asked Questions >

Apply online >

To learn more about the institute programs, contact Katie Kiter, NACUFS education assistant at kkiter@nacufs.org or Lori Mason, director of education at lmason@nacufs.org, or call the association office at (517) 332-2494.

Governance Work Group Appointed

The NACUFS Board of Directors is pursuing a two-track process for strategic planning and governance. The strategic planning process was initiated through the Strategic Planning Committee with discussions about mission, goals, and vision for the association during the National Conference. The second phase of the process involved appointing a Governance Work Group to help the association identify and understand the issues that must be addressed within the realm of governance. 

The Governance Work Group has been announced. Visit president Mark LoParco's blog for more information.

President's Blog: TEDxUMontana

NACUFS president Mark LoParco was featured as a speaker at TEDxUMontana, speaking about the University of Montana's farm to college program as a practical application of food democracy and food citizenry. This program won a gold medal in the Procurement Practices category for the 2013 NACUFS Sustainability Awards.

Be sure to follow his blog to find out what all went into preparation for this presentation and keep up with what's going on with the association.

Apply for the Governance Work Group

The NACUFS Board of Directors is beginning to implement its second phase of the strategic planning process by appointing a Governance Work Group to assist in identifying and understanding the issues that must be addressed in the realm of governance. The findings and recommendations of the Governance Work Group will assist NACUFS in future decision-making and achieving results for membership.

Don't miss the opportunity to be part of this group and help guide the association. Learn more and apply now to be part of the Governance Work Group. Applications are due Wednesday, September 11.

Media Contact

Rachel A. Warner
Director of Communications & Marketing
Office: (517) 332-2494
Direct: (517) 827-1111

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