NACUFS has named Rich Neumann of Ohio University as the recipient of the 2017 Theodore W. Minah Distinguished Service Award, the association’s highest individual honor.
Originally established in 1967 as the Distinguished Service Award, the award was renamed in 1973 to honor the first recipient, Theodore W. Minah. The award is presented annually in recognition of exemplary and enduring contributions to the foodservice industry and to the association. The NACUFS board of directors and council of past presidents select the recipient from among nominations submitted by the NACUFS membership.
Neumann’s career in college and university food service began in 1980 at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point (UWSP) and has worked in hospitality business a total of 37 years. While at UWSP the recipient started as a student employee and quickly climbed the ranks to student manager, head student manager and became a fulltime Assistant Manager at age 19. After graduating with an undergraduate degree in Food Service Management and Dietetics, the recipient immediately enrolled in graduate school and earned a Master's Degree in Nutrition and Food Science. Many job accomplishments at UWSP, too many to list and the recipient began teaching food service courses for the University in 1988.
In August of 1989, Neumann was hired as the Training Coordinator at Ohio University which included a ½ time teaching appointment in the Food Service Management Program. For his first six years on the academic side the recipient was the sole professor for the Food Service Management Program and the recipient had a½ time academic contract. During the first six years the recipient grew the program to almost 4x, the recipient co-authored a textbook in 1995 titled the Fundamentals of Meal Management, co-authored ten training modules for Meta Media and the Grossbauer Group, published 27 articles in various food service publications, and partnered with two other food and nutrition faculty members on a $224,935 grant to fund the project of developing distance learning and alternative lab sites for Food Service Education.
Neumann has been involved with NACUFS since 1990 and fondly remembers is first regional conference at Michigan State University in 1990 and his first national conference in 1997 held in Buffalo and has attended every national conference since 1997.
From July 2000 to the present, Neumann held the jobs of Assistant Director and Associate Director before being promoted to their current position as Director of Culinary Services in April 2005. During this time, the recipient was a key member in the renovation of three all you care to eat dining halls, a central production kitchen, vegetable preparation area, bakery, gluten free kitchen, and warehouse. The recipient also opened a food court in the newly built University Center. All of these renovations were funded without bonding and was funded through the Culinary Services Six Year Budget Plan which the recipient played a key
Neumann received the award on Wednesday, July 12 at the 2017 NACUFS National Conference in Nashville, TN.
The Theodore W. Minah Distinguished Service Award is the highest honor that NACUFS can bestow. The selection of a person deserving such an honor is based on contributions both to NACUFS and to the foodservice industry. The winner and their guest receive transportation to/from the national conference, including airfare and ground transportation between the airport and hotel, complimentary conference registration, and a hotel room for the duration of the conference.
2016 Dennis Pierce, 2015 Jon Lewis, 2014 Sharon Coulson, 2013 Sam Bennett, 2012 Russ Meyer, 2011 Sister Maureen Schrimpe, 2010 R. Cameron (Cam) Schauf, 2009 Art Korandanis, 2008 Jane Grant-Shambaugh, 2007 Mona Milius, 2006 Dave Prentkowski, 2005 Diane "Dee" Hardy, 2004 Brian Klippel, 2003 Julaine Kiehn, 2002 Frank X. Gladu, 2001 Dean A. Wright, 2000 John Pence, 1999 Jamesena Miller, 1998 William May, 1997 Len Hodgson, 1996 Shirleta Benfield, 1995 Mary Molt, 1994 Elaine Bellew, 1993 D. Ronald Inlow, 1992 Margaret Lacey, 1991 Frank Weissbecker, 1990 Larry Barrett, 1989 Donald M. Jacobs, 1988 Norman Hill, 1987 John Robinson, 1986 Theodore Smith, 1984 Paul Fairbrook, 1983 Wells Cloward, 1981 Jean Riggs, 1980 Douglas Richie, 1979 Eleanor Alexander, 1978 Joe Blair, 1977 Fred Dollar, 1976 Clark DeHaven, 1975 John Birchfield, 1974 Loyal Horton, 1973 Herman Zaccarelli, 1972 John Friese, 1971 Robert Buchanan, 1970 George Prillaman, 1969 Donald Greenaway, 1968 Richard Lichtenfelt, 1967 Theodore Minah