Midwest Director's Message

Greetings NACUFS Midwest Region!

The Olympics have come and gone just like our summers! As regional director of the Midwest Region, it was great seeing such great attendance at the National Conference in Anaheim; what an opportunity to IMAGINE, DISCOVER, and EXPLORE!

I am privileged to serve as your regional director this year. I was nominated last fall and elected to serve at our Midwest Regional Conference in Columbus, Ohio. Having said that, nominations will open for the Midwest Director-Elect position on December 1st and are due by February 1st. Remember this will be the only elected position regionally with the new NACUFS governance structure; so, please consider a self-nomination or nominating a peer to serve our region! 

A couple special congratulations are in order: 
In the Culinary Challenge, Charu Chandra Pant, from the University of Notre Dame, Midwest Region was awarded the National Culinary Challenge Winner! A job well done and a delicious Seared Lamb with Red Rice Pilaf! Another thank you goes to Lance Thornton from Principia College for serving as the last President of the Midwest region. His leadership, service, and commitment is valued in keeping our region strong. Finally, a special congratulation to Lisa Krausman from the University of Northern Iowa as she was awarded the Midwest Region Presidents Award!

The regional council has begun communicating regularly by phone each month. The focus this fall has been on implementing the programs and services approved by the Board of Trustees in the 2016 Midwest Annual Plan, completing the 2017 Midwest Region budget, and the 2018 Midwest Regional Conference budget. A special welcome to the regional council to Janet Decker, Membership Committee, from the University of Central Missouri. Finally, Cathy Ness and Verne Scholl from the University of Wisconsin – Madison will be working with the council as our 2018 Regional Conference Co-chairs to ensure we have a great future conference.

The regional council will meet in November at University of Iowa, the site of the 2017 Regional Conference, “The Winning Ticket.” The 2017 conference will be March 19-21, 2017. Jill Irvin and the entire University of Iowa committee are assembling a winning conference. Please look for registration to start in December.

If you have any questions, please reach out to your regional council or myself.
Enjoy your fall semester!

Josh Berg
NACUFS Midwest Regional Director
Associate Director
University Dining Service
University of Wisconsin - Stout

'Twas the Night Before FSMI

by Mindy Pendreigh

T’was the night before FMSI, when all through campus
All creatures were stirring, including “mouse”.
Travel bags were packed, by the door they were laid,
In hopes new friendships would soon be made.

Participants mingled with ice breaker in hand,
With missions and merchandising,  the “magic” began.
And Kirk at the helm, and Carrie by his side, 
We knew our brains were in for a long week’s ride. 

Arriving to Rich’s there arose such a clatter,
We sprang from our seats to see what was the matter.
No Peets coffee? This is not hot!
Away to Wegmans, Bettye brewed up the pot.

Smiles were donned for the group photo
Julaine gave way to cost control , and more projects below.
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
Ballerinas on stage! How sweet! How dear!

With Arlene , so lively and quick,
Learning HACCP and Sanitation, we will not be sick.
More rapid than the Niagra Falls, Julaine’s courses came alive,
Financial reports and budgets , she whistled, we would derive!

On Catering, On Retail! On Residential! We were divided.
Quickly through storming, on to group norming; we decided! 
To the floors for group meeting, working late into the night!
We worked hard to stay on task!  Or this project might be a fright!"

Morning came early, Menu building would fly,
With Quality Assurance in hand, projects became the sky.
With the session of choice- participants flew,
Skills being learned, we became a good crew.

And then, in a twinkling, we rallied upstairs 
R&D Tour – Rich’s passion for customers was bared. 
As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
The Pizza Sub BBQ Factory to the next project, with a bound. 

Mike was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,
His clothes embellished with thermometers; at times looking for soot.
The Pizza, Sub, BBQ Factory was open-- bundling food for Rich’s staff.
As Mike peddled unexpected surprises, we all had a good laugh.

Kirk’s eyes-how they twinkled! Arlene’s dimples how merry!
Janet’s encouraging words were like roses, Carrie’s presentation voice like a cherry!
They relieved the stress, mentors wanted each of us to grow
Knowledge and stories, we told, all should know.

Janet reviewed NACUFS 101 with exclamation,
Home office and volunteers, support richness within our organization
We had a broad look at the possibility
We can support this group, we share the opportunity!

Practice, Practice! Pitching final projects, a learning of presentation,
Constructive criticism and positive accolades, I gained for my notation!
With trust and respect for one another; Our own style, unique to each,
Soon we appreciate our own little niche.

We climbed onto the bus, to Niagara Falls in the making,
And filled our eyes, sights that were breathtaking.
At Hard Rock Café, the magic began again,
Enjoying each other’s company, donned with a grin!

We sprang to the bus, one last time,
To see the falls gleam in the light, reflection worth more than a dime
“I’ve learned so much this week!”, “You all are so dear!”
"Thank you to all, and to all a good year!"

The NACUFS Institutes: Lisa Krausman

With the completion of the Facilities Management Institute, I am one of the fortunate few to say they have completed all the NACUFS institutes.  Not only have I completed them, but I was fortunate enough to co facilitate FSMI for one year and facilitate it for two.

So when asked what do the institutes mean to me, my reply is as follows:

  • Education: the institutes ARE one of the best educational values for industry that you will find.  The educational competences of each one has helped me develop into a stronger professional.
  • Networking: by attending and facilitating the institutes, I have been able to meet 233 different participants, coach/mentors, and staff.  Wow!  Think about the vast amounts of knowledge and information from those contacts I can utilize and reach out to when I have an obstacle that I need to solve.
  • Professional development: eight institutes, eight projects with presentations working with other team members that you just met that week was always a highlight and huge learning experience.
  • Teamwork: throughout attending and facilitating the institutes, I have learned it is just like the workplace. Some teams blend well, others may not blend as well, but there was always great conversations and something to learn from the process.  The team had a common goal for to accomplish during the week and may just need to go about it a different way to get it done.

Here is a little more about my personal institute progression.  First I started with FSMI (Foodservice Management Institute) in 2001.  There was such great information that could be applied to the job regarding budgeting, menu planning, cost control, and reading financial reports.   Some of the information was familiar from what I had learned in college, while some was new.  In the institutes you break into teams for group work.  I was in a great group – in fact I always felt fortunate of the groups I was in.  Even eleven years later, many of the group members are individuals I still keep in contact with and love to catch up with at the National NACUFS Conference each year.

Overall,  I loved the experience and applied to facilitate it.  Facilitating an institute is no small job.  You need to be ready for anything at any time.  Travel problems, individuals dropping out last minute and filling their spot…..and my personal favorite-getting questioned by border control upon rentering the country with a van full of people. 

After working with FSMI, I decided to apply for Human Resource Institute in 2005.  This seemed like a logical progression to me. More importantly, in my professional life I felt I needed to improve on my skills in this area.  Since attending this institute, I cannot begin to count the number of times I have returned to my HRI binder to look for information I learned from this institute – whether it is interview questions, probing questions, coaching/mentoring notes, or general human resource policies.  There is a wealth of information that was learned and shared at this institute.

In 2006 I was at Leadership Institute.  Tom Champoux – “the LI legend” – is such as great speaker and facilitator.  Everyone in our group learned a little more about themselves and others they work with.  Additionally you learn how to work with so many different personalities to reach your common goal.

In 2007 I went to Planning Institute.  That week Bruce Flye walked us through various elements of long term and short term strategic planning, capital improvement planning and capital budgeting.  Building a vision and mission and how this is not only important at the department or division wide, but has benefits for the specific units to do this when developing specific programs.  I immediately turned around and used some of the information and different processes for brainstorming in our staff retreat that fall.

The next stop for me was going to Customer Service Institute in 2009.  During this week, it was hard not to focus on customer service.  First, every experience from the hotel to various meals were first rate.   The program was great and really got me thinking about what was important to me as a customer and where we may be falling short on the customer service experience.  Over the years there have been a number of us who have attended CSI from UNI.  This which has beneficial as we have worked on putting together a similar training program for our operations to help implement the information we have learned.

I attended Financial Management Institute in 2010.  One would think you could get bored talking about budgeting and financial analysis for a week, but this was a great institute.  It was so much more than your college accounting course.  All of the information discussed actually specifically to the college and university food service segment.  Additionally, you were given a number of different ideas on how to approach revenue generating opportunities through residential, retail and catering operations.

 Later that same year, I was fortunate to attend Marketing Institute.  This institute was at a great point in my career as my job position at UNI had changed from a residential dining manager to a purchasing manager/administrative dietitian.  As a residential manager, I had been doing the dietitian duties as well, but with the position change, it was a great opportunity to carve out more time for our nutrition programming.  MI gave me a number of great ideas on how to approach our nutrition programming and make sure we are getting the information to the right people.  Additionally I learned a lot on social media and the possibilities of incorporating that into our programming.

This summer I attended my last institute, Facilities Management Institute.  Once again from the professional perspective, the timing could not have been better.  In my position of purchasing, I work closely facility management issues.  When looking at new equipment for our facilities, it is important to have the knowledge of different aspects that are helpful for our operations and potential cost savings. Looking at all elements such as the potential life of the equipment, as well as cost of preventative maintenance.  There are a number of practical “take-home” ideas and procedures I have been able to implement already.
Over the past eleven years, I never felt like I was going through these programs, just to get them all done.  Instead, I went through a progression, strategically choosing which program to go to, that reflected projects and objectives that were well-timed for my professional development.

I appreciate the investment that UNI and NACUFS has made in me attending these programs, as well as the countless hours of planning from NACUFS volunteers and staff that went into each program.  I also feel fortunate there are industry members that sponsor such great educational programming.  The members who sponsored the year I attended include Rich’s, Schwan’s, Tyson, Pepsi, True ConAgra, CocaCola, and Hobart.

If you have been hesitant to apply for an institute, I am hoping my personal story of how the institutes have impacted me would encourage you to take that next step to apply.  They are competitive, so if you have been applying and could not get in, keep trying.  In the meantime, get involved in other NACUFS activities.  There is a lot to learn from them and many of the other same benefits from the institutes can be found in all NACUFS activities.  That is the core of what NACUFS is about.

Facilities Management Institute: Carter Lawson

I had the opportunity to attend the NACUFS Facilities Management Institute this June and would highly recommend others to attend.  This was my first NACUFS Institute and I look forward to attending other Institutes in the future. 

The Institute was held in Troy, OH, at the Hobart Education Center.  There was great leadership throughout the Institute.  Dean Wright of Brigham Young University and Bob Leandro of Harvard University both were very open about sharing their experiences.  They were also excellent at getting people involved and leading discussions on how representatives from the group handled similar situations at their campuses.   I particularly enjoyed the online training systems that Brigham Young University has implemented and look forward to working on a similar system on my campus.  The energy savings which Harvard has implemented was interesting and showed excellent examples of how the changes have aided in cutting costs to the department.

One of my favorite parts of the Facilities Management Institute was the presentation by Kathleen Seelye.  The information she presented will be tremendously helpful in future facility developments or renovations.  Learning the importance of the use of space and industry standards was both informative and fascinating.  Kathleen also went into detail on the best practices for kitchen projects and how all aspects of a design come together.

The Hobart Education Center was an excellent facility.  I really enjoyed the Factory and Tech Center tours, particularly the testing facilities at the Tech Center.  It was obvious the amount of passion that the employees of Hobart have for their company and their respective departments.  They were knowledgeable and ready to answer any questions.  We were also able to travel to the campus of Miami University and tour their Culinary Support Center. 

I believe my participation in the Facilities Management Institute was one of the most valuable professional development opportunities I have had in my career.  I was not aware how much facilities management encompassed but after attending now have a better understanding.  My main experience of the Institute was meeting all the other participants from colleges and universities and sharing our thoughts and experiences.  I could not wait to get back to my own campus and share the information that I had learned with my colleagues.

Leadership Institute was Amazing - Kayleen Vander Veen

In the introductions the first night of Leadership Institute we had to say what our expectations where.  One gal said, “I heard you cry a lot and make lifelong friends…”   The gal who said that was Michelle, and after that week I can honestly say that Michelle has become my lifelong friend.

The week was mentally intense, but I learned so much.  I appreciate the tools that Tom gave us to take home and make the changes that are necessary to be a Leader. I learned how to communicate with others who have different behavioral styles than me, but first had to understand myself and my own behavior style. 

In understanding myself I found out that I am a persuader.  I learned how I am viewed by others, and why in the past I had a hard time understanding others.  I now have the awareness, and have learned how to better communicate with others.
I had a lot of “aaahhaaa” moments.  In our group discussions when divided by behavioral styles, I found it very interesting how other behavioral styles viewed persuaders.  I knew I had some work to do.  For example I need to make sure when talking my content is the same as my intent.  I need to make myself more clear, and maybe not talk so much, and ask more questions. 

I am very glad that there are other people out there like me, and now I have people I can turn to while I am still making changes in my leadership style that can keep me accountable.  Thank you for this great opportunity to go Leadership Institute.  I can honestly say it changed my life.

Facilities management Institute: Greg Millard

I have been a NACUFS member for a very long time.  I have had that chance to attended many conferences, both Regional and National.  Recently I had an opportunity to begin the journey of NACUFS Institutes.  Who would have thought that trip would begin in Troy Ohio?  In talking with individuals that have attended this and many other institutes in the past, you hear two main thoughts.  It’s full of great information (from the trainers, tours, bookwork, and networking) and it’s a lot of rewarding work. They were right on both accounts.  Our instructors were very knowledgeable in all aspects of University operations.  Their real life experiences showed how you could incorporate new ideas, concepts, and designs into existing operations.  Tours of the Hobart training facility and factory as well as Miami University’s Culinary Support Center broke up the class room book hours. 

Our final project of designing a kitchen and server in Mexico not only utilized the wealth of information we received from Kathleen Seelye (Ricca Newmark), our team’s nationwide flair (EMU, WVU, Missouri, Dayton, Cal Poly, & Iowa) but also allowed us to feel good about the work we accomplished and one day might be the design for a missionary training center.  In the beginning it is hard to believe all the information that you did not know but after learning it, is hard to believe that you could live without it.  I am looking forward to future Institutes and hopefully join that small club of people that have completed them all.