20 Most Influential: Shawn LaPean, University of California, Berkeley

Shawn LaPean has thrived by acting as a change agent for his department and his peers in foodservice.

Shawn LaPean
Director of Cal Dining,
University of California, Berkeley

Shawn LaPean lives to serve, and that doesn’t mean just his customers. LaPean is well aware that Berkeley customers are a very different clientele than the “normal” campus culture. LaPean has been able to thrive by acting as a change agent for his department and his peers in foodservice. He was recognized for his efforts with a Silver Plate in 2008.

“When we worked together [at Vanderbilt] I saw that he is really driven to take what exists and make it better,” says Frank Gladu, associate vice president for administration at the University of the South in Sewanee, Tenn. “He’s not a status quo guy. I think people are just more creative with Shawn in the room.”

That creativity has led to accomplishments at Berkeley in areas such as sustainability, organics and local purchasing. Despite all his accomplishments it is LaPean’s willingness to share advice, ideas and experience—even with operators in different market segments—that truly makes him influential, says Dan Henroid, director of nutrition and foodservices at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) Medical Center.

“When I first got here and said I’d love to come see your place it was an immediate yes,” Henroid says. “We’ve been great colleagues ever since. I end up sending members of our team out to his place about once a year. I think his willingness to take risks is key.” 


Foodservice Director has undertaken a bold initiative by identifying people who we believe are having the biggest impact on non-commercial foodservice. Our list may surprise you and should certainly intrigue you. Our honorees have backgrounds as varied as their personalities. They range from the father of the modern-day food truck to the wife of a sitting president. They include operators and suppliers, chefs and consultants, CEOs and civil servants. There are traditionalists and there are mavericks. Well-known names share space with hot newcomers. In all, 17 people, two groups of individuals and one institution compose the list. It’s time to meet FSD’s 20 Most Influential.

More From FoodService Director

Industry News & Opinion

Amherst-Pelham Regional School District in Amherst, Mass., is updating its lunch debt policy to no longer single out students, MassLive reports.

Under the new policy, students with lunch debt will be given the same meals as their peers, regardless of how much they owe. School officials will also be communicating directly with parents of students who have accumulated debt instead of through the students themselves.

The updated policy comes just before U.S. school districts will be required to publicly list their lunch debt policies, per new USDA requirements starting July 1...

Menu Development
eureka

Since California’s state motto is “Eureka!” it seems fitting that a recent conversation with the director of hospitality at San Diego’s Palomar Health led to the biggest aha moment I’ve had in a long time.

I called Jim Metzger in late April with the purpose of discussing Palomar’s recent commitment to the goal of making 60% of its total menu plant-based by this summer. It seemed a lofty number, and I was curious how the public health system planned to get there.

But my personal eureka didn’t come while we were talking about how Palomar had cleaned up the impulse-buy zones...

Industry News & Opinion

Labeling foods with indulgent buzzwords such as “sweet sizzlin’” and “crispy” can lead consumers to make healthier food choices , according to a recent study out of Stanford University .

In the fall 2016 study, researchers labeled vegetables in one of the school’s dining halls using terms from four categories: basic, healthy restrictive, healthy positive or indulgent.

The green beans, for example, were listed as “green beans” for basic, “light ‘n’ low-carb green beans and shallots” for healthy restrictive, “healthy energy boosting green beans and shallots” for healthy...

Ideas and Innovation
sparkling water

Our carbonated soft drink sales at Earls.67 reflect a national trend; we’re continually down on carbonated soft drink sales by 8% to 9% on an annual basis,” says Cameron Bogue, beverage director at the contemporary-casual chain Earls Kitchen + Bar.

The issue with spa water

Many operators are intrigued with the offering, but they are learning that infused water can’t be offered at a cost to guests unless there is added value beyond cut-up fruit. Bogue says, “I was adamant that I didn’t want to charge for spa water.”

Agua fresca alternatives

At the original location of

...

FSD Resources