2012 Silver Plate—Ricky Clark: 20 Years of Learning

Ricky Clark has spent years passing his foodservice knowledge on to others.

After more than two decades as a foodservice administrator for the Virginia Department of Corrections, Ricky Clark has spent the last five years helping to teach people to work in correctional foodservice—as well as in several other departments within the DOC. He oversees two academies and helps develop the curriculums for such classes as in-service training and basic foodservice skills.

At a Glance: Ricky Clark
•Training and development Coordinator
•Supervisor, Academy for Staff Development, Virginia Department of Corrections
•Years in foodservice: 32
•Years at Virginia DOC: 28

Ricky Clark’s operational achievements:

•In the mid-1990s, while Clark was a foodservice administrator, he worked on a five-member recipe committee that ultimately was charged with creating a CD that would be sent to all DOC facilities. The CD, two years in the making, contains more than 600 recipes that could be converted to virtually any quantity, making the CD a valuable time-saving tool for any size facility. Clark said the team started working with the Armed Forces recipes and revised those to satisfy the range of special diets required by inmates. “What we ended up with,” says Clark, “was basically a correctional heart-healthy menu package.”

•Clark has given of his time for the benefit of two professional associations. He currently is chair of the Association of Nutrition and Foodservice Professionals (formerly Dietary Managers Association) and has been on the board of directors of ANFP for the last six years. In addition, he was president of the Association for Correctional Food Service Affiliates in 2009 and has served on ACFSA’s board of directors for seven years. In CFSA, Clark was named Employee of the Year in 2001 and received the President’s Award in 2011. Clark says of his involvement, “I get so much more out of being involved in these associations than I could ever give. Just being able to network with people like myself helps me to become better at my job.”

•During his time as a foodservice administrator, Clark was recognized several times as maintaining both the lowest food cost and highest sanitation standards within the department. This eventually led the department to tap Clark’s skills to train other foodservice employees, as an adjunct trainer for eight years at the Academy for Staff Development. In 2005 he was named training and development coordinator at the Academy, and he later became training and development coordinator supervisor.

More From FoodService Director

Ideas and Innovation

When it comes to sustainability, sometimes the smallest kitchen changes can make the biggest difference. When Chris Henning, senior assistant director of dining services for the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, switched from standard latex gloves to nitrile gloves, he also set up a recycling program. Once recycled, the gloves are turned into playground equipment, bike racks and park benches.

Henning says the nitrile gloves have been a good fit for his department, both in terms of durability and cost. “Participating in the campus buying program reduces the cost, as [our]...

Ideas and Innovation
elderly old hands

A family’s request for at-home meal support for a patient at Lee Memorial in Fort Myers, Fla., led System Director of Food & Nutrition Services Larry Altier to uncover a gap in care. He saw that only 1% of patients had been coded (diagnosed and labeled for billing purposes) as malnourished, while more than 60% of all Lee Memorial patients are over 65 years or older, a population that experiences the issue at a higher rate.

His discovery helped more rigorously identify malnutrition, but it also strengthened Lee Memorial’s community connection. The hospital launched a delivery...

Ideas and Innovation
nutrition facts label

Despite operators’ attempts to communicate nutrition information to guests via cards and labels on the food line, many guests still feel they have no clue what’s in their food. University of Illinois food economist Brenna Ellison shares a few guesses as to why consumers ignore these signs following a recent study on their placement in dining halls.

Q: Who is most likely to read the cards?

A: Students who were already exhibiting more healthy behaviors. So those were the students who track their intake using an app or a food diary. After the first week, we found the rates of people...

Managing Your Business
studient orientation

When an alma mater and an employer are one in the same, it can be a win-win for both the employee and the school. Here’s how two students’ experiences with campus dining—one positive and the other negative—led them on a path to their current jobs.

A Feast to Remember

NC State University’s main campus in Raleigh, N.C. was built on farmland given to the state by Richard Stanhope Pullen; every spring, students gather to celebrate those agricultural roots through Farm Feast, an outdoor celebration with food and music. Design major Christin King remembers her first Farm Feast vividly: “...

FSD Resources