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.