Air Force’s Miller wins IFMA Gold Plate

CHICAGO—George Miller, chief of foodservice for the United States Air Force, won the coveted Gold Plate at the annual IFMA Gold and Silver Plate Society dinner here. It is the second year in a row that a non-commercial foodservice operator earned the foodservice industry’s highest honor. Tim Deitzler, director of foodservice at Villanova University, was last year’s winner.

“People who know me say I’m never speechless, but I am speechless tonight,” said Miller, who capped a four-decade career in military foodservice with the award. He thanked his wife and family “for sticking by me through 47 years” and credited Air Force foodservice personnel for helping to make the Air Force “the best in the world.”

“You know, when you can give troops a good hot meal, you give them the energy and strength to carry out their missions, and you raise their morale,” he noted.

The event, held for the first time in the Grand Ballroom at the Navy Pier, sold out—a 20% increase in attendance over last year. IFMA chief executive Larry Oberkfell credited a new structure for the organization that has seen 45% of its members become involved in committees like the Gold and Silver Plate committee over the last year.

More From FoodService Director

Industry News & Opinion

Sodexo aims to reduce carbon emissions by 34% at its foodservice and facilities management sites by 2025, a goal it says it will reach through such changes as converting cooking oil into biodiesel fuel and using energy-efficient HVAC systems.

In announcing this endeavor toward sustainability, Sodexo—which manages more than 32,000 sites globally—noted that over 7,200 of its sites in North America recycle aluminum and paper, and 8,640 recycle cardboard.

Ideas and Innovation
sushi plate

We wanted to add sushi, but that’s not really my expertise. So we found a great local company that offered to put three sushi chefs on-site every day. They supply the ingredients, and if we meet the minimum revenue each week, than we receive a percentage of sales. We have been exceeding the weekly minimum sales, which we track in our POS, in two days.

Managing Your Business
coffee barista

Whether it’s a morning routine, an afternoon pick-me-up or an evening social ritual, few things are as universally appealing as coffee. Sixty-five percent of respondents in Technomic’s 2016 Beverage Consumer Trend Report say they ordered a cup of hot joe from a foodservice location in the past month, and 59% say the same about cold coffee. Everyone has an opinion about what makes it good, whether it’s a low price, a unique blend or a friendly barista.

“Coffee is so personal. There are a lot of people that are Dunkin’ fans. There’s a lot of Starbucks people,” says James Dravenack,...

Ideas and Innovation
star wars storm trooper

My favorite event—because I’m kind of dorky—is our “May the fourth be with you” (aka “Star Wars”) day on May 4. The whole dining team dresses up, and we offer things like Chewbaklava, Boba Fettuccine and BB-8 Buckeyes. We had a guest cry because they got to take a picture with Chewy.

FSD Resources