IFMA selects 2011 Silver Plate winners

Diane Hardy, associate vice president for Campus Services at the University of Richmond, achieved a rare feat last week when she was named winner of the IFMA Silver Plate Award in the College and University category.

Hardy, who has been a Richmond foodservice employee for the past 32 years, became the second person from the university to earn that recognition. Her former boss, Ron Inlow, was accorded the honor in 1990.

Five other universities share that distinction: University of Tennessee, Michigan State, Stanford, Notre Dame and the University of California at San Diego.

In the Healthcare category, the Silver Plate winner was Bruce Thomas, associate vice president of Guest Services for Geisinger Health System, Danville, Pa. In addition to overseeing a top-flight foodservice program, Thomas was the primary architect of the recent merger of the National Association for Healthcare Foodservice Management and the American Society for Healthcare Food Service Administrators into the Association for Healthcare Foodservice.

Lora Gilbert, R.D., senior director, Food & Nutrition Services, for Orange County (Fla.) Public Schools, was honored in the Elementary and Second Schools category. Steve Sweeney, president and CEO of Chartwells, a division of Compass Group USA, won in the Business & Industry/Foodservice Management category, and George Miller, chief of Food & Beverage Operations for the U.S. Air Force, was honored in the Specialty Foodservice category.

In the commercial restaurant segments, the winners were Independent Restaurants: Buzz BeLer, owner of The Prime Rib, Baltimore; Chain Full-Service/Mult-Concept: Jerry Deitchle, chairman, president and CEO, BJs Restaurants, Huntington Beach, Calif.; Chain Fast Service: Joe Tortorice Jr., CEO, Jason’s Deli, Beaumont, Texas, and Hotel & Lodging, C. W. Craig Reed, director of food and beverage, The Broadmoor Hotel, Colorado Springs, Colo.

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Billerica Memorial High School in Billerica, Mass., is turning to a little friendly competition to get students excited for lunch, Wicked Local Billerica reports.

Throughout the month, the school is hosting a sandwich competiton between its principal and vice principals. Each contestant created a sandwich to be added to the lunch menu for one week, from which a winner will be chosen.

The competition was proposed by Director of School Nutrition April Laskey, who said she was surprised by how responsive people were to the idea.

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Just over 100 foodservice workers at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., have voted to join a branch of the Service Employees International Union, KIMT reports.

SEIU Healthcare Minnesota said that 89% of the ballots cast during last week’s election were in favor of unionizing.

The workers are employed by Sodexo, Mayo Clinic’s current foodservice vendor. The clinic recently announced plans to switch vendors to Morrison Healthcare Food Services, a move that has sparked backlash from workers and led to a lawsuit from the SEIU .

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The Los Angeles Unified School District has lifted its ban on flavored milk in an effort to reduce food waste, the Los Angeles Times reports.

After implementing the ban in 2011, the district noticed that many students would simply throw away their unused milk containers, causing them to end up in landfills. In order to combat the problem, the district’s board is launching a four-part study in 21 schools that will examine different ways to encourage kids to drink more plain milk.

One of the theories proposed is that students will be more likely to drink plain milk if they...

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