NACUFS names new executive director

Gretchen Couraud comes to NACUFS with more than 25 years of nonprofit and association management experience.

July 24—The National Association of College & University Food Services (NACUFS) has named Gretchen Couraud, CAE, CFRE, as its next executive director, effective Nov. 1. Couraud is the third executive director in the association’s 54-year history, and its first female chief staff executive. She will succeed Joseph Spina, CAE, Ph.D., who is retiring after 22 years of service to the association.

Couraud comes to NACUFS after more than 25 years in nonprofit and association management, with extensive experience in government relations, issue advocacy, strategic planning and organizational leadership. She is currently the executive director for the Michigan Library Association (MLA), a position she has held for the past seven years.

Prior to joining the MLA, Couraud held positions at theCapital Area Humane Society, Lansing Community College Foundation and Lansing Regional Chamber of Commerce in Michigan, as well as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in Chicago. She is a graduate of Goucher College with a B.A. in international relations and management. Couraud received her Certified Association Executive (CAE) credential in 1990 and has been a Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) since 2006. She also serves on the board of directors for the Michigan Society of Association Executives.

“I’m pleased with the thorough approach taken by the board of directors and search committee in selecting Gretchen as the association’s next executive director,” Nona Golledge, NACUFS past president and director of KU Dining at the University of Kansas, said in a press release. “Gretchen will provide the leadership necessary to build upon the dynamic programs established during Dr. Spina’s tenure as executive director. NACUFS is in great hands.”

Dr. Spina will stay on as executive director emeritus through the end of the year to help ensure a smooth organizational transition. Timothy Dietzler, NACUFS president and director of dining services at Villanova University, will facilitate the transition.

“Because dining services is such a vital element of student life, I am excited to join an organization that is dedicated to the success of college and university foodservice programs,” Couraud said in the release. “I look forward to working with the association’s board, volunteers, members and staff to advance the mission of the organization and elevate the image of collegiate foodservice on campus, as well as that of NACUFS itself.”