30 Under 30 redux

Nominate your under-30 employees to be featured in FoodService Director

By Paul King, Editorial Director

Last fall, we took at a chance at FoodService Director in coming up with a new feature for 2011. Called “30 Under 30,” it was created to shine the spotlight on those younger employees who are considered by their bosses to be future stars in the foodservice industry.

At the time, we decided to spread out the 30 honorees over the course of the year, rather than try to cram them all into one issue. This way, we reasoned, we could provide a little more space for each person being recognized.

Now, with the year almost over, we can say that “30 Under 30” has been an unqualified success. I admit we had our doubts. I wondered, for instance, whether enough directors would be willing to advertise the fact that they had stellar employees for fear of losing them. There also were the usual concerns that not enough nominations would come in to make the effort worthwhile.

Happily, neither fear was realized. Not only did we get more than enough nominations, the feature is both well-read and appreciated, based on readers’ comments we’ve received at conferences and other events, as well as at on-site visits. I first experienced this in March, when I visited Swedish Medical Center in Seattle. (Emily Abbott, Swedish’s supervisor of nutrition services, had been profiled in January.)

During a tour of the kitchen, I saw that the article had been posted on the employee bulletin board. Later, I ran into Emily, who thanked me for having selected her. The credit, of course, should not go to the magazine; it really belongs to Kris Schroeder, Swedish’s administrative director of support services, who nominated Emily.

In another testimonial, one of the nominees we selected, Jonathan Ricks, actually had taken a step up the career ladder before we got the chance to profile him. There was some debate about honoring the selection, since Ricks no longer worked for the boss who had nominated him, John Gilbertson. But Gilbertson supported our decision to recognize Ricks, and you can read his story in the November issue of FSD.

Based on input such as this, we’re bringing back “30 Under 30” for a second season. Stories will appear in the magazine and on-line on an ongoing basis, as we did this year. So it’s time for you to make your nominations.

We’re looking for those employees under the age of 30 who you—like Kris Schroeder and dozens of other directors did—believe have what it takes to make a difference in foodservice in the years to come. Tell us what they’ve done already that distinguishes them from their 20-something peers. We’ll sift through the nominations and select the most worthy candidates.

This is a chance for you to recognize those millennials who are stand-outs in your operation, as well as gain a little recognition for your operation. So, if you have a deserving 20-something, we invite you to nominate him or her by sending us an email telling us why he/she deserves to be selected. We’ll contact you if your nominee is selected. Please don’t delay; January is right around the corner.