Confessions of Cheryl Shimmin

Kettering Medical System's Cheryl Shimmin wants to hike the Grand Canyon.
Cheryl Shimmin, network director of nutrition services for Kettering Medical System in Ohio, wants to hike the Grand Canyon, share a meal with Albert Einstein and wishes she could stop rethinking old problems.

Q. What is the best part of your job?

The people and the ability to be creative.

Q. What is the worst part of your job?

The long hours.

Q. What do you consider to be your greatest achievement?

Raising two successful, loving children.

Q. What is the most unusual foodservice/catering request you have ever received?

We’ve catered two weddings. I think for a hospital foodservice department that’s a little different.

Q. If you weren't in foodservice what would you be doing?

A forest ranger at a national park or a dolphin trainer at SeaWorld.

Q. Which talent would you most like to have?

To sing well.

Q. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

Not to rethink situations or problems over and over and over.

Q. What is your greatest fear?

I don't know. I'm not really afraid of heights, snakes or water.

Q. Which living person do you most admire?

Brennan Acres. He’s a local tennis player. He has two children faced with genetic disorders. No matter what he’s been given in life he always has such a positive outlook.

Q. What is your favorite meal?

My grandmother’s sauerbraten recipe, sweat and sour red cabbage and mashed potatoes.

Q. What is your "guilty pleasure?"

Wine tastings.

Q. What will people always find in your refrigerator?

A variety of fresh fruits and vegetables.

Q. What food fad do you wish had never started?

Fast food. It’s caused a lot of havoc with our health.

Q. What is the weirdest food you have ever eaten?

Hot pot soup in China. It’s made with a variety of meats, including snake.

Q. What do you consider to be the most overrated foodservice trend?

Green washing. People are doing environmentally friendly things in name but not in practice.

Q. Read the book or see the movie?

Read the book.

Q. Are you a morning or evening person?

Morning, especially with a good cup of coffee.

Q. What are your words to live by?

Focus on where we have been before we complain about where we need to go. Always look at the silver lining or the positive side.

Q. What is the weirdest food you have ever eaten?

Hot pot soup in China. It’s made with a variety of meats, including snake.

Q. What activity is at the top of your bucket list?

Hiking the Grand Canyon.

Q. If you could eat dinner with anyone living or dead, who would it be?

Albert Einstein. He was down to earth yet intelligent.

Q. What would be your dream vacation?

We have a lake house, so going there for a month of hanging out, relaxing and doing water sports.

Q. What do you value most in a friend?

Being accepting of who we are.

Q. Who is your favorite celebrity chef?

Michael Symon from “Iron Chef,” because he’s very down to earth and uses a lot of local products.

More From FoodService Director

Managing Your Business
alumni worker

It’s a sure sign that a school is doing something right when its students want to come back and work as adults. From the standpoint of the foodservice director, though, there is plenty to gain from retaining homegrown talent—call it the ultimate return on investment. In the wake of back-to-school season, two dining programs with a robust alumni contingent share their thoughts on hiring former customers.

Local expertise

At Georgia Southern University, about one-third of Eagle Dining Services’ 107 full-time employees are alumni. “They way we do things on our campus may be very...

Managing Your Business
business ladder climbing illustration

Recruiting talent is only half the battle for Mike Folino, associate director of nutrition services at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center in Columbus, Ohio. Once he’s attracted good employees, providing clear opportunities for advancement can help retain them—but knowing when to bring up the topic in conversation can be tricky.

Prior to hiring

Folino likes to touch on advancement during the initial interview process, but the extent to which he does so changes case by case. “I have had interviews where we knew right away that we needed to discuss our structure and...

Managing Your Business
hands team

In November, students at University of Missouri in Columbia began leading protests against discrimination faced by people of color on campus—including some marches through the dining halls. Julaine Kiehn, director of the school’s campus dining services, said the 2015-16 school year was a tough one, but she was proud of MU’s students for being at the forefront of a national movement.

And not only did the protests launch important conversations with students, but also with staff. Kiehn heard the protests and thought that her student workers, at least, might not feel safe and welcome...

Ideas and Innovation
woman surprise

When I joined the staff at FoodService Director in the spring of 2015, I couldn’t believe how much there was to learn about the intricacies of the industry. My past experience, from kindergarten to my college days to on-the-job meals, would lead me to believe that noncommercial dining was a kind of automated process—an amenity that’s expected, and one you only become aware of if something goes wrong.

But as with my own household chores, there are no magical elves making sure the business of feeding students, seniors and hospital patients is done, and done well. Foodservice...

FSD Resources