Confessions of Eileen Staples

Eileen Staples can't live without exercise and fresh vegetables.
Eileen Staples, director of food and nutrition services for Greenville County Schools, in South Carolina, wishes she had some interior decorating skills and would coach collegiate basketball if she weren’t in foodservice.

Q. What is the best part of your job?

My staff. They are awesome!!

Q. What is the worst part of your job?

Human resource issues.

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

My husband and I raising two great kids.

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

Coaching basketball at the collegiate level.

Q. Which talent would you most like to have?

Interior design. I always have a difficult time selecting color schemes for my house.

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

Less OCD.

Q. What is your greatest fear?

Not being able to exercise.

Q. Which living person do you most admire?

My parents. You never understand the sacrifices they made for you until you have your own children.

Q. What is your favorite meal?

Buffalo, N.Y., pizza with an adult beverage and a chocolate custard cone for dessert.

Q. What is your "guilty pleasure?"

Chocolate, chocolate and more chocolate.

Q. What will people always find in your refrigerator?

Fresh vegetables.

Q. Read the book or see the movie?

Read the book.

Q. Are you a morning or evening person?

Morning, but the older I get, getting up early has less appeal.

Q. What are your words to live by?

Don't be afraid to step out of your comfort level. You will never know what you might be able to achieve until you do.

Q. If you had a time machine what historical event or era would you visit?

Nineteenth century America. 

Q. What do you value most in a friend?

Integrity.

Q. What would be your dream vacation?

A house with a pool on a deserted beach.

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

Zbignew Brzezinski.

Q. What is your most treasured possession?

Family photos.

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

Getting my second child through college so maybe I could go into consulting.

More From FoodService Director

Ideas and Innovation
ucmc model

With a budget and timeline in place, and the support of the university behind them, the foodservice team at the University of Chicago Medical Center was ready to get rolling with the renovation of one of its patient services kitchens. The facility, which services the hospital’s Center for Care and Discovery and Comer Children’s Hospital, was tripling in size to serve two additional patient floors, to the tune of $9 million. But that didn’t mean immediately jumping in with steel and screws.

“First, we cut out scaled pieces of paper and moved things around,” says Elizabeth Lockwood,...

Ideas and Innovation
granola bars

Where possible, we make grab-and-go items reimbursable. For example, if we’re serving a fruit and milk smoothie, we let students take a granola bar or other grain component to make it count as a meal.

Managing Your Business
pizza toppings

When the FoodService Director editors first started tossing around the idea of an “influencers” issue, our minds immediately turned to, well, foodservice directors. After all, so much of the learning in this industry is a peer-to-peer experience, and it’s your influence that inspires the content in every single issue of this magazine.

Then we imagined the massive infighting that would occur if we tried to whittle ourselves down to a list of just 20 influential operators and thought better of it. There’s already enough arguing for us to do about which pizza toppings are best (...

Ideas and Innovation
bolognese sauce

We’re trying to bring scratch cooking to all the elementary schools, but we’re taking it dish by dish. Right now, we satellite a lot of the dishes out. This month we made a Bolognese from scratch, and went to each of the schools to talk to them about the process and see if they could implement it. It helps us find out the hurdles and what they are going to need to make it work.

FSD Resources