Operators open up about their passions, fears and embarrassing moments

Tovah McCord, regional director for The Kitchen Community, shares lessons on why programs like these can help operators get students excited about health.

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Ruth Arnold, operations manager for Nutri-Serve Food Management Inc., in Burlington, N.J., wants to ride in a hot air balloon and says you’d find her dealing cards at a casino if she weren’t in foodservice.  

Julia Bauscher, director of school and community nutrition services at Jefferson County Public Schools, in Louisville, Ky., would love to watch her alma mater, the University of Kentucky, win the NCAA basketball tournament in person and would own a photog

UMass Dining's Ken Toong loves ice wine, wishes he could be a Wall Street banker and doesn't understand ash on food.

Jay Silverstein can't resist peanut M&Ms, doesn't get the Atkin's Diet and wants to be a ventriloquist.

Damian Monticello, corporate hospitality services manager for Florida Blue, in Jacksonville, has attended every MenuDirections save one. Here he shares his favorite conference memories, among other tidbits.

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.

Rich Burlingame, director of nutrition services at Great River Medical Center in West Burlington, Iowa, wants to sail the world and would be an architect if he weren’t in foodservice.  

Iraj Fernando thinks salad bars are overrated, loves Cadbury and wants to travel to the Hayman Islands.

John Miller, system director of culinary wellness for the Henry Ford Health System in Detroit, doesn’t understand the low-carb diet craze, wants to eat with Thomas Edison and loves caramel praline ice cream.