Adam Lewis

Adam Lewis, catering supervisor at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, is not one to seek the limelight or praise.

Why Selected?

Camp Howard, director of dining, Vanderbilt University, says: Adam is not one to seek the limelight or praise. He has successfully trained approximately 30 new waitstaff into our complicated environment. He created a training manual for these employees that includes standards, timelines, dress codes, etc.

Adam is highly organized and has created efficiencies that support our fast-paced environment. He created comprehensive pull sheets, which enable us to deliver all needed equipment to our destination. Because of his efforts, we almost always have everything we need to complete an event on the first delivery.


Catering Supervisor, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN
Age: 28
Education: B.A. in hotel, restaurant, and institutional management from Mercyhurst College, Erie, Pa.
Years at organization: 1

Get to know

Q. What has been your proudest accomplishment?

I’m proud of the fact that I’ve been able to get a standardized set of service for our staffing. When I came in here it was people just serving and there were no standards. I’ve been able to get a staff that is following the same serving standards and I’ve been able to create a more efficient process. I have created a manual and I’ve been able to train a core staff of servers in the correct way to do things.

Q. What's the best career advice you've been given?

I had a leader once who told me if you get so stressed out that you need to yell and scream at something just go into the cooler and do it. I’ve been told to be sure to inject humor into your everyday situations. No matter how stressful things get, you have to keep the staff positive so they can make guest experiences positive.

Q. What's been your most rewarding moment?

When I was working at the Gaylord Opryland Resort I received an Excellence in Leadership award for the quarter for the entire food and beverage division. That was really great because my peers voted on it.

Q. What's been your funniest on-the-job disaster?

I was serving H&R Block and the staff was getting a little behind in service so I thought I’d help serve coffee. I didn’t check the lid on the coffee server and I ended up pouring coffee all over the president of the region for H&R Block right before he was supposed to give a speech. Everyone at his table was speechless and looking at me and I had no idea what to say.

Q. What can you look back at now and laugh at?

When I first started people were always taken aback by how I was always just doing work and never involved in socializing. That’s what I can laugh at now because I can’t even imagine how I got to where I am because I was so reserved.

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