Autumn Ryder

Autumn Ryder began with Ohio University dining as a student employee who was quickly promoted because she is organized, shows initiative and is enthusiastic.

Why Selected?

Rich Neumann, director of dining services at Ohio University, says: Autumn began with us as a student employee who was quickly promoted because she is organized, shows initiative and is enthusiastic. Autumn manages our largest dining hall and is responsible for day-to-day operations. Autumn is a key member of our safety team who put together a training program that reduced workers’ compensation claims by 56%.

Details

General Manager at Nelson Dining Hall, Ohio University, Athens, OH
Age: 28
Education: Associate degrees in human services, and corrections, adults and juveniles from Hawking College, Nelsonville, Ohio. B.S. in addiction studies from the University of Cincinnati
Years at organization: 10

 

Get to know

Q. What has been your proudest accomplishment?

Careerwise I’d have to say being general manager of Nelson Dining Hall. I’ve worked with a great group of people that have supported me. I’m very honored to be in my position.

Q. What would you say you excel at over more seasoned colleagues?

I try to have an open mind to new things and challenges. Sometimes it’s hard for people to accept changes that come their way. I try to take things on with a positive attitude.

Q. What's been the biggest challenge you've had to overcome?

Changing the perception of others that they had of young women in a leadership position. You have to earn their respect by showing that you can make things happen. I think just getting in there and actually working the jobs with them helps them respect you. Putting in the long hours and doing things to help others out makes them appreciate you.

Q. What's been your most rewarding moment?

It’s always rewarding when I have former students send me a card in the mail or a letter thanking me for what I’ve done to help them become a better person. Just hearing they appreciate that I pushed them to do their best, that’s definitely one of the best parts of working here.

Q. What would you like to accomplish in your career in the next two years?

We are part of a renovation project that’s going to start in August. I’d really like to continue to be a part of that project and open the new facility.

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

People come into the dining hall, whether they are a customer or a worker, and they’ll ask, “Oh, are you a student?” And I always have to say, no, I’m the general manager of the dining hall. When people don’t think I’m a student anymore that’s when I’ll know I’m getting older.

Under 30

More From FoodService Director

Industry News & Opinion
k-12

The School Nutrition Foundation —the School Nutrition Association’s philanthropic sibling—and Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry campaign have partnered to launch an initiative called Schools as Nutrition Hubs.

“No Kid Hungry really sees schools as a critical place in the fight against childhood hunger,” says Laura Hatch, director of national partnerships for No Kid Hungry. “Schools are really a no-brainer because they have the infrastructure, they have the experience, it’s a trusted place for families. And being able to maximize their programs and maximize the federal...

Ideas and Innovation
walk-in cooler

The walk-in cooler can serve as a gathering place for more than just produce. When temperatures rise, staff at Empire State South restaurant in Atlanta host meetings in the walk-in and make occasional trips to hang out throughout the day to beat the back-of-house heat.

Menu Development
college students eating

Taste may reign supreme when college students choose their next snack, but operators should also pay attention to factors such as price and portion size. Here are the most important attributes students consider when choosing snacks, according to Technomic’s 2017 College and University Consumer Trend Report .

Taste: 78%

Ability to satisfy my appetite between meals: 67%

Price: 64%

Portion size: 54%

Familiarity: 46%

Overall nutrition value: 40%

Protein content: 36%

All-natural ingredients: 29%

Fiber content: 27%

...

Managing Your Business
student shame
Let students charge meals

“We allow students to charge meals at all levels; even in high school, they can charge a certain number of meals. [After that is met,] they are given an alternate meal,” says Sharon Glosson, executive director of school nutrition services for North East Independent School District. Elementary students can charge up to $15 of meals; middle schoolers can charge $10; and high schoolers can charge $5. “Ultimately, [food services is] carrying out the policy; but we’re not necessarily the creators of the policy, [nor do we] have the final say ... because that budget...

FSD Resources