Eric Sieden

Sieden has incorporated wellness initiatives into the daily routine.

Details

Director of Food and Nutrition, Plainview Hospital, North Shore-LIJ Health System, Plainview, NY
Age: 31
Education: B.P.S. in hospitality management from the New York Institute of Technology; graduate certificate in executive healthcare leadership from Cornell University
Years at organization: 5

Why Selected?

Margie Pemberton, associate executive director, ancillary services for the system, says: Eric effectively manages his staff and has great rapport with his supervisors and staff. His creativity, passion and energy have [led to] many positive changes that have increased efficiency and productivity. He has incorporated wellness initiatives into the daily routine. Eric is a team player and is an active participant on many hospital committees. His enthusiasm, dedication and commitment are admirable.

Get to know

Q. What has been your proudest accomplishment?

My hospital is the first hospital on Long Island to provide nutritional information for our patient menu. When I started here I had the vision to provide that information voluntarily before it becomes mandatory. 

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

Technology and computer skills. I’m working to create an app for us and when I talk to some of my management team [about it] I lose them. 

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

Be a sponge and take everything in. No matter how much you know you can always take something in. 

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

When I was a new manager at 22, there were a lot of long-term employees who were three times my age. They would test me and get things by on me. It took quite a while to catch on and to be a step ahead. 

Q. What's been your most rewarding moment?

Being promoted to director shortly before my 29th birthday. Also, when I go through my Press Ganey comments and read things like, “food was the highlight of my day.” In healthcare, with patients not wanting to be there and not being in the greatest state, to see something like that is awesome.

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

I’d like to oversee multiple sites. Also, being that I have a hospitality background I’d like to get into patient relations and service excellence because it ties into hospitality beyond food. 

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

On Fridays we serve mozzarella sticks in the cafeteria. We sell four for $1.25. After you add up all the costs I was losing money. I was faced with raising the price or taking one away. They are a quarter pound each, so I said, “We’re serving a pound of fried cheese so I’ll take one away and keep the price the same.” There was a huge uproar. The staff filed a petition to HR and administration. I’m happy to say we still serve three. It took a lot of convincing. 

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

I was a hospitality major and figured I would go into hotels and restaurants. When I took clinical nutrition I got a D+. 

Under 30