Kenneth Chadwick, director of dining services for Aramark at The Catholic University of America, says: Katie has increased the yearly revenue of the catering department by more than 17% over the previous year thanks to her constant focus on operational excellence. She coordinated all events related to our presidential inauguration, culminating in a gala ball for students to celebrate our new university president. Katie also rebranded the catering department to give it a unique identity on campus and [to] outside customers
Get to know
Having the opportunity to become catering director. I came in as the catering manager and was able to learn the operation. As director, I’ve been able to mold and change the department into what I always knew it could be.
There is an advantage to being young in this environment because we deal with college students. I understand trends and the student lifestyle.
Find out what your boss does and do it better.
Our campus is not the exclusive catering operation on campus. Aramark had only been at the account for about a year and half when I arrived. We had to start from scratch with about 60% of the clients on campus and build the relationship from the ground up.
We did an event for our new president at the university. The students wanted to have an inaugural ball. They wanted to make one as fancy as President Obama’s inauguration. The opportunities to do the large events for students are the most rewarding. We worked on it for six months. This event ended up being [attended by] 800 students. A student committee planned the whole thing with us.
I just want to keep being challenged. I’m always looking for the next opportunity to face a challenge and try and solve it like I’ve done here.
It was probably my second or third week of work. We host a three-day student orientation outside under a tent where we serve about 3,000 people each meal. It was about 5:30 or 5:45 in the morning and one of our trucks was driving to bring the continental breakfast over. They forgot to close the back door to the truck and an entire rack of fruit salad went flying off the back of the truck. It was mortifying because it was my third week of work and I had no idea who was where or what was going on.