Katie DeCamp

Michigan State University's Katie DeCamp has made a major impact with the opening of Brody Square.

Why Selected?

Bruce Haskell, associate director of residential dining, says: Katie was integral when we opened our first late-night operation. This was a huge challenge as it involved creating an exceptional late-night dining experience from the ground up. Katie’s efforts were rewarded with an opportunity to attend the NACUFS Leadership Institute in 2008. This past fall, Katie was part of a team that opened Brody Square, our largest dining hall. Katie not only stepped into the role but also worked diligently to make it a success.

Details

Assistant Dining Service Manager, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI
Age: 26
Education: B.A. in hospitality business from Michigan State University
Years at organization: 4

Get to know

Q. What has been your proudest accomplishment?

I would say helping open and manage our new renovation of Brody Square. Brody is the largest non-military cafeteria in the world, so to be asked to open that up and be in charge of human resources was phenomenal.

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

The connection with the student employees. At Brody there are times we can employ up to 700 students. I’m in charge of scheduling, training and talking with them. I always say my second title is counselor. You’ve got to deal with not only work issues but the workers also come to you when they have school issues.

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

You need to love what you do, especially in the foodservice industry. If you don’t enjoy working with people you are not going to succeed.

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

My age. I started out as a manager at 21. Some of my student supervisors were older than me at the time. That was very challenging, just trying to get the respect of everyone. To overcome it you just have to be in the kitchen working.

Q. What's been your most rewarding moment?

Seeing Brody Square open and seeing our entire management team come together. I think the challenges of opening up a new place and knowing how prestigious it was going to be made us have a strong bond. We were all on the same page, and that’s hard to do in this industry.

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

I was working as a late-night service manager. At about 8 p.m., I was the only manager there. One night all of our drains backed up and flooded the operation. I called in the plumber and he couldn’t get it fixed. The hours kept rolling by and it still wasn’t fixed. I stuck it out until the manager came in at 5:30 a.m. It was very scary at the time. It was something I couldn’t control, but as a brand new manager you feel responsible.

Under 30

More From FoodService Director

Menu Development
usa map regions

From global flavors to clean labels, it’s clear that some buzzworthy noncommercial menu trends are universal. But FoodService Director ’s 2016 surveys have revealed some noteworthy differences within segments in the Northeast, South, Midwest and West regions. We combed through data from our College and University Census, Hospital Census and Long-Term Care/Senior Living Census for the most surprising variations in menu trends and expectations.

1. Plant-based dishes are on the rise at Midwestern colleges and universities

Seventy-seven percent of C&U operators in this region say...

Industry News & Opinion

Ithaca College is turning to new solutions to address overcrowding at a dining hall that is already understaffed, The Ithacan reports .

The Ithaca, N.Y., school's Terrace Dining Hall has seen a large influx of students this year after being renovated, causing lines to wrap around the dining hall.

To ease congestion, Sodexo Area General Manager Jeffrey Scott told The Ithacan that the eatery has added a separate entree line, as well as signage displaying menu items at less-crowded food stations in an effort to draw students to the other side of the dining hall.

The...

Menu Development
mac cheese pizza

Anybody think the popularity of mac and cheese has played out? Anyone?

More likely, foodservice directors are trying to bake new life into the comfort staple by tweaking the presentation and components. Here’s a snapshot of how that rejuvenation effort looks in streetside restaurants.

Industry News & Opinion

Noncommercial foodservice operations and other employers would be spared from costly new overtime pay regulations if 21 states succeed in the legal challenge they jointly filed yesterday.

The lawsuit asks the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas to set aside the rules, which are scheduled to take effect on Dec. 1.

If the court rejects the request, restaurants and other businesses will be required after that date to pay overtime to any salaried employee who works more than 40 hours in a week and earns less than $47,476 on an annual basis.

The...

FSD Resources