Kerry Chasteen

Kerry Chasteen's great eye for detail has made her a success at the University of Maine.

Why Selected?

According to Kathy Kittridge, director of dining operations, Kerry has made an impact by:

•Having a great sense of urgency when dealing with important matters and having outstanding follow-through
•Expanding our quality assurance program, refining it and continuing to challenge staff to make it a regular part of daily business
•Using her great eye for detail to make sure that the operation looks good, from the appearance and taste of the food to the menu variety, cleanliness, service and staff morale


Quality Assurance Manager/Interim Dining Services Manager, University of Maine, Orono, ME
Age: 29
Education: B.S. in food science and human nutrition from the University of Maine
Years at organization: 6

Get to know

Q. What has been your proudest accomplishment?

Supervising the operations in our test kitchen on campus. We have been able to standardize recipes more accurately and provide the staff with the tools they need to prepare dishes that are nutritious and high quality for our customers.

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

To find something you truly like to do and set goals for yourself.

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

Managing my time this semester has been very challenging, as I am overseeing an operation and maintaining the quality assurance program. I am fortunate to have great co-workers who have been so supportive during this time and allowed me to learn new things within the department.

Q. What's been your most rewarding moment?

In my current position it has been working with students who have special dietary needs. I feel so proud of the programs that UMaine Dining offers. I am able to assure a student and their family that they will be able to eat with us safely and be a part of the social dining environment.

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

I would like to offer an allergen-free venue for the students that would provide creative and nutritious menu choices. 

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

I was doing a promotion for our nutrition program DineSmart in the dining facilities. I was asking the students to find the menu items that had the DineSmart logo on the menu tag to enter a raffle. I didn’t realize that the menu in that facility only had one main dinner item that met the criteria and I kept receiving the same answer. It was slightly embarrassing to have to explain to everyone that we usually have more than one healthy choice on the menu. It was a good learning experience and we now analyze our menus to ensure that we have a good balance of DineSmart choices available to the customers for every meal.

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