Laura Duba, R.D.

Laura has made an impact on foodservice by being a director of one of the largest districts and the only R.D. in school foodservice in the state at the age of 23.

Why Selected?

(Note: Duba was an intern at Brandon Valley.) According to Gay Anderson, child nutrition director for Brandon Valley School District, Laura has made an impact on foodservice by:

  • Being a director of one of the largest districts and the only R.D. in school foodservice in the state at the age of 23
  • Planning her first new school while in her first year on the job. She makes solid decisions and has earned the respect of her business manager and superintendent
  • Making the necessary changes to increase her department’s participation and bottom line as she implements and leads her staff, despite age differences 

Details

Foodservice Director, Brookings School District, Brookings, SD
Age: 23
Education: B.S. in nutrition and food science from South Dakota State University
Years at organization: 1

Get to know

Q. What has been your proudest accomplishment?

Becoming an R.D. and obtaining a career I can look forward to each day. 

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

I am eager to share up-to-date nutrition information with others. Having new ideas to pass on that students can relate to will help increase overall consumption of healthier choices.

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

My parents always told me, “Take one day at a time.” Having an open mind and positive attitude makes any day better.

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

As I continually work toward my goals for the program, I have to remind myself that everything will not happen in my first year. I’m excited for what I have planned but need to be patient.

Q. What's been your most rewarding moment?

Hearing any student say how much he/she enjoys the meal.

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

Increase participation in school breakfast and lunch programs and get into the classrooms to teach nutrition to students.

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

As a dietetic intern in school nutrition, I had microwaveable hand warmers for cold winter days. I turned on the microwave and walked to another part of the kitchen only to return to smoke rolling out of the microwave when I opened it. The microwave had a bit more power than what I was used to. I thought the fire alarms in the entire school were going to go off. I was extremely thankful for large kitchen exhaust hoods that day. The hand warmers are now history.

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

At the beginning of the school year I felt swamped with paperwork. Now that I have things figured out a bit more in terms of what needs to be done and when, it’s simple.

Under 30

More From FoodService Director

Sponsored Content
WinCup foam food containers

From WinCup.

Cost control.

Two little words that are essential to every foodservice director’s day-to-day activities.

Keeping costs in check is paramount in running a functioning food operation, of course. But the ripples of cost control can extend beyond your bottom line. And savvy directors must balance customer satisfaction on the P&L sheet.

Fiscal Responsibility

The foundation of cost control is accepting fiscal responsibility, which requires a solid understanding of foodservice accounting. Prime cost, the combined cost of food and labor, is an...

Industry News & Opinion

Orange County Community College in upstate New York is replacing its dining staff with vending machines , The Times Herald-Record reports.

The staff members, who will be let go in June, include nine full-time and three part-time workers. Students say they will miss the employees and the access to fresh food.

The Orange County Community College Association, which oversees the school’s cafeterias, says the layoffs were partly due to a $150,000 deficit accumulated by foodservice operations last year.

Read the full story via The Times Herald-Record .

Industry News & Opinion

Bates College in Lewiston, Maine, is eliminating paper cups in its Commons dining hall and has given each student a reusable stainless steel mug as a replacement, bates.edu reports.

The mugs were distributed via a promotion earlier this week where students could fill their new mugs with a free smoothie. Stickers and other trinkets were set out for students to use to “bling” their mugs.

Dining services turned to students to determine which type of mug would be offered. The college also installed a mug-washing sink in the dining Commons earlier this year.

Read the...

Industry News & Opinion

Compass has partnered with Jose Andres ’ ThinkFoodGroup, allowing the chef and foodservice vendor to collaborate at such venues as stadiums and college campuses.

“With this partnership, we have the opportunity to tell stories and connect with people through food on an entirely new level,” Andres said in a release.

The three-year team-up comes shortly after Andres opened a ThinkFoodLab pop-up in Washington, D.C., which will serve as a recipe R&D space for his restaurant group.

ThinkFoodGroup was this year named a Power 20 multiconcept operator by Restaurant...

FSD Resources