Linda Lien Ribardi

Linda has made an impact on foodservice by directing creation of videography and wall graphics for the Pride In Program.

Why Selected?

According to Thomas Beckmann, general manager with Sodexo, Linda has made an impact on foodservice by:

  • Directing creation of videography and wall graphics for the Pride In Program, which showcases frontline employees as they reach career milestones
  • Demonstrating the bond between Sodexo and Tulane to local farms by designing campaigns that showcase partner farms and the cooks that turn the local goods into great food
  • Increasing campus engagement with the campaign Where’s Riptide?, where the school mascot is included in on- and off-campus event photos—students now look for the mascot at every event

Details

Marketing Specialist , Tulane University (Sodexo), New Orleans, LA
Age: 28
Education: B.A. in graphic design and art history from Nicholls State University
Years at organization: 3

Get to know

Q. What has been your proudest accomplishment?

Watching my team gain recognition in both local and national publications is indescribably satisfying. When I see them draw that kind of attention, I know that all of our hard work has paid off.

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

I can take high pressure in a way that many experienced colleagues haven’t learned to do. Where some people focus on the massive amount of work lying ahead of them, I’m highly focused on successful end results. People often ask me, “Aren’t you tired yet? Where do you get all this energy?” I enjoy a good challenge and I think of it as an opportunity to grow. 

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

Before my very first “real” job interview, a good friend told me, “Never let anyone dull your sparkle. Just be yourself.” As it turns out, she was right. People really like the Southern girl who knows a little bit too much about dogs; it makes me memorable.

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

I struggle with overthinking the details. I am a repeat offender of second-guessing everything and I had to train myself out of this in order to take on that goal-focused attitude that sets me apart. 

Q. What's been your most rewarding moment?

Redefining the perception of “boring cafeteria food” has given me the most to relish. In my team, we define and brand ourselves, rather than letting others do it for us with the “dorm food” stereotypes.

Another fun moment is when people recognize me on Twitter. That tells me that we’ve achieved what we aimed for: overcoming that boring, necessities-only stereotype.

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

Gaining more publication and industry recognition for my team. We’re redefining “cafeteria food,” and I like to see our people acknowledged for their creative spin on those definitions.

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

The worst was the simplest: overlooking a typo. “Coming Soon” and “Coming Doom” are two completely different messages, and we only want one of those in foodservices!

Under 30

More From FoodService Director

Industry News & Opinion

The Virginia Department of Health said it has traced a “cluster” of hepatitis A cases to frozen Egyptian strawberries used by Virginia units of a smoothie chain.

Tropical Smoothie Cafe voluntarily trashed the strawberries and switched to supplies from a different source immediately after being notified of the connection, the health department said in a statement issued Friday.

The department noted that it had traced earlier outbreaks of hepatitis A to strawberries imported from Egypt. But it warned that supplies may still be in the freezers of other foodservice operations...

Managing Your Business
business man smash computer

Foodservice directors spend a lot of time taking care of other people, whether it’s K-12 students who aren’t always eating enough at home, malnourished patients back for return visits or employees squabbling among themselves. That kind of pressure can weigh heavily—and come home from work. The Anxiety and Depression Association of America finds that 83% of men and 72% of women say stress at work carries over into their personal lives, and 50% call staff management their main culprit for workplace stress.

“Stress is very difficult in our world, and work-life balance is very much a...

Industry News & Opinion

Students at an Arkansas high school may have to take creative measures to get a meal, thanks to a school policy that prevents parents from dropping off lunches left at home.

The Catholic High School for Boys in Little Rock, Ark., last week posted a picture on Facebook of a sign that reads, “Stop. If you are dropping off your son’s forgotten lunch, books, homework, equipment, etc., please turn around and exit the building. Your son will learn to problem-solve in your absence.”

While social media opinions on the school’s rule were mixed, some commenters expressed concern that...

Industry News & Opinion

Novato Unified School District in Novato, Calif., has created a new vegetarian grab-and-go item as part of the district’s Meatless Monday initiative, marinij.com reports .

The Fiesta Rice and Bean Shaker, which is served in disposable cups, contains rice, corn, black beans, taco seasoning, corn tortilla chips and romaine lettuce topped with an optional salsa and ranch dressing. It’s also customizable, as students are able to select which ingredients they’d like to include.

The vegetarian shaker is made using produce from a nearby organic garden. Sofie Garcia, an employee in...

FSD Resources