Linda Lien Ribardi

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

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

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

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!

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