Melissa Parmer, R.D.

Melissa Parmer, R.D., senior supervisor at the Gilbert (Ariz.) Public Schools, was responsible for the coordination of an $8 million annual budget, the day-to-day supervision of six dietetic interns and menu nutrient analysis at her former position at Par

Why Selected?

[Editor’s note: Parmer was nominated by Kathleen Glindmeier, director of nutrition and wellness at Paradise Valley Unified School District in Phoenix. After two years in the district as nutrition and wellness budget coordinator, Parmer moved to Gilbert in September.]

Glindmeier says: Melissa was responsible for the coordination of an $8 million annual budget, the day-to-day supervision of six dietetic interns and menu nutrient analysis. She was the youngest administrator of more than 100 principals, directors and supervisors. Her knowledge of technology made her an asset. Melissa represents the best of the next generation.

Details

Senior Supervisor, Gilbert Public Schools, Gilbert, AZ
Age: 27
Education: B.S. in dietetics from Arizona State University; working on an MBA from the Benedictine University in Chicago (online program)
Years at organization: 4

Get to know

Q. What has been your proudest accomplishment?

We had a big project at Gilbert to do nutritional and allergy analysis and get the analysis consistent with what was actually coming through the door. I made sure the products all matched and that all the nutrition and allergy information was on the website accessible to the parents. We are also going to start emailing that to the school nurses. That way parents know exactly what is coming in through the back door.

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

Technology. People my age can maneuver around computers much easier because we’ve grown up with it.

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

As a little girl you hear to treat others as you want to be treated and to stay grounded.

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

My age. I think there is a stereotype that I’m 27 and I’m in this generation that doesn’t care about anything and is on the cell phone all the time. It’s hard to make people stop and say I really do know what I’m talking about.

Q. What's been your most rewarding moment?

Graduating the internship and passing my R.D. exam because then I could start my career.

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

Finish my MBA. I’d like to help transition these schools into the new regulations that are coming down [from the USDA] because I think that is going to be hard for people to get their hands around.

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

When I was an intern in Paradise Valley I ran one of the high schools. I had to do the orders. I didn’t have an email address so one of the other kitchen managers said he would fax the order for me. He faxed the last week’s order so I double bought everything I had already bought the week before. One of the managers had 20 cases of pretzels and they weren’t on the menu for another month.

Under 30

More From FoodService Director

Industry News & Opinion

University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minn., has replaced a fajita bar in one of its dining halls with a superfoods bar, Tommie Media reports.

Aiming to provide more options for athletes and students with dietary restrictions, the new bar offers diners a choice of protein with a variety of toppings, such as beans, fruit, couscous and quinoa.

The superfoods bar has made a few appearances on campus since it was first tried for the school’s football players last summer.

“Word of mouth is getting out, and every day I get a few more people,” Ryan Carlson, a cook at the...

Sponsored Content
gluten free diet

From Stouffer’s.

A large part of menuing allergen-friendly cuisine is deciding which gluten-free items to serve.

In particular, college dining hall operators must decide whether to make gluten-free items in-house or to order gluten-free items from a manufacturer. Some factors to consider are: the size of the university, the demand for gluten-free options,and the ability to have separate gluten-free storage and workspaces in the university dining hall kitchen.

According to FoodService Director , 77% of college and university operators purchase their gluten-free...

Industry News & Opinion

Reading Hospital in West Reading, Pa., is using robots to help deliver patient meals, BCTV reports.

The eight robots, named TUGs, will be used to transport meals from the hospital’s nutrition services department to patient floors at Reading HealthPlex for Advanced Surgical & Patient Care.

Moving at three miles per hour, the robots will follow preprogrammed routes to the HealthPlex, where room ambassadors will remove room service carts from the TUGs and deliver them to patients. The TUGs will then return to nutrition services with dirty dishes for cleaning.

The...

Industry News & Opinion

Sodexo has partnered with fast casual Blaze Pizza to offer the chain’s signature pizzas, salads, beverages and desserts at select venues served by Sodexo, including colleges and universities.

Bill Lacey, senior vice president of marketing at Sodexo, said that Blaze’s growth in the fast-casual sector drove the partnership. Blaze opened its first unit in 2012 near the University of California at Irvine. Its pizzas are flash fired, cooking in under 180 seconds, according to the chain—a selling point for busy customers.

FSD Resources