Air Force’s Miller wins IFMA Gold Plate

CHICAGO—George Miller, chief of foodservice for the United States Air Force, won the coveted Gold Plate at the annual IFMA Gold and Silver Plate Society dinner here. It is the second year in a row that a non-commercial foodservice operator earned the foodservice industry’s highest honor. Tim Deitzler, director of foodservice at Villanova University, was last year’s winner.

“People who know me say I’m never speechless, but I am speechless tonight,” said Miller, who capped a four-decade career in military foodservice with the award. He thanked his wife and family “for sticking by me through 47 years” and credited Air Force foodservice personnel for helping to make the Air Force “the best in the world.”

“You know, when you can give troops a good hot meal, you give them the energy and strength to carry out their missions, and you raise their morale,” he noted.

The event, held for the first time in the Grand Ballroom at the Navy Pier, sold out—a 20% increase in attendance over last year. IFMA chief executive Larry Oberkfell credited a new structure for the organization that has seen 45% of its members become involved in committees like the Gold and Silver Plate committee over the last year.

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Before joining Sodexo, Desquesses held multiple leadership roles in the human resources department at General Electric, where she worked for 20 years. Most recently, she was the global HR leader for GE Power Gas.

Desquesses will begin her new role on July 1 and will report to Sodexo CEO Denis Machuel. She will replace Juan Pablo Urruticoechea, who is moving into a new position at Sodexo.

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