At MenuDirections 2012 we will honor the 12 FSDs of the Month from 2011 and announce the 2011 FSD of the Year. The FSD advisory board and FSD staff choose the FSD of the Year, but we also want to hear from you. Take a second to look at the operators we’ve recognized this year and then head to our Facebook page—or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org —and let us know who YOU think deserves the coveted title of FSD of the Year.
Tim Prosinski has been the foodservice director/chef at 3,200-student Berlin Public Schools in Connecticut for the past six years.
What makes Tim Prosinski FSD of the Month:
• Starting Chef Tim Days, during which Prosinski does display cooking in the cafeteria and answers students’ questions
• Beginning an after-school cooking club at the middle school
• Mentoring students who have culinary aspirations and letting those students shadow him in the cafeteria
• Making small changes toward more healthful eating, such as using more fresh fruits and vegetables and doing more home-style cooking to entice students to try different items
Gary Coyle has been director of dining services at 17,700-student Washington State University in Pullman since 2007.
What makes Gary Coyle FSD of the Month:
• Creating brand recognition for WSU Dining Services
• Spearheading the renovation of Southside Café and improving menu diversity
• Implementing a comprehensive well-being program called Eat Well, Be Active, Live Fit
• Developing sustainability initiatives including switching to compostable serviceware and fostering the use of local products
For the past 13 years, Lisette Coston was the director of nutrition and food services at the 912-bed Saint Francis Health System in Tulsa, Okla. She recently left the system to work for US Foods.
What makes Lisette Coston FSD of the Month:
• Taking over and/or opening new operations as the health system expands
• Switching from cook-chill to room service for the majority of the system’s patients and enhancing meal service for patients at the psych hospital
• Starting services to enhance patient and customer satisfaction, like Panda Meals to provide free meals to parents at the children’s hospital
Cyndi Gloodt, general manager for Sodexo at Northern Trust Bank in Chicago, has more than 20 years of experience in foodservice.
What makes Cyndi Gloodt FSD of the Month:
• Eliminating paper receipts and implementing recycling programs, compostable takeout containers and trayless dining in catering as part of a comprehensive sustainability program
• Merging Sodexo’s wellness program with the client’s nGood Health program, which included creating a wellness-branded takeout station
• Managing a face-lift of a dated café, which included a fresh coat of paint, new signage, seating areas and new stations
• Reducing overall costs to her client organization two years in a row, which in 2010 translated into a savings of more than $125,000
Tonya Burnett has been with 434-bed St. Rita’s Medical Center in Lima, Ohio, for 14 years. She is the director of nutrition services.
What makes Tonya Burnett FSD of the Month:
• Building a strong team environment by mentoring employees and putting others first
• Implementing a room service program for patient dining, which has increased patient satisfaction, allowed the addition of local and seasonal menu favorites and reduced the amount of trays per patient day
• Starting a productivity initiative that resulted in the elimination of 10 FTEs, and reducing in-house catering services to cut costs to the hospital
• Building a new kitchen and café and increasing revenue and meal transactions
Brent Craig has been the director of nutrition services at 57,000-student Douglas County School District in Castle Rock, Colo., since 2007.
What makes Brent Craig FSD of the Month:
• Getting students to buy reimbursable meals instead of purchasing à la carte items
• Using more fresh items and cooking from scratch
• Changing negative student and parent opinions about the school meal program by communicating directly with them through a Facebook page
• Implementing For Kids, By Kids, a program that involves students in the decision-making process, which in turn gets their buy-in
• Replicating what students see in the commercial world at the high schools to keep students from leaving campus for lunch
At 14,700-student Boston College Helen Wechsler has been the director of BC Dining since 2005.
What makes Helen Wechsler FSD of the Month:
• Encouraging the use of local and healthy products by creating a farmers’ market, opening a locally focused location called The Loft @ Addie’s and a vegetarian concept called Be’an Green
• Improving department communication by establishing an employee council and improving the monthly employee newsletter
• Developing a Gold Standards of Service program and a Shoot for the Stars incentive program to motivate employees
• Spearheading an employee wellness initiative and implementing a new training program
Though his official title may be executive chef, Jeff Shaffer is actually the manager for Parkhurst Dining Services at Reed Smith in Pittsburgh.
What makes Jeff Shaffer FSD of the Month:
• Fostering a work environment that encourages trust between team members
• Creating and maintaining a rooftop terrace garden, which provides the café with fresh produce during the summer months
• Implementing a comprehensive home meal replacement program, where customers place orders at lunch to pick up take away dinners
• Introducing new concepts quarterly for the café’s rotating station, which has helped increase revenue by 8.9%
Since 1996, Brad Lange has been the director of dining services at 220-resident Park Regency, a retirement community in Chandler, Ariz.
What makes Brad Lange FSD of the Month:
• Gaining the respect and trust of his staff, which has increased staff satisfaction
• Retraining cooks to cater to the seniors’ dining preferences
• Increasing resident satisfaction through weekly Menu Chats and making himself visible in the dining room
• Starting an all-day dining program and increasing the menu mix
• Consolidating to one standard menu, which has improved consistency and lowered costs
In 2006 28,000-student Iowa State University brought in Nancy Levandowski, director of ISU Dining, to rebuild the dining program after an RFP
What makes Nancy Levandowski FSD of the Month:
• Cultivating local purchases by launching the Farm to ISU program, which has increased local purchases from $56,000 a year to $900,000 a year
• Implementing a comprehensive composting and trayless dining program
• Guiding the program through the aftermath of an RFP by establishing a mission and investing in facilities
• Spearheading the creation of an on-campus training center, which features a test kitchen and centralized student hiring
Since 2006, Billy Reid has been the director of child nutrition services at 2,800-student Salida Union School District in California.
What makes Billy Reid FSD of the Month:
• Focusing on the business aspect of school foodservice and keeping the budget consistently in the black
• Adding more choices to the menu mix and focusing on healthy, child-friendly flavor profiles
• Adding 32 contracts to provide meals to programs outside the district
• Gaining national recognition for the district, with six schools receiving the Gold Award of Distinction from the HealthierUS School Challenge
Catherine Austin has been with the Memphis VA Medical Center in Tennessee for 14 years and has been the Chief, Nutrition and Food Services since 2004.
What makes Catherine Austin FSD of the Month:
• Fostering an environment for learning by creating an employee computer lab in the kitchen
• Encouraging her staff to take on new projects such as a chef of the month program
• Starting initiatives such as a dietetic internship program and reworking the ER meal service
• Improving patient satisfaction scores by working on customer service with the department’s tray deliverers