RETIRED: SARAH JOHNSON, director of dining services at Purdue University, in West Lafayette, Ind. In her 37 years at Purdue, Johnson served as a food supervisor, food manager and finally as director of dining—a position she held for 22 years. During her tenure as director, Johnson says she is most proud of the completion of a $58-million foodservice master plan, which began in 1997 and finished in August 2008. “We consolidated from 11 traditional cafeteria operations and eight retail operations to five renovated or newly built dining courts and five retail operations,” Johnson says. Johnson graduated from Purdue with a degree in food and nutrition. She completed a dietetic internship at the University of Iowa, where she also got her master’s degree. Jill Irvin, formerly associate director at Ohio State University has been named Purdue’s new director of dining services.

HIRED: Chef CARY NEFF, as vice president of culinary at Morrison Management Specialists. Neff will lead the culinary teams in both healthcare and senior dining, as well as joining the Morrison leadership team. Neff helped created the "Flavors 450" menu, which features more than 60 recipes, each under 450 calories. Neff is best known for his book, Conscious Cuisine, which reflects his “savoring the moment” philosophy with recipes that are delicious, elegant and easy to prepare. He previously partnered with Morrison to develop a Mediterranean menu at Northwestern Memorial Prentice Women’s Hospital in Chicago.

HIRED: NORMA ZAPATA, as director of foodservices for the 3,700-student Kilgore (Texas) Independent School District. Zapata is replacing Melba Hubbard, who retired in December. Zapata comes to Kilgore ISD from the Tatum (Texas) Independent School District, where she has been the foodservice director since 2005. She was the benefits administrator/foodservices coordinator at the Spring Hill (Texas) Independent School District from 2000 to 2005.  Zapata has a BS in business administration from LeTourneau University in Longview, Texas.

HIRED: MIGUEL BLASINI, as executive chef at the Medical Center of Plano in Texas. Prior to joining the hospital, Blasini worked for more than 10 years with Chef Wolfgang Puck. Blasini will be responsible for the physician’s private dining room, as well as creating new menu items for the café.

PROMOTED: BETH YESFORD, to senior director at Providence Hospital and Carroll Manor Nursing and Rehabilitation Center. She had been the director of food and nutrition. Yesford, who was profiled in “FSD Goes to Washington D.C.,” March 2008, will oversee food and nutrition, environmental services, laundry and linen. She has worked at the hospital since 1989.

PROMOTED: DAVID MARTIN, to senior director of culinary and retail support for Sodexo. He had been national executive chef for healthcare. In his new role, Martin will oversee 12 area support managers, work with the Food Brand Management group and consult with the Brand Management and Strategy team. During his 26 years with Sodexo, Martin has worked as an area support manager in the Northeast region, worked as a foodservice director in several hospitals and participated in several national projects such as the Rave Review Culinary Competitions, Procurement Council and Cutting Edge Promotions. Martin holds a degree from Johnson & Wales University. He has also been a member of FoodService Director’s MenuDirections advisory board since its inception five years ago.



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