Top accomplishment this year:
Starting a food waste diversion program with on-site composting at Borgess-Lee Memorial Hospital, where I previously held a director role.

What’s been your most rewarding moment?
When my associates tell me they appreciate me after I’ve taken time to explain or do something for them. Our people are truly the heart of our business, and without them we would not be able to serve our patients and customers. Even on the most difficult days, they are what make the long hours worth it.

What’s the biggest challenge you’ve had to overcome?
It is often difficult to manage those who are older than you, especially those who have more experience in foodservice. I’ve also received comments of how I “look so young” or “am so small,” or that I’m a young female in a director role, which is uncommon. I’ve learned to stand up for myself and my abilities, as age, size and gender should never dictate ability. Likewise, I’ve learned the importance of treating others with respect, always listening to opinions, and being mindful of generational differences in communication and workplace expectations.

What do you value most in a workplace? Are there any ways your workplace delivers on that?
Ideas and creativity—what change is fueled by. I do my best to listen to my managers’ and associates’ ideas and make them a reality.