System Director of Food and Nutrition Services Antoinette “Toni” Watkins has been named the 2021 recipient of the Gold Plate Award, the top honor bestowed each year by the International Foodservice Manufacturers Association (IFMA).
Watkins has been with Riverside Health System in Newport News, Va., since 2015 and hsa brought a number of new initiatives to the program there, leaning on benchmarking, technology and more, per a news release. She has worked in foodservice for three decades.
"I am honored and I am blessed with the opportunities that have been in front of me," Watkins said in the release. "I've been really fortunate to work for an organization to help take the lead in helping to make a difference in the community in which we serve. This award truly means a lot. It's a lifetime achievement, but it's not the end."
Each year, the Gold Plate recipient is chosen from a larger class of Silver Plate awardees, several of whom work in the noncommercial sphere.
In addition to Watkins, those operators this year included Dani Sheffield, executive director of child nutrition services for Aldine Independent School District in Houston; Steve Mangan,senior director of dining services at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor; and Scott Davis, CEO of FLIK Hospitality.
The 2021 Gold and Silver Plate Award jury included Kelsey Nash, editor in chief of FSD.