Some of the most innovative and out-of-the-box thinkers in the noncommercial foodservice industry.


Lesha Colin: Community Activist

When Lesha Colin was in high school in Philadelphia, she dreamed of running a hotel, perhaps something on the order of The Sands in nearby Atlantic City, N.J. Today, as fate would have it, she brings upscale dining and a touch of show biz flair to Winchester Gardens, a continuing care retirement community (CCRC) in Maplewood, N.J. This Sodexo Senior Services account, just about 10 miles from New York City, is home to 240 independent and 90 assisted living residents.


FSD's 2007 Hospital Instant Expert

According to FSD's 2007 Hospital Census, non-patient meals made up a larger percentage of business than patient meals.

It’s been a stellar decade for New York City-based Restaurant Associates (RA), a division of Compass Group, and so, too, for Julie Sajda. In 1997, as a senior in the four-year hotel, restaurant, travel administration program at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, Sajda took a summer class during which a guest speaker, Victoria Vega (then with Aramark, now a vice president at RA) served up enticing details of careers in contract management.

According to FSD's 2007 B&I Census, published May 15, 2007, take-out was being offered at fewer sites, but with more success.

David Friend, director of dining services at West Virginia University in Morgantown, is bringing kudos to WVA dining. In response to student demands, he’s signed on nationally branded concepts. He’s also devised the Healthy ‘U’ Initiative to help combat heart-related diseases with a 2,000 calorie per-day plan.

According to FSD's 2007 Contractor Census, published March 15, 2007, contractors grew at an average rate of 6.1%.

Dona Zavislan, foodservice administrator for the Colorado Department of Corrections, keeps cost per meal at less than $1 while serving more fresh produce to 15,000 offenders. By eliminating the need for a special diabetic tray, she aims to reduce the $360,000 wasted annually when medical trays go unclaimed.

According to FSD's 2007 College Census, daily foodservice spending at self-op colleges rose by more than 9%.

More than 15 years ago, high schools in Henrico County, Richmond, Va., were among the first in the country to offer nationally branded concepts, such as Taco Bell Express, to students. The schools still offer such concepts, but must be more cutting-edge than ever before.

According to FSD's 2007 School Census, more schools were implementing cashless payment systems.

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