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People

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

People

Rodolfo Rodriguez: Buffet Impresario

Rodolfo Rodriguez is a major-league star, although you won't see his name on the sports pages of your local newspaper. An avid New York Yankees fan since his childhood in the Dominican Republic, he covers first base occasionally with a team of friends, when he has the time. But his real wins are scored not on the playing field but within dining operations at two healthcare facilities in New Jersey: Lincoln Park Health Center, a 547-bed nursing care center for patients of all ages; and the adjoining 158-bed Lincoln Park Renaissance, a sub-acute care and retirement facility.

People

Tony Almedia: In Touch at RWJ

Tony Almeida is one serious guy—and he’s most serious in his determination to create fun on the job for the approximately 132 full-time equivalents (FTEs) in the food and nutrition department at 567-bed Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick, NJ. He knows that if they’re involved in the process—whether it be a shift to room service for all patients, the opening of a new dining room with a substantially expanded menu, or planning a pull-out-all-the-stops gala theme day—they’ll come through like champs.

Two years ago, Damian Monticello joined an insurance firm as head of foodservice and undertook a task similar to that facing his peers around the B&I segment: eliminating a subsidy (in this case, $3.25 per person annually among a population of 8,000) and making the operation not only self-sufficient but profitable as well.

Just two years ago this month, Allyn Graves became foodservice director for the school district where she’d been teaching high school culinary arts for the previous eight years. Since then, Nassau County School District (NCSD) in Fernandina Beach, Fla., has benefited not only from her culinary training and fresh eyes on its various programs, but also from her determination to bring herself—and, in turn, the district—rapidly up to speed on the management side of business.

At the official retirement party held recently for Barbara Holly, co-workers gave her a cake bearing her “mug shot” and the inscription: EOS 1-31-05. Usually applied to inmates, that could only mean, “End of Sentence, January 31, 2005.”

The kitchen at 450-bed University of Washington Medical Center in Seattle is, for the most part, a 1959 classic. But, upon closer inspection, one finds some fairly sophisticated equipment—with more on the way—that represent the most cutting-edge elements the industry has to offer.

It's only been six short months since Sodexo took over the foodservice at Emory University in Atlanta and tapped David Sauers to be its resident general manager. He had served as the contractor's Chicago-based regional marketing director supporting Campus Services, and previously was foodservice manager at Northwestern University.

The Apostolic Christian Church, which believes in and promotes the doctrines of the gospel found in the Bible, operates 10 nursing homes for the elderly in five states, in addition to two hundred apartment units for elderly persons not requiring specialized care.

Without much prompting, Patty Guist will tell you that she's convinced you get fewer sales per foodservice employee in a cafeteria than you do in a unit combining convenience with foodservice. She's also convinced that a convenience store/foodservice hybrid is the better model simply because it's more efficient.

Picture a professional synchronized swim team 1,800 members strong, executing their routines with great precision in 303 varied locations spread out over a 312-square-mile radius, and you'll have a quick snapshot of the operation in place in the Houston Independent School District.

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