People

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

People

Mary O'Connell: Home Healer

Mary O'Connell, director of food and nutrition services at United Odd Fellow & Rebekah Home in The Bronx, NY, improved foodservice with buffet service, ethnic menu items, prime vendor and GPO agreements, and food commitee meetings. Now, she anxiously awaits a new kitchen.

People

Jeffrey Vickers: The Rehabilitator

Jeffrey Vickers, director of food and support services for the Contra Costa (Calif.) Sheriff's Department, set up meal service packed with menu variety for prison and county employees; reduced food waste by 5% using a modified cook-chill system; switched to a tray-sealing system for inmates' meals; and increased commissary sales by 15% with a Web-based ordering system for the friends and relatives of inmates.

The Eastman Chemical plant in Kingsport, Tenn., is almost a city unto itself, with a population of about 8,000 employees and a couple thousand outside contractors (primarily from engineering and construction companies) on site at any given time. The enclave encompasses more than 500 buildings set on 6,000 acres; the main plant itself covers 858 acres.

Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools have benefited greatly from Bob Kelly's arrival a couple of years ago. He has increased participation by 7% with reimbursable meals that appeal to students; given unit managers freedom to choose menu items based on customer preferences; and become a visible part of the school community.

Director of dining services at the University of Nevada, Reno, Russ Meyer, has parlayed contractor investment into high-quality services. His decision to make a long-term contractor commitment has resulted in cutting-edge dining facilities that are uniquely tailored to the campus community. And, they increased sales and participation.

Since being recruited to run foodservices for Empire Health in Spokane, Wash., Anthony Balzarini has implemented room service without increasing spending, improved the department's relationship with nurses, reduced employee turnover and boosted retail sales with new cycle menus, cashless payment and monotony-breaking promotions.

Residents at Masonic Village, a CCRC in Elizabethtown, Pa., are now benefiting from the many ways in which Daphne Gulick improved foodservice, not least of which is the increase in menu variety she implemented in response to their survey-generated feedback.

Orleans Parish (La.) Criminal Sheriff's Offices Jim Beach, along with his top-notch team, has reduced food costs by one-third system-wide by moving to a six-week menu cycle that allows for better forecasting, reducing the need for special-diet preparation and switching from whole milk to 1% milk in his facilities.

Having returned to the private school her father founded decades ago, Hanrahan has made her imprint on the foodservice there by: taking the menu from institutional to restaurant quality; sourcing fresh product from local vendors while growing produce on campus; reducing employee turnover; and improving sanitation standards.

As the head of dining services at the University of North Texas, Phillips has used value meals and effective marketing to increase sales by 19%; given staff growth opportunities; introduced affordable catering; opened a new resident dining facility, and the list doesn't end there.

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