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People

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

People

Robert Kelly: Spirit Builder

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.

People

Russ Meyer: Powerful Persuader

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.

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.

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.

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