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


Tim Mertz: Stealth Nutritionist

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.


Betty Perez: Performance Perfector

Proponents of self-operated foodservice often find themselves in a do-or-die situation. Having convinced administration to either remain self-operated or convert from contract management, they are thus forced to back up their convictions with tangible, if not immediate, results.

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

Suzanne Cryst, RD, LD, food service director at Maria Joseph Living Center, part of the Premier Health Partners network in Dayton, Ohio, provides multiple home-style choices to allow residents to feel they're in their own home. Staff training to improve the retherm process has heightened food quality, reduced plate waste and increased patient satisfaction.

Lt. Sheila LeJeune, MS, LDN, RD, food service director at Lafayette (La.) Parish Correctional Center, has implemented multiple menu, purchasing and sanitation improvements that have tranformed a poorly functioning facility into one that's providing more than one million meals annually—in one of the "cleanest commercial kitchens in the city.

Bill Moloney, senior director for dining and auxiliary enterprises at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, has utilized surveys and central production from the Culinary Support Center to take this operation, serving more than 25,000 meals per day, to the next level.

Sue Mitchell, director of nutrition services at Bartow County (Ga.) School System, has created, via automation, group purchasing and other innovations, a self-supporting enterprise. She is also fresh off completing her first year on USDA's NuMenu program.

Pattie Malloy, general manager for Parkhurst Dining Services at PNC Bank in Pittsburgh, finds that being responsive wins customers, and it wins new accounst for her employer. The future look even brighter, as PNC Bank makes plans for a new tower to open in 2006.

Paul Hubbard, associate director of foodservice operations at Stony Brook (NY) University Hospital, guided his department through renovations, increased sales, doubled catering customers, boosted meal volume and raised check averages. To him, there's no "I" in "team."

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.

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