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


Sue Mitchell: Nutrition champ

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.


Patti Malloy: Banking on It

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.

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.

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