Virtual Town Halls

The need for answers is more important than ever and the National Association of College & University Food Services (NACUFS) always tries to respond with the utmost urgency. Virtual Town Halls are where the brightest minds and solution seekers collaborate and share solutions on how to respond to the multitude of changes and demands of a fast-paced collegiate dining environment with clarity and vision. Virtual Town Halls are live and also available on-demand and is an included member benefit for all NACUFS members.


For upcoming Virtual Town Halls, click here.

 
 
Fall Semester 2020: What Worked. What Didn’t Work. And Lessons Learned
 

As the fall semester comes to a close, it is time to review the impact of the changes made on campuses this fall. Hear from Temesgen Araya, director of dining services, Williams College; Janet Despard, director of dining services, University of Northern Iowa, and Rich Neumann, director of culinary services/residential dining, Ohio University, regarding how they adjusted operations in Fall 2020 to adapt to the COVID-19 pandemic. They discuss how these changes impacted their operations, financials, and more, and how to plan and prepare for the spring semester.

 
 
Fall Semester Planning
 

It's time to plan for an uncertain fall semester and to provide some insight on what our members are doing to prepare for a post-pandemic fall semester. Hear from NACUFS immediate past president, Kirk Rodriguez, managing director, hospitality services at Texas Tech University and NACUFS president, Orlynn Rosaasen, director of dining services at the University of North Dakota, as they share their advice and experiences.

 
 
Fall Semester Planning: Global Campus Perspective
 

Collaboration and problem-solving with departments outside of dining services are vital to the success of the institution, and planning for the unknown and developing “re-entry” plans that include your campus partners is more important now than ever. Hear expert advice and experiences from Pamela Schreiber, assistant vice president for student life, executive director, housing & food services, University of Washington; Robert Holden; and Gary Goldberg, assistant vice president, student services, Kent State University.

 
 
Feeding Students in Quarantine
 

Join NACUFS for a virtual town hall on the topic of feeding students in quarantine with panelists Patti Klos, director of dining & business services, Tufts University and Sarah Larson, director residential dining and culinary services, Washington State University. They will share how meal delivery takes place on their campuses and how meal plans are handled for students in quarantine.

 
 
Industry Perspective
 

NACUFS industry members share how they are addressing these challenging times and how we can all work together as we move forward. The four expert panelists include Barbara Kane, AVP-industry relations, Ecolab, Inc.; Shayne Varnum, director-consultant services, Hobart Food Equipment Group; Jane Bullinger, regional VP national sales-Midwest, US Foods; Greg Hetfield, national sales manager-non-commercial channel, Hormel Foods Corporation.

 
 
Innovations and Creative Solutions in the Coronavirus Pandemic
 

Campuses have adapted and innovated in response to the Coronavirus pandemic. Hear from communications experts and dining directors about the creative solutions they implemented in Fall 2020 to keep their staff and students safe and informed. Jennifer Gilmore, director of marketing & communication, North Carolina State University; Shawn Hoch, senior director of hospitality, North Carolina State University; Jill Irvin, RD, director, university dining, University of Iowa, and Crista Martin, director of strategic initiatives & communications, Harvard University share their insights.

 
 
Menu Resizing
 

Adjusting menu offerings is just one of many challenges college and university dining services is faced with. We invite you to join Steve Giardini, senior associate director, University of Michigan; Jill Flores, executive chef, Montana State University-Bozeman; and Alex Ong, director of culinary excellence, University of Massachusetts for a live conversation on what members are doing to address topics such as catering logistics, production, and staffing challenges.

 
 
Mobile Ordering
 

Mobile ordering is one of the fastest growing facets in food service and due to COVID-19, it just became more relevant. Join NACUFS for a virtual town hall to hear from Zia Ahmed, senior director, The Ohio State University, on how their campus utilizes Grubhub in their dining program. Ben Anderson, head of industry relations, Grubhub, and Allen DuPont, senior real estate representative, Chick-fil-A, will also speak about a series of product features to show how the technology works in busy environments.

 
 
Physical Distancing & Contactless Initiatives
 

Join this conversation to hear how some universities are working to implement procedures to keep students and staff safe with physical distancing requirements, and what plans are in place to serve students. Nancy Monteer, director of campus dining services, University of Missouri; Kerry Paterson, CEC, director of residential dining & catering, Oregon State University; John Healy, director of student life facilities, University of Michigan; and Kathy Whiteside, RD, director of systems management, University of Michigan will leave you with new ideas for your operations.

 
 
Takeaways From the COVID-19 Pandemic to Help Us Improve Future Service
 

During the COVID-19 pandemic, institutions had to adapt rapidly. These changes helped improve in areas of customer service, technology, innovation, and more. Going forward, how will institutional members apply these new ideas to their dining operations? Each region held a Virtual Town Hall for a discussion on these topics, and the legacy COVID-19 will leave on college and university dining operations.


Continental Region – Speakers: Mike Kosevich, associate director, Montana State University; Kim Pogansk, director of culinary services, College of St. Benedict, and Liz Poore, director of dining services, Colorado State University.

Mid-Atlantic Region – Speakers: Jennifer Hickey, director of dining services, Washington & Lee University; Brian Grove, senior associate director, Virginia Tech, and Errol A. Huffman, director of dining services, Dickinson College.

Midwest Region – Speakers: Jill Irvin, director of university dining, University of Iowa; Zia Ahmed, senior director dining services, The Ohio State University, and Peter Testory, director of dining and culinary services, University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Northeast Region – Speakers: Virginia Dunleavy, director of dining and catering, Rhode Island School of Design; Eric Blackledge, executive director, University at Buffalo; Jennifer Stonewell, director of human resources, SUNY Morrisville; Tanzania Cannon-Eckerle, director of human resources, University of Massachusetts Amherst, and Chef James Webb, senior executive chef, SUNY Cortland.

Pacific Region – Speakers: Dan Faires, assistant director, retail dining, University of Washington; Tara Sanders, assistant director of nutrition and sustainability, Oregon State University; Christine Carlson, senior associate director, University of Arizona, and Derek Holl, project planning analyst, University of California San Diego.

Southern Region – Speakers: Holly Grof, RD, RDN, dining services coordinator, The University of Alabama; Heather Young, marketing director, The University of Alabama; Mike Betzold, assistant director – hospitality services, Texas Tech University; Alan Cushman, marketing manager – hospitality services, Texas Tech University; Joe Anderson, general manager, Georgia Southern University, and Michael Doyle, general manager galley dining commons, Georgia Southern University.