In December of 2012, I was fortunate to have experienced the exciting internal world of the Coca-Cola company in Atlanta, Georgia and received the opportunity to be part of my the bi-annual NACUFS Marketing Institute. My facilitators – Crista Martin, Jennifer Gilmore, Rachel Warner, and Jennifer Trayan – provided all attendees with a wonderfully productive atmosphere that we used to grow, develop, and enhance our marketing skill set. Through our many experiences in Atlanta, our late night conversations on strategy and best practices, and our dedication to our field, we were able to benefit from this journey in our continual trek towards marketing excellence.
Our facilitators produced a superb curriculum that covered the many aspects of collegiate and university marketing. We had a lot of conversation amongst the group, took time to answer questions during the presentations, shared ideas, and gave feedback from our own experiences. It was more about getting involved and starting a social process of learning than just absorbing information. Coca-cola was a great host to our organization during our time in Atlanta, and the insight that Marvin Vines (Regional Marketing Asset Manager, Southeast Region for Coca-cola) provided to us about Coca-cola’s various marketing strategies with all of their brands aided in our understanding of how one of most prominent companies in the world handles their marketing and branding efforts.
If I were to put a label on what I thought was the best “take away” from my experience, I would say that it was the great conversations I had during “down-time” with such a wonderful group of marketing peers and professionals. Talking about our real world experiences and the knowledge that we were able to pool together and spread throughout our collective is an invaluable tool for the progression of our careers. The bonds formed within our group allowed us to understand our various strengths and weaknesses, and assist each other in figuring out ways to tackle problems and develop action plans for the many objectives back at our home institutions. Let us also not forget how we all became very addicted to “tweeting” while we were there.
The opportunity is one I will treasure my entire life. This being the second NACUFS Institute which I have attended, both institutes have been extremely pleasing and I will always recommend my peers to take part in NACFUS learning experiences and get more involved with NACUFS as a whole. Through learning opportunities likes this, regional and national conferences, and the plethora of informational material that NACUFS sends out year-round, you can definitely see how dedicated this organization is to developing its members and helping its member organizations become some of the best environments to learn, eat, and grow in. I am especially thankful for every chance I may have to experience NACUFS in some way, shape, or fashion and use their knowledge and resources to mature my skills and become a better Marketing Coordinator for Eagle Dining Services at Georgia Southern University.
Written by: Michael Murphy, Georgia Southern University
NACUFS Food Service Management Institute - NCSU
I have been in the food service industries for 27 years and have been fortunate to attend National and Regional NACUFS conferences in the past. I have participated in several of NACUFS Professional Institutes including Leadership,(1999) and PDI (2001).
The Food Service Management Institute, I recently attended in NY was by far the most beneficial to me at this time in my career. This Institute gave me a better understanding of what it takes to start a business by looking at all aspects.
Even though I have been successful at opening new venues at NC State in the past , this opportunity has allowed me to learn and understand the logistics and rationale for planning, budgeting, and most importantly cost effectiveness and profit for a business. The Institute allowed me the opportunity to interact with individuals from different regions, level of expertise, and level of experience. It was interesting to use the team approach to plan and tap the resources of a variety of team members. We were able to discuss options and share ideas of how to build a new business and learn from each other. The format of the Institute was beneficial in that it presented realistic scenarios. The team members used the information presented to problem solve and design a business using all of the aspects of equipment budget, forecasting sales, predicting sales, making recipes cost effective, forecasting cost to expenses, forecasting sales to revenue, and marketing.
I was most excited about the fact that the information presented and the knowledge gained, I will be able to take back to NC State University and implement or utilize with my staff. I hope to use the information gained to teach my staff a better understanding of budgeting, financing, and marketing.
I was so impressed with the level of learning and opportunity for sharing that I would like to be considered for the opportunity of co-facilitator for next year. I hope that you can allow me this opportunity to grow and share with others the importance of attending the institutes.
Thank you again for the learning opportunity.
Mary C. Lewis NCSU Director Retail/ Branded Operations
NACUFS Human Resources Institute - The University of Alabama
I was delighted to be selected as a participant in the 2012 HRI cohort. The week was packed practical information and tools that I anticipate using frequently back at the University of Alabama. The other professionals from campuses across the country and the Schwan’s food service team were a pleasure to work with. I especially enjoyed the group project and the opportunity to learn from other “SOCK” group members. The training offered at HRI by NACUFS and Schwan’s has increased my knowledge of basic Human Resources ideas and processes. Understanding the importance of “PIE” and “STAR-AR” will be valuable resources as I recruit and evaluate staff members. This will allow me to make enhanced contributions to my department and the university. The Marshall, Minnesota Schwan’s Food Service team was very hospitable and generous with all of us. The Schwan Human Resources leaders were knowledgeable and very prepared to facilitate our daily sessions. The mentor presentations on training and recruitment & retention were fantastic also. The format of the agenda and training included a spirit of collaboration and open group discussions that added an element of progressive learning.
Thank you so much to NACUFS, the Southern Region selection committee, everyone at Schwan’s, and the great volunteer mentors and facilitators. It was an honor and a privilege to participate in this year’s HR Institute! Roll Tide!
Kristina Hopton-Jones The University of Alabama Director of University Dining Service 205-348-5686
NACUFS Human Resources Institute - Oklahoma State University
The human resource institute sponsored by Schwan’s and held in Marshall, Minnesota was an amazing experience for 2012. There was a myriad of individuals from various colleges and universities gathered to learn more about the world of working with employees and gain insight from one another.
The week started out with a gathering and dinner at Schwan’s headquarters. The dinner was a Cuban inspired menu put forth by the head chef of Schwan’s. The following days included meetings at the research and development center board room, covering topics associated with leadership essentials, interviewing skills, dealing with conflict, change leadership, training skills, among many other topics. For the week, we did have a group project which allowed us to get to know other individuals and their campuses better.
The human resource institute experience was one of a kind. Personally I was able to glean many resourceful tools that I will be able to use for my employees, and share with other coworkers to enhance their work environments. Many great connections were made that will be useful to the further development of our program as well as being able to help out others. The human resource institute was well worth the time invested and each component will be an excellent tool for our future endeavors.
Cheryl Dillard Oklahoma State University
NACUFS Human Resources Institute - Vanderbilt University
This year I attended the Human Resources Institute, my third since 2008, including Leadership and Food Service Management. At each one I discovered a little bit more about what kind of manager I am and what kind of manager I want to be. I want to share with you some of the tools from this institute that I will apply moving forward in my career.
A discussion planner is a tool that is simple yet needed when discussing difficult topics. This is something I can use to plan out how a discussion could go or the way I want it to go. It will help with preparing for some of the opportunities and challenges that could arise from having this specific discussion with a specific employee. If one of my team members is having anxiety about an upcoming conversation they could use this tool and it could help to ease some of that anxiety.
The University of Georgia uses an orientation handbook that uses a lot of pictures and explains clear expectations. Using this kind of handbook has helped them from having many of those difficult conversations. It gets right to the point and tells them exactly what they need to know without getting lost in the verbiage. It is specialized for that specific unit with pictures that would only be used for that unit. This is something that I would love to have for our department especially for our student workers.
By asking certain types of questions during an interview is the best way to make sure that you hire the right person for the job because past practices are the best way to see future results. If you give them a question where they need to think for a minute, remember it is fine to have silence. This could mean they are taking their time to think about a situation and not give you the answer you want to hear. Using probing questions to dig deeper into an interviewee’s answer is one way to find out if the answer they gave you is what they would actually do in that situation.
This last point refers to the stages we go through when change is thrust upon us. It is called the Valley of Despair. In my unit there is a lot of change happening and going through the following exercise it made me think about what some of my employees may feel once they return in August. There are different stages that people feel while going through change and they normally happen in this order: unaware, shock, frustration, anger and fear. As our employees start to accept the change they eventually come to acceptance through these steps: testing the change, understanding, employee buy-in, owning and integrating. Once you have accepted and own the change it becomes second nature.
We played a game that emphasized on this very subject. We had to complete a maze with no verbal communication from our team and certain circumstances happened throughout the game that made us go through the Valley of Despair. This is a game that any team could use either for team building or to have management understand what our employees may feel like when change occurs and we do not supply them with enough information.
Overall this institute has been extremely beneficial to me in my current role as assistant manager. I feel many of the subjects we covered I will be able to apply in my operation, as well as give advice to my employees when dealing with situations.
NACUFS Human Resources Institute - Georgia Southern University
This was my first NACUFS Institute that I applied for and was accepted to attend. Traveling with Emily Sandow we left Statesboro early on Monday morning. We arrived mid afternoon in Minneapolis and then took the Schwan's plane to Marshall. That night we had a reception and games to get to know the others attending. We were treated to a tour of one of their production buildings and then were served a fantastic meal.
Tuesday morning came early and we were off to our first day of class. We started right in and learned more about the others attending. Our two facilitators keep the group motivated and our two Schwan's trainers, Marcy Heemeyer and Bethany Glidden were excellent. We also had Jeff Yawn from GA Southern as a Coach/Mentor.
The material covered that I received the most benefit from was Setting / Managing Performance Expectations. Interviewing techniques, and how to deal with employees during a employee write up or evaluation.
Traveling with me was Emily Sandow. We both work for Eagle Dining, but I had never spent anytime with her outside of work. Listening to others talk about their situations made me realize we all have the same problems or concerns in each of our units. The group project was fun and exciting to work on with the others attending.
Schawn's was an excellent host. I enjoyed and learned during my week in Marshall, MN.
W. Kent Tatum, FMP Lakeside Cafe General Manager Georgia Southern University
The 2012 Leadership Institute
The 2012 Leadership Institute was an amazing experience. Nestle Professional, as the new sponsor for this institute, made all of the NACUFS attendees feel welcome by sharing numerous facts about their operations, allowing tours through the Minors facility and test kitchens, and providing “O.M.G.” delicious meals.
Tom Champoux from The Effectiveness Institute had a tremendous impact on our way of thinking regarding our individual leadership styles. He made us delve deep inside of ourselves, and he inspired us to do better in both our professional and personal lives in order to understand that building a sound bridge of “trust” and “respect” is key. He also encouraged and challenged us to embrace the different behavior styles (analyzer, persuader, controller and stabilizer) in our everyday lives because such differences allows us to gain insight from a variety of perspectives. In the end we all left feeling different, as if we were superhuman, but humble…and yes, “crying” was involved.
The NACUFS and Nestle Professional teams answered questions and supported the group throughout the week. I appreciate their time and devotion towards making the Leadership Institute a top-notch experience.
Tamala Foreman The University of Georgia Leadership Institute, Class of 2012
Southern Region President's Message
Now that the holidays are over and we have all returned to our campuses for spring sessions, we have many NACUFS happenings to look forward to.
The summer institute application deadline is right around the corner on March 9. I highly recommend applying for one of these fantastic educational opportunities—you won’t be sorry.
The Southern Region Conference will be in Nashville, Tennessee, at Vanderbilt University, March 20-22. I’ve been in close touch with conference chair Camp Howard and his excellent staff, and can assure you they have a wonderful conference planned.
April 13 is the deadline for your submissions to the 2012 Loyal Horton Dining Awards. It seems the competition gets tougher each year, but I’m sure our Southern Region entries will walk away with many awards, as we do every year.
Boston will welcome the 2012 NACUFS National Conference, taking place July 11-14. The national conference committee has been working hard to make sure we are entertained, educated, informed, and fed. Southern Region vice president, Bryan Varin, is planning a great regional outing at the national conference this year. We will announce this year’s event at the regional business meeting in Nashville.
As you know, our executive director, Joe Spina, will be retiring from NACUFS after more than twenty years of excellence. A gala reception is planned for Friday night of the national conference to honor Joe for his service. I hope you will be able to attend the conference and take part in this celebration.
I’m looking forward to seeing as many of you as possible in Nashville this March.
Bob Miller NACUFS Southern Region President
Notice About NACUFS Institutes
Below is a message from Southern Region President, Bob Miller. Recently, he sent out a reminder concerning the NACUFS institutes and how they help us all grow as professionals and as people. I hope you find it as informative as I did.
Michael Bynum Southern Region Information Officer
Applications are now available online on the NACUFS website.
The 2012 institute schedule is as follows:
June 3–8 |Leadership Institute Nestlé Culinary Innovation Center, Solon, OH Sponsor: Nestlé Professional
June 4–9 | Foodservice Management Institute Rich’s Renaissance Center, Buffalo, NY Sponsor: Rich Products Corp.
June 9–14 | Financial Management Institute ConAgra Headquarters, Omaha, NE Sponsor: ConAgra / Lamb Weston
June 11–16 | Human Resources Institute Schwan High Performance Development Center, Marshall, MN Sponsor: Schwan Food Service, Inc.
June 23–27 | Facilities Management Institute Hobart Headquarters, Troy, OH Sponsor: Hobart
Dec. 4–8 |Marketing Institute Coca-Cola Headquarters, Atlanta, GA Sponsor: Coca-Cola, North America
For more information about NACUFS Institutes, click here.
Southern Region President's Message: August 2011
As I begin my first year as Southern Region President, I’ve been reflecting on the progress we’ve made as a region since our consolidation. Nine years ago, we were two separate and distinct regions: Region VII was composed of the westernmost states of our present region; Region III took in the states east of the Mississippi River.
Two years after we were combined, the new region hosted the 2005 NACUFS National Conference in New Orleans. What had originally been planned as a conference hosted by Region VII was suddenly our conference. It was at this event that I began to see what a great region the Southern Region would be. The spirit of camaraderie and the willingness to work hard together for a common goal was contagious. That spirit was evident again when we hosted the National Conference in 2011—this time in Dallas, Texas. The Southern Region put on the best conference I’ve attended in years. Kudos to Shirleta Benfield and her team. I know this spirit will carry us to even bigger and better things in the future. Thank you all.
This will be another exciting year for the Southern Region. Vanderbilt University is hosting our Regional Conference in Nashville, Tennessee, March 20-22, 2012. I know Camp Howard and crew will do a great job. March 9, 2012, is this year’s deadline to submit applications for the summer institutes. I encourage everyone to apply for one of these great educational opportunities. Boston, Massachusetts, will be host to the 2012 NACUFS National Conference taking place July 11-14, 2012. I know we are all looking forward to a fun and educational experience. Lastly, September 4, 2012 is the deadline for applying to the Marketing Institute.
This year’s Regional leadership team is comprised of the following volunteers:
Vice President: Bryan Varin, University of Georgia
Information Officer: Michael Bynum, Georgia Southern University
Secretary/Treasurer: Susan Van Gigch, University of Georgia
Past President: Kirk Rodriguez, Texas Tech University
President: Bob Miller, Georgia Southern University
Region Industry Advisory Council: Sandy Nicholason, Food Service Consultant; Meredith Austin, Tyson Foods; Michael Banks, Supherb Farms
Education Chair: Meredith Statler, The Lovett School
Membership Chair: Randy Lait, North Carolina State University
Contract Liaison: Ray Galleno, University of North Carolina-Charlotte
Nutrition Chair: Lisa Eberhart, North Carolina State University
I am proud to be president of such a great region, and am honored to serve you all. Thank you for your trust.