Board of Trustees Slate of Candidates 


Kirk Rodriguez


Managing Director, Texas Tech University


As we look back and celebrate NACUFS and our 60 year history of focusing our efforts to the mission "of promoting and supporting excellence in collegiate dining," as a candidate for President Elect, my objective will be to support the current efforts being undertaken on identifying and building our body of knowledge.  Additionally, as we chart a course for the next 60 years, to support the work being done in creating a clear vision for the future of NACUFS and concentrating our programs and resources to what is most important to our member institutions and industry partners. 

At Large Trustees

Merrill Collins


Director of Events & Catering, Connecticut College


While unofficially a part of NACUFS during my student catering days at Brown University, I became truly aware of the association when I attended the Leadership Institute in 1997. I have been an avid volunteer ever since, co-facilitating LI, volunteering at regional and national conferences and holding multiple positions on the regional council.  It is perhaps my three year term as regional president, my two turns as National Conference chair and the time I spent on the Strategic Planning Task Force that have me most excited to offer my service in this new governance structure.  I am passionate about NACUFS and the industry we represent.  I have a deep respect for our leaders and a great desire to see this association remain strong for its next 60 years and beyond.  I offer my service to the board as a trustee at large humbly and am grateful for this opportunity to serve.

Jennifer Hickey


Director of Dining Services, Washington & Lee University


Since initially learning about NACUFS in 2008, I continue to grow more and more convinced that it uniquely provides opportunities for professional growth while enabling it’s members to build relationships with both institutional and industry professionals.  It truly is amazing to be able to learn and share knowledge with people who do what we do every day on our campus.  Because of this, I’ve been an enthusiastic volunteer at both the regional and national level by serving in whatever capacity was needed at the time and in more intentional roles including regional director and national membership chair.  As a participant in the Strategic Planning Task Force, Membership Development Plan and Education Strategy Summit, I’ve learned both where we have been as an organization and where we are going.  My experience with NACUFS has both prepared me and sparked even more excitement for being able to participate in a more tangible way in our future as an At-Large Trustee.  I am truly honored to have been nominated for this position and look forward to serving with the Board of Trustees and our membership to help NACUFS continue to support all of its members as we promote and support excellence in collegiate dining.

Kerry Paterson


Director of Residential Dining & Catering, Oregon State University


My first introduction to NACUFS was as a competitor in the Continental Regional Culinary Challenge back in 2002.  Since then my involvement has increased and I have been able to take advantage of many of the learning opportunities offered by this Association.  NACUFS has helped me understand what foodservice in the college & university environment is all about, what it means to take care of students and to develop a successful dining program on multiple levels.  NACUFS has definitely been a key part in my own personal development and allowed me the ability to advance my own career within this industry sector.  For the past number of years I have been able to give to the Association by being involved in various committees and serving in numerous roles.  I see this Board of Trustees position as the next step and a new direction around my involvement in NACUFS.  I look forward to being able to serve the Association and its members in this capacity.

Kristina Patridge


Director of University Dining Services, University of Alabama


NACUFS has been a continual source for inspiration, collaboration, and encouragement throughout my career in higher education dining services.  With 30 years of food service experience and a passion for people and collegiate dining, I appreciate the nomination to serve as an At-Large Trustee and would consider it an honor to work with the board and give back to the organization that has given me so much, both personally and professionally. 

Serving the organization as an At-Large Trustee, I will always give thoughtful consideration to the mission and core values when evaluating and discussing any issue.  Considering pertinent data in decision making and ensuring alignment with the strategic plan will also be essential.  It is an exciting time for NACUFS, and I look forward to working with the institutions and industry to maximize membership investment and loyalty, ensure financial stability, and support the building of organizational capacity to achieve the association’s strategic goals.   

Orlynn Rosaasen


Director of Dining Services, University of North Dakota


I am honored to have to be nominated for the NACUFS Board of Trustees. I’ve been in the food service industry for the past 34 years, with the last 19 years as the Director of Dining Services at the University of North Dakota. I’ve seen numerous changes in college and university food service and know there are more changes on the horizon, similar to NACUFS. 

For the past twenty five years, I’ve been active in NACUFS at the regional level, serving as the regional information officer, regional education chair, regional conference chair and co-chair, strategic plan liaison, and membership committee representative. My position as strategic plan liaison afforded me the opportunity to participate in developing the current strategic plan and I am looking forward to working on the continued implementation of that plan. There are challenges in front of us as we continue to address the strategic plan and finding ways to meet the needs of the membership. As a member of the Board of Trustees, I will commit to finding and working on solutions.

By filling the vacant At-Large Trustee position this a past year, I’ve participated in the work of the Board of Trustees and have witnessed the passion and commitment the board members have to NACUFS and its members.  It’s a great organization driven by its member and I am excited for the opportunity to continue serving NACUFS and its members.

Ken Toong


Executive Director, University of Massachusetts - Amherst


Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to serve this great organization over the next two years. I will continue to work with the trustees to provide even more resources to our members in this ever changing environment of higher education.  Together we will continue to raise the bar in campus dining.


According to NACUFS Bylaws, additional nominations may be made for the nominating committee to review if received prior to May 30, 2018. 

Please click here for the nomination forms.