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Interest Sessions 

Note: Sessions and schedule below are subject to change. Stay tuned for more updates! 

Talent Management Track

Culinary & Nutrition Track 

Marketing, Communication, and Campus Engagement Track

Financial, Operations & Business Administration Track

Thursday, April 4

Plants on the Plate: Menu Trend or Forever Lifestyle?

More college/university students crave plant-based cuisine for its diverse menu options, sustainability benefits, and health benefits: what are the next steps? With 88% of millennials making plant-based foods a priority in their lives, this is no longer just a trend, it's here to stay. Colleges and universities are increasing their plant-based menu offerings and are also creating dedicated plant-based stations and kiosks on campuses to help with the demand. Join our panel in discussing the future of plant-based cuisine on college and university campuses. We will discuss the latest trends, options, how it's done and success stories from 2 different schools in 2 different states.

Student Leaders: Sharing of Best Practices on Developing Student Managers and Supervisors

In this session, a moderator and panel will describe practices currently in place at 4 Universities, share best practice theory, operational successes and challenges.

Director Roundtable

In this facilitated session, attendees will hear current information about, and discuss topics including: 

• Succession Planning 
• Labor and AI 
• Biggest concerns 
• Biggest areas for hope 
• Mobile ordering in residential dining 
• Bargaining units 

Reaching New Heights in Construction Projects:  Effective Planning and Cost Management

Effective planning is essential in any renovation or construction project. This presentation will be a summary and discussion of different delivery methods for construction and the design-build process used for the latest renovation at Colorado State University. Participants of this session will be able to distinguish the various types of delivery methods for construction, synthesize methods for managing costs during a project, and learn to develop a project plan/task list to assist in completing projects on time. The session will also discuss current trends in differing designs. The presenters have a combined 80+ years of experience in both Collegiate Dining and renovation and construction projects, guaranteeing a wealth of knowledge to pass along to participants. In addition, this interactive session will allow attendees to share their own experiences in renovation projects with the group, leaving people plenty of tools and ideas to utilize on their next construction project.

Nutrition Roundtable

In this facilitated session, attendees will hear current information about, and discuss key nutrition-related topics including:

Using technology and system integration to drive student satisfaction and business decisions in our markets

University markets are becoming increasingly more popular for today's college student. Using technology efficiently and effectively allows operators to provide state of the art service at a value our student customers expect. This session will outline the strategies and systems our university dining services employs to meet these expectations.

Straight Talk: Building A Team Culture That Encourages Honest and Candid Conversation

It has never been so important to create and maintain an organizational culture of transparency, honesty and integrity. But let's face it, straight, honest communication is often more rare than common. Whether it's fear of reprisal, not wanting to hurt someone's feelings or plain old embarrassment, many of us avoid telling the truth when the truth needs to be told. Based on Larry Johnson's best-selling book, Absolute Honesty: Building A Corporate Culture That Values Straight Talk and Rewards Integrity, Larry shows you how to establish a culture that encourages transparency, candid discussions and healthy debate.

Catering Roundtable 

In this facilitated session, attendees will hear current information about, and discuss key catering topics including: 
• Menus
o Creating student focused catering options 
o Revamping Menus with healthy focus 
o Menu rotations by season
o Menus within per diem
• Exclusivity - does your campus provide catering exclusivity to catering?
• Allergies & Intolerances – how are special requests handled for buffet meals
• Staffing
o Developing student employees - leaders 
• Student help vs professional staff 
• Catering Program Promotion
o Catering Faire – Annual/Bi-Annual
o Client/Group Tastings
• Sustainability
o Disposables
o Food

Friday, April 5

Dialing Dining Into the Campus Master Plan

Campus master planning should not occur in a vacuum. It’s critical that college and university dining departments ensure that their own master planning efforts are aligned with their institutions’ plans and that strategies born of the planning process are designed to grow participation and to support student engagement. Come and hear first-hand from industry veterans Montana State University Culinary Services created a strategic roadmap that was not only aligned with the University’s planning efforts but that also allowed the department to transform its campus dining program and facilities in ways that has boosted participation, enhanced student engagement and has had an impact on MSU’s record enrollment.

Cafe of Hot Topics

In this session, attendees will have the opportunity to discuss up to three key issues trending in University Dining. 

The topics listed below will be assigned to a table. Attendees will choose a table to sit at based on areas of interest. This will be an opportunity for attendees to network with others that have common areas of interest, share best practices, and develop contacts for continued dialogue. 

Residential Dining Roundtable

In this facilitated session, attendees will share information and best practices. Topics include:
• Labor and minimum wage 
• Culinary trends 
o Plant focus 
o Flavor trends 
o Beverage trends 
• Dine In vs Portable – take out 
• Modernizing older facilities 
• Local procurement strategies and cost management 
• Sustainability strategies with impact 

How Dining Programs Can Address Local Food Insecurity

Often, the primary role of dining facilities is to feed their customers. However, there are often times a large unseen portion of the community that struggles with food insecurity. In this session, we will discuss Washington State University's current initiatives to reduce food insecurity both on campus and in the local community of Pullman, WA. Highlighted will be WSU Dining's process of establishing and maintaining a food recovery program and partnership with the local food bank, including the challenges and obstacles in implementing and soliciting support for the initiative.

Equipment session - with MarkeTeam

In this session equipment experts will discuss: 

A Vision for NACUFS Future

We invite you to join this session and add your voice to a robust conversation about NACUFS’ future. Over the last year, we have had many opportunities to gather feedback from NACUFS members, and are now prepared to present a draft Vision, approved by the board of trustees. Please plan to attend and share your input.

ACF Certification - Distance Learning and Staff Development

Callison and Adam Koerner will present how this ACF certification program began, and the early successes benefiting students, staff and community partners at Washington State University. They will also discuss the future potential to benefit culinary professionals via distance learning. 

Retail Roundtable

In this facilitated session, attendees will share information and best practices by discussion the following: