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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

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.

Using Technology and System Integration to Maximize Student Satisfaction in Campus 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.

The 4 Animals Talent Management Experience

Any business leader knows that an organization is only as good as the people it employs. As an organization scales, this becomes more complicated than simply "hire the best people". The best teams are balanced, empathic towards one another, accountable, and open.  There are 4 Animals that run any workplace: a lion, a flamingo, a chameleon, and a turtle!  It's true.  And each of them does things differently! What if you knew how each one operates, communicates, and works?  What if you knew that your over-bearing personality can be used as a strength? Or the fact that you're indecisive actually means you're adaptable. This assessment allows you to take some time to think through both the general strengths and weaknesses of your team, as well as the individual personalities involved. Is your team missing a vital personality type, do the appropriate accountabilities need to be established, or do they just need help understanding each other? No matter what the scenario, the 4 Animals Assessment can provide decision makers and team leaders with tools to create the best teams and supercharge their performance.

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.

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.

Friday, April 5

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.

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.