President's Message


Kris Klinger
Pacific Region President 
University of Southern California

Fall is here and classes have begun at all of our fine institutions. The students are back and our talented teams are busy taking care of the future leaders of our country. It is an important and humbling responsibility that we have, and not something that should be taken lightly. Of course the students typically do not decide to attend the institutions we represent because of the food service, they come here for a higher purpose. We do however have a meaningful impact on their time here and how they see food and family. One family serving another family all translating into a much larger extended family.

So much in our society these days revolves around food and we have the pleasure to be an integral part of it. Balancing healthy dining with what the students know and like is an art form and our culinarians are accomplished artisans who take much pride in their craft. Our floor managers and supervisors are the ones who keep it all going and make it look easy. They are the best in the industry and committed professionals who are always looking out for the best interest of their students and their institutions. I love what I do and I am so lucky I get to work with the people I work with at a place I love. To me this is a calling, not a job. I wish the same for each and every one of you.

For those of us who are fortunate enough to work behind the scenes supporting these amazing teams we have an important responsibility. We are the ones who are responsible to provide our teams with the resources, tools, systems, training and support as we remove obstacles. Many of us go through our days on autopilot, relying on experience and instinct. For those of us new to our roles or schools, what do we do and where do we turn to? All of the experts are in the room; we just need to get the information out there. That is one of the strengths of NACUFS and the talented individuals it brings together. From the shift supervisor to the executive director, everyone has something to add and share.

As you all know, NACUFS is at a very important and exciting stage in its evolution. The Governance conversation is now behind us and the transition plans are in place. Our goal as a Regional Council will be to keep you informed and ensure your voices continue to be heard. A robust learning and development program is critical to our individual, team, university and NACUFS long-term success. How do we share more of our success stories and allow the flood gates of useful knowledge and information and experience to flow? What makes us good and what will make us great? The networking has always been a strength of NACUFS as well as education. How do we take education and knowledge transfer to a whole new level? I’d love to hear from each of you and get your perspectives and ideas.

Finally, I would like to thank Peter Curry for the energy and passion and creativity that he brought to his presidency. It’s been a pleasure working with him and learning from him, and I look forward to what’s to come. I have some big shoes to fill and together we will fill them!