There are many words you could use to describe what I do for a living. Technically speaking, I am the Director of Dining Services at four K-12 accounts. In reality, I am responding to client needs, putting out figurative (and sometimes literal) fires, and making sure that each and every one of the students that walk through the dining hall doors leaves happy and satisfied. My clients range from the Head of School to third graders who would like unlimited breadsticks for lunch. My days are filled with writing recipes, implementing menus, and making sure that our high standards of quality, food and service are always met. The most rewarding part of my career has more to do with others than it does with me. I have the honor of caring, uplifting, cultivating and working alongside some of the most amazing individuals. It has been a joy to watch our employees grow and exceed expectations in the few short years that I have been the Director of Dining Services. Every day I am given the opportunity to visit with my employees, inquire about their weekend and families, and get to know their true passions within their career and outside of work. I get to work alongside them as they wash dishes, scoop sugar cookie dough, clean out garbage disposal traps, scrub flat tops, plate food for our students, and anything else that might need to be accomplished that day. It is great to set challenges before them and see them rise to the occasion, as I push them further towards achieving their goals and potential. Whether its helping a 19-year-old high school graduate learn to grow his culinary skills and discover a passion for cooking – or helping a kitchen veteran take her skills to the next level, and learn to lead, manage others and the financial side of the business. My career is sometimes difficult, often hectic, with long hours and heavy lifting. I am amazed when I take a step back and look at the progress my team has made and how much potential they have. I love my accounts, clients, students, and co-workers. The pride I have for my staff is enormous. Our employees are great, and it’s wonderful to see them take ownership to get the job done and watch them grow. It is an honor to be their Director of Dining Services and watch them succeed professionally and personally.