NACUFS: The National Association of College & University Food Services
Posted by Mrs. Patricia Lee K. on Nov 1st, 2017 1:49pm

Fall has arrived, the weather is turning and as we prepare for winter, NACUFS is gearing up for new initiatives. The board of trustees held our fall meeting this past week at our new office in Lansing. It was an excellent meeting filled with positive energy, traction, and all the elements of a high performing board. Board work is currently focused on vision, strategy, and building a culture of accountability. All decisions are to be aligned with vision, mission, desired ends, and key results.

As a board, we devoted time to vision. Our mission is to support and promote excellence in collegiate dining. We aspire to become the source, the place, and the voice for the success of dining services professionals. And, we are engaging in discussions about vision. How will the world will be different as a result of our contributions and how we will position ourselves in the larger world? What is our story of excellence and how do we tell it on our campuses and to the world? The conversation was bold. We look forward to engaging you in these conversations at our regional conferences.

We know on our campuses that we touch the lives of students every day and are part of the fabric of our institutions. We are also accountable for measurable results. Board work is being devoted to confirming those key results and aligning our entire organization to delivering on those outcomes.

The board approved the recommendations encompassed in the learning strategy report from the education committee. The education committee successfully implemented new decision-making models and carried through a very successful process to bring data-driven recommendations for the board to decide upon. We want to congratulate them on being an exemplary group of individuals who managed an arduous task, while applying their individual competencies to achieve an outstanding outcome for the association. This work represents the input of over 40 volunteers and is a huge step forward. Priorities for the near future include:

  • Establishing a task force to develop a body of knowledge
  • Further definition of the operations/management learner audience and attending to the broader learning needs of foodservice directors
  • Deploying a standard evaluation form, beginning with the regional conferences in March 2018
  • Developing and deploying speaker support and training, beginning with the 2018 interest session speakers for national conference in Providence
  • Exploring sustainable business models for current and new learning opportunities at NACUFS.

Stay tuned for an open call for volunteers next week for the Body of Knowledge task force. This team will be charged with working with an association learning consultant to develop a body of knowledge for collegiate foodservice that describes what designated professionals need to know to be successful, for use in making association-wide strategic decisions regarding NACUFS learning opportunities. A body of knowledge articulates what a professional in the field needs to know and be able to do to be successful. It differs from professional standards which are a comprehensive listing of effective practices.

The board also approved an Operating Performance Benchmarking Survey (OPBS) task force. This team will be charged with making short-term improvements to OPBS to help operators perform their day to day jobs better and to help them educate campus administrators about our operations. They will also lay groundwork to define key performance indicators that tell our story of excellence. And they will explore future trend data opportunities. Stay tuned for an open call next week for this team as well.

In other news, the 2019 national conference task force kicked off their work last week in Denver. This team, chaired by Janet Despard, is our first nation-wide team. They will continue to build on the improvements introduced by the 2017 national conference task force to continue enhancing the quality of our learning. Finally, preparations continue to our 2018 regional and national conferences as we look forward to celebrating our 60th!


Thank You, 

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Posted by Mrs. Patricia Lee K. on Oct 4th, 2017 3:13pm

NACUFS – Award Winning Association

Did you hear? On Thursday, September 14, Michigan Society of Association Executives (MSAE) honored NACUFS with a Diamond Award (the highest honor in its category) for its myNACUFS membership campaign, which utilized our members’ stories to create current member engagement and acquire new members. For NACUFS, people and data created noteworthy results. The success of this campaign is indicative of where we are headed and how we intend to get there. As we strive to continue growing as a high-performing board—building a culture of accountability that we can replicate on our campuses—this experience demonstrates how we’ll succeed. First, the board delegated this work to staff and a volunteer-led committee. This award-winning campaign wasn’t a one and done event; rather, it took five years of attention to prospective member research, data analytics, and disciplined execution. The campaign met or exceeded expectations on all three objectives of our strategic plan (i.e. financial net return, appropriate capacity, and membership growth). Moreover, the campaign itself was driven by measurable website analytics that support our strategic objectives.

As importantly, it included human touch and personalization. Thank you to Gen Hickey and Lisa Krausman who led the committee during two transitional years as chair of the membership committee along with all committee members. Together, we are an award-winning association!

Appointment to Fill Open Board Seat

We received five strong applications for the open board seat. Given our short window of five days to apply, there was a very positive response and an exceptional application pool. The caliber of candidates has made this a difficult decision. The appointment will be announced next week.

Thank You,


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Posted by Mrs. Patricia Lee K. on Sep 7th, 2017 1:09pm

A new school year has begun—for most of us—and you can feel it.  There’s excitement in the air as our campuses come back to life. Students are back, new programs are underway, and operations are up and running full steam.  As hectic as the start of the year can be, I find it useful to pause to reflect on what we, in our fast-paced environment, can do to slow down and have dialogue about managing the future for our staff, students, and campuses. As with summer preparations at our colleges and universities, NACUFS leaders kept the momentum going on several strategic initiatives for the association.


As I mentioned in my previous blog, we are focusing on the education strategy and why it’s important to our members. Later this month, the education committee will be meeting to review the learning survey results and the summary report from our education stakeholders’ retreat. The board will review the committee’s recommendations in October to establish the strategic pathway for NACUFS’ education.

What does that mean for our members and their teams? NACUFS members want and need to be actively engaged in the process of learning, in any setting, in order to retain and apply new knowledge.

We’re all looking for content that is relevant to our work. We want content that addresses our specific challenges. We seek ways to relate the content to what we already know, so we can understand and build upon it. We’re looking for content that promises a practical and immediately applicable outcome. And, we want to contribute our own thoughts and experiences, sharing our ideas and hearing the ideas of others.

Just recently, during mandatory allergy training for our staff, an associate commented that they felt challenged by the material, saying “there is so much to remember at the start of the school year, after having been away over the summer.” I stopped to think about the expectations we held for our staff, and how they were able to absorb and apply knowledge. I was relieved when they went on to say that they didn’t mind too much, because at least they would put what they were learning to use right away, since the lunch counts were going to go from 200 daily to 1200 practically overnight.  Well timed, well developed, relevant information is what we all seek in order to do our jobs well.

Learning is becoming inseparable from daily work and life. NACUFS is striving to be the leader in learning for our members. I am excited about the continual research and dialogue around member learning needs. The education strategy will complement our strategic plan and mission, ensuring excellence in member learning.

I will continue to communicate the progress, highlights from the learning survey, and the final education strategy. I am dedicated to showing you why being a NACUFS member will continue to be one of the best investments for your staff, students, and institutions.


As the board of trustees continues our work, one of our responsibilities is to appoint for vacancies in the office of at-large trustees for the remainder of unexpired terms when vacancies occur. We will be doing so, as we were recently notified by Alecia Stultz of her decision to resign from Kansas University to pursue other personal and professional opportunities. We are grateful for Alecia’s commitment to NACUFS over many years and her contributions and service on the board. Her knowledge, history and experience with NACUFS added value to board discussions and deliberations. We wish her well in her future.

The board will seek a candidate who meets the board approved competencies. We will also consider the work ahead for this year to balance the board composition. There are two other individuals from the Midwest on the board so geography is not a determining factor. This will be a short-term, interim appointment through July, 2018. According to the bylaws, the individual appointed to serve shall not have the time served to fill that position count towards his or her term limits. 

We will seek input; however, we will not conduct an open call for nominations due to the time constraints posed by this resignation. If you have questions, please contact me directly at


Continue to read and share our e-newsletters with your team, so you can follow closely the stories of your peers and association news. As a reminder, submit your news here: for inclusion in our e-newsletter and social media outlets.

Please be on the lookout for my monthly blog, the first Wednesday of every month. Next month, I’ll include an update on the education committee meeting, as they prepare to go to the board with their recommendations, strategy, and timeline. We’re prepping for 2018, celebrating our 60 years as an amazing association – a community of campus dining professionals, serving our students by creating positive and memorable experiences for them each and every day. 

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Posted by Mrs. Patricia Lee K. on Aug 9th, 2017 3:14pm

Dear members,

It was wonderful to see you all at the NACUFS® 2017 National Conference! Here we are already in August! I’ve had the honor of being your president for just four weeks now, and I am feeling the positive momentum set by the presidents before me. We have come a long way in just a few short years of setting our 2020 strategic plan. I want to take this time to update you on a few major initiatives. Please read all the way through for important updates as well as information on the Customer Satisfaction Benchmarking Survey (deadline to participate is September 18).

Last week, our regional directors and directors-elect met at our new home in East Lansing, MI. This was our first volunteer meeting in the new space, and we were all very pleased with the accommodations. With NACUFS continuing its transition from a managing board of directors to a governing board of trustees, the regional directors discussed how they see themselves as conduits, connectors, and change agents to engage the membership and facilitate communication. Their role is instrumental in maintaining alignment with our strategic plan. I’m thrilled with this group’s excitement for what’s ahead—and for what’s possible.

As a follow-up on developing our comprehensive education strategy, the education committee will be meeting in September and the strategy is slated for board approval in October. After the board approves, we will share the results of our learning survey in upcoming blogs and other communication vehicles. NACUFS strives to provide you and your team with best possible professional development opportunities to help your programs succeed!

As we continue to work on member value and telling your stories of success, I also want to remind you of a very important deadline. All voting delegates will be receiving a mailer in the coming week encouraging you to take advantage of the Customer Satisfaction Benchmarking Survey. This survey provides a customized report giving you the data to tell your story of value on your campus. If you haven’t participated in the past, I strongly encourage you to take advantage of this unique member benefit.

This year, we added three new student questions: 1.) How important was the perceived campus dining experience in terms of your decision to attend this institution? 2.) How important is the actual campus dining experience in terms of your decision to remain at this institution? and 3.) How important is the campus dining experience (i.e. wi-fi, social interaction, comfort, etc.) in terms of your academic success at this institution? You’ll also want to note that we updated the survey’s mobile app to provide a better user experience. You won’t want to miss out on this incredible opportunity to gather data to support your programs, innovations, and your own campus mission. THE DEADLINE TO PARTICIPATE IS SEPTEMBER 18.

To register or learn more, visit:

Together, NACUFS members are focused on the mission to support and promote excellence in collegiate dining. Help us help you to tell your stories of success to your students, your administration, and the public. NACUFS is the Voice, the Source, and the Placeoffering you the most incredible opportunities and connections to elevate your purpose and define the highest level of excellence in the foodservice industry.

Wishing you all the best as you prepare to welcome your students for another successful and exciting year!

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