NACUFS: The National Association of College & University Food Services
Posted by Ms. Amy B. on Jun 7th, 2017 3:01pm

For most of us, commencement has come and gone, and it’s a perfect time to reflect upon all you and your team have accomplished this past year for your campus. Likewise, I am looking back at this past year as president of this wonderful association while considering the many successes of NACUFS, strategic decisions made by the board, and the incredible people who have stepped up to continue leading us in greatness.

I want to take a little time to update you on a few items of note as I continue prepping for our GMA at National Conference, a final editorial in Campus Dining Today, and a final blog post to come out in July. As we enter into our 60th year, here are a few most recent and upcoming notable NACUFS news:

  • Our new e-newsletter is launching June 21! This is an awesome achievement from over a year-long study of how to best reach our members more frequently and more consistently on a global scale of our entire membership. We’re crossing regional boundaries, using a real-time member database, for a broader approach to reaching our members across the continent. The NACUFS marketing committee met in March to complete this board-appointed charge, and the new and improved design is now complete! We hope you will all take advantage of this wonderful opportunity to share your stories to not only your region, but to all NACUFS members wherever they are in the world! All regional news will now be submitted through an online portal for more timely news to be shared in appropriate marketing vehicles such as the e-newsletter itself, social media, and/or Campus Dining Today. Please be sure to share this link with your colleagues: NACUFS is the voice for our members and storytelling is one of the best ways we continue to elevate our profession!
  • June 27-28 we’ll hold our two-day education stakeholders retreat to continue formulating our overarching education strategy.  Twenty-eight members will review the learning survey results, discuss the association’s options for defining our learner populations, and discuss various strategy options available to NACUFS to enhance all our educational offerings throughout NACUFS.
  • Congratulations to our very own, Ted Faulkner, director of dining services, who was recently recognized by IFMA as a Silver Plate Award recipient! This is an incredible achievement and we are proud to have Virginia Tech as a NACUFS member! As noted on the Virginia Tech website, “the panel of judges noted Faulkner’s efforts to integrate locally sourced foods, develop menu programs to meet the demanding and diverse needs of today’s college student, implement the Y.E.S. (You’re Eating Smarter) nutritional program, and create destination dining venues.” (For more information from Virginia Tech’s announcement click here.) Cheers, Ted!

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Posted by Ms. Amy B. on Apr 14th, 2017 1:38pm

What an exciting start to 2017! The staff, board of trustees, committees, and other volunteers have really hit the ground running with meeting many of our strategic objectives. I’ve just returned from the April board of trustees meeting, where we continued to focus on maintaining this level of energy and momentum. Our strategic objectives all lead to member value and with that, I have many exciting updates to share with you, our membership.


Thanks to your participation, we received a 16 percent response rate to the recent learning survey!  This will allow the association to draw statistically significant conclusions from the survey data.  The board received a sneak peek at the results, which will inform our upcoming discussions at our stakeholders meeting in June.  While the education committee continues to lead this work to develop the associations’ education strategy, they are also implementing short-term wins, such as the 2017 conference speaker’s guide that will be available shortly.  

Customer Satisfaction Benchmarking Survey

This summer we will launch improvements to our customer satisfaction benchmarking survey to measure and demonstrate dining services’ value to our campuses.  New questions will measure how important a student’s perceived campus dining experience is to their decision to attend, their decision to remain, and their academic success.  The survey is also being improved to be more mobile friendly so students can complete the satisfaction survey on their mobile devices. 


Recently, the marketing committee came together to discuss the board-assigned charge of creating a One NACUFS e-newsletter plan. Going forward, regional news will be included in the NACUFS e-newsletter every Wednesday to members. The new format of the e-newsletter will showcase not only institution member news, but also individual member updates. This will be a great way for institutions to share best practices and our support of students across the country! The One NACUFS e-newsletter will be developed and roll out in June, prior to the 2017 national conference.

Membership Growth

Hats off to our membership committee, regional directors, and staff for their work in adding 30 new members to date this year! Your connections, your stories, and the NACUFS network is helping us grow!

Regional Conferences

Congratulations to every volunteer team who delivered our six regional conferences this year.  Our host schools and our regional councils stepped up to provide quality educational experiences.  Likewise, this year we promised and delivered significant staff support to our volunteers by bringing in-house all finances and registrations, as well providing on-site conference support.  

Completion of New Manuals

The board completed its governance work on policies and procedures. The P&P manual no longer exists.  In its place, we now have an approved policy manual that will guide the organization with policy parameters. In place of procedures, we now have the following tools that staff will manage and keep up to date—an operations procedures manual, a finance manual, and a regional operations manual. 

The significance of this action is that now the board will be able to remain at a strategic level looking toward the future vision of our profession while staff manages the day to day operations of the organization.

Council of Past Presidents

As we continue our strategic transformation towards building an organization for the next generation of leaders, the board of trustees has reached a decision regarding the council of past presidents. The board of trustees determined that there is no longer a standing need for a formalized council of past presidents to advise the board on a regular basis. Therefore, the board of trustees voted to disband the council of past presidents.  

To arrive at this decision, the transformation task force secured input from stakeholder groups including the board of trustees and current members of the council. There was no evidence that what the council provides fits into the current association strategic priorities or the new governance structure. There was also consensus that historical perspective is valued from all members, and does not need assignment to a specific body.

The true purpose of the past presidents is to be “story tellers” to the next generation of members first and a historical resource second.  Both of these are achievable by remaining actively involved in the association alongside our membership.

Industry Advisory Council

The board also decided to transition the industry advisory council to an industry task force in keeping with the bylaws nomenclature.  Evidence supported the conclusion that industry plays a critical role within NACUFS and there is a standing need for this input.  The scope and charge for this task force will be defined shortly.

There is much to be excited about as we continue to grow and achieve our goals and strategic objectives. NACUFS remains focused on member value while maintaining a high level of energy and momentum as we move forward in 2017. After being part of an inspiring and visionary board meeting, I am excited for the progress we have made and for our next steps! Stay tuned for more information! 

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Posted by Ms. Amy B. on Feb 28th, 2017 2:25pm

NACUFS knows you strive for excellence amidst a sea of changing student demographics, tighter budgets, and fluctuating enrollment. Emerging global, political, technological, and environmental uncertainties also require your attention. This complex environment requires you—more than ever before—to stretch beyond the borders of your dining operations to communicate your value and align your strategic goals with your institution’s core mission. In addition, you may need to adopt new practices to successfully navigate this new landscape. For this reason, NACUFS is seeking to develop a comprehensive education strategy that will create a sustainable framework for ONE NACUFS to meet the current and evolving learning needs of our members.

The Place for Knowledge

NACUFS’ education and professional development have a long and rich history of giving collegiate foodservice professionals the knowledge and skills to effectively manage diverse teams and build profitable foodservice operations.

Responses to the 2016 member survey suggest that while career growth, knowledge/skill development, and job competency are very important to our members, association programs have not kept up with filling these needs. The 2017 member learning survey is an important step in gathering information to help inform NACUFS’ comprehensive education strategy.

Inspiring the Future

We invite you and your team to participate in an online learning survey that will launch on March 6 and be open until March 24. The survey should take about 15 minutes to complete and all responses will be kept confidential.  We want to discover what learning means to you – where you find learning value; what types of learning opportunities you currently use and what you’re interested in using; how you make decision about participating in learning events, and more.  Please join our regional business meetings to learn more and engage in dialogue about this important topic.

After the preliminary results are shared with the Board of Trustees in April, the next step will be to convene a group of NACUFS stakeholders for a two-day retreat to further deep-dive education and professional development.  The end goal for the education committee is to create a sustainable learning framework that promotes and supports excellence for the profession. Along the way, the committee will explore and discuss learning partnerships, core competencies, delivery vehicles, content identification, and positioning NACUFS as the place for education and professional development.

Wide participation is enthusiastically encouraged, and by sharing the survey link with your team and asking for their input, you contribute to the future of NACUFS education and professional development. Look for an email with the survey link to arrive on March 6, and thank you in advance for your participation.

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Posted by Ms. Amy B. on Feb 1st, 2017 3:36pm

I hope this year is off to an amazing start for all of you. NACUFS has a couple of major updates to share as we jump start 2017, continuing to focus on our 5-year strategic plan objectives. 

Education Update:

I am delighted to report that NACUFS is making great progress on this year’s major strategic initiative to develop a comprehensive education strategy. Why do we need a strategy? First and foremost, we know that the world around us is changing at an unprecedented and exponential rate. Having just returned from the 2017 foodservice directors symposium—where we discussed higher education trends at length—I do know one thing for certain: the knowledge and skills you and your staff will need in the future will be different than they are today. How do we prepare ourselves and our staff to meet this future?

The education committee, chaired by Kory Samuels (RIT), is working with a newly hired education consultant and leading the charge to engage you in defining the future of NACUFS education. NACUFS will be conducting a learning survey shortly. You will have an opportunity to take the first step to help the education committee frame the future of education for all of our members!

We will be asking you a lot of questions. Who are our learners? What are your learning needs and preferences? How do we “value” education? What would it look like if virtual/online learning connected with a diverse audience across the United States, Canada, and abroad? Stay tuned for more information.

Building Update

We have officially closed on our purchase of a new building in East Lansing. This beautiful 10,000 square foot brick building is only ten years old and resides in a quiet office park with favorable highway and airport access. Using funds set aside by the NACUFS board several years ago, the building was purchased for less than 80% of its appraised value and will save the association several thousand dollars annually. The building favorably passed inspections and environmental surveys enabling NACUFS to reside in a quality, permanent home after 60 years. With limited cosmetic changes to the interior, the headquarters move should take place by late Spring. 


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Posted by Ms. Amy B. on Dec 19th, 2016 4:08pm

Hello everyone,

As we approach the end of the year, many of us strive to pause and show appreciation to those that matter most. 

I would like to thank you for your valued support of NACUFS, and hope you have some time to enjoy the season.

I look forward to sharing more updates about NACUFS in the New Year!




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Posted by Ms. Amy B. on Nov 16th, 2016 1:49pm

Hello Everyone:

We have some exciting updates! Members of the NACUFS board of trustees are just settling back to their home bases after their 2-day fall meeting in East Lansing, Michigan. We were excited to welcome five new board members and kick off with a board orientation and strategic governance. As I stated in my last blog, the board of trustees is focused on continuing the strategic plan as we further solidify our position—our brand—as the place, the source, and the voice for campus dining professionals. Together, we moved forward on a number of issues, which I have highlighted below:


The board received an excellent progress report from the education committee about their work on our comprehensive education strategy. We expect to hire a consultant by the end of the year to provide recommendation and guidance to the education committee, to ensure that NACUFS education is relevant, learner-centered, high quality, and supports excellence in collegiate dining.

Conference Site Selection

The board reaffirmed a new approach to conference site selection to ensure that conference sites provide maximum member reach and member value, are financially viable for NACUFS, and are selected uniformly and consistently.

National Conference: As you know, NACUFS membership spans across North America (the U.S., Canada, and Mexico). Going forward for the national conference, this area will be geographically divided into east, west and central areas and the national conference will be rotated annually between those three areas. By doing so, NACUFS will receive competitive bids from more cities each year. This approach will also create more volunteer opportunities for our members with the launch of a new process. I’m pleased to announce that soon we’ll be holding our first open call for the 2019 national conference task force. Starting with the 2019 national conference in Denver, members from all regions will be invited to submit their nomination to serve on the task force for the conference. This will support our goals of member engagement, competency-based appointments, and transparency.  

Regional Conference: The board will be working closely with the regional directors on a comprehensive approach to site selection for regional conferences. Discussions are ongoing as we work to find the best universal approach, and build a plan to meet or exceed NACUFS’ strategic plan objectives.

Nominating Committee

The board approved the nominating committee composition and strategic governing competencies for the 2017-18 board selections. The committee will be comprised of the following individuals: Jennifer Whitcomb, Dickenson College, mid-atlantic regional director; Garret DiStefano, University of Massachusetts, northeast regional director; Josh Berg, University of Wisconsin-Stout, midwest regional director; Nicki Rivetti, Salt Lake Community College, continental regional director; Paula Amols, Murray State University, southern region; Gary Goldberg, University of Washington, pacific region; Ralph Goldbeck, Kitchens to Go, industry representative; Ken Field, Northwestern University, at-large; and Hal Brown, University of Northern Colorado, at-large. Congratulations everyone!

Governance Transformation Task Force

In July, a governance transformation task force was appointed to provide continuity to the board of trustees as NACUFS continues its governance transformation. This task force will also assist with our continuing focus on leadership development as we continue on our transformational journey. The board charged the transformation task force with providing a recommendation regarding the status and/or purpose of the council of past presidents and the industry advisory council by April 2017.

Update on New Building

Progress continues on the purchase of our building. The board toured the facility and began conceptualizing how it will be home to our members and visually represent our brand of excellence in collegiate dining. Since we are still working through the final details of the purchase, we are not able to share any photos, location, or additional details at this time. We are very close!

In all, it was an excellent meeting with progress on many fronts. I’ll communicate greater details in the next Campus Dining Today and future blogs. Stay tuned!

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Posted by Ms. Amy B. on Oct 19th, 2016 11:16am

Here we are, already more than halfway into October! This is a favorite time of year for many of us, as we watch the seasons change and enjoy the activities that fall brings. Our level of support for our students and our campus is taken to the next level as we focus on implementing all of our plans; whether they are new menus, facility upgrades, training new positions, or learning new equipment. We manage all this while adding value on our campus with our commitment to excellent food, service, and balanced budgets—ultimately supporting our students’ success. We are all determined to make this year most excellent! Every year we raise the bar. And, we must.

The same is true with our beloved association, NACUFS. The board of trustees is focused on continuing the strategic plan, with new initiatives coming to fruition as we further solidify our position—our brand—as the place, the source, and the voice for campus dining professionals. As we prepare for the November board meeting, we’re examining all pieces of the pie, including our new program/product vetting process (our quality improvement guide), an education strategy, and the data that NACUFS now has at our finger tips. We continue to add and further define member value. It is exciting to see how the NACUFS staff and volunteers are enthusiastically hard at work with the charges at hand!

Our three special committees are actively working on supporting our strategic priorities.  The education committee is meeting next week (October 24-25) to dive deep into working on the NACUFS comprehensive education strategy. This is very exciting! The marketing committee will meet in early 2017 to conceptualize our One NACUFS e-newsletter and general information dissemination, focused on brand and unified processes. And, I’m sure you have noticed that our membership committee is in full activity, having launched the myNACUFS campaign which incorporates a microsite, video testimonials, and various print collateral; not to mention, the personal touch points to prospective members throughout all of North America. We encourage you to continue to check out and share with any institution you know which would benefit from becoming a NACUFS member. The more we connect, the better and stronger we are!

Our board of trustees is preparing for our next board meeting, which will occur in East Lansing, Michigan on November 4 and 5. It’s going to be a powerful couple of days as we begin to see so much hard work and diligence to our strategic plan really take shape. I’m also excited to attend a site visit with the board to the future NACUFS office, where we will soon all be able to call home for decades to come. A true place for us to gather, celebrate, and learn together. Please look for a more in-depth update in my next blog in about three weeks, which will provide feedback of the progress and accomplishments from the next board meeting.  I will also provide additional details about our new office, as we are still working through the final details of the purchase.

We’re fortunate to be building off of such a solid foundation from incredibly positive leadership over the last couple of years. How exciting to think about what spring will bring for NACUFS. Again, please look for another update after the board meeting. I’m very proud of our accomplishments and look forward to the productive year ahead!


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Posted by Ms. Amy B. on Sep 7th, 2016 11:55am

Dear Colleagues;

Welcome back!  I hope you had a successful start to the fall semester.  As I speak with many of you, it is apparent that this is one of our favorite times of the year. Providing a welcoming and safe move-in for our students and their parents is one of the most important jobs we do!

As we kick off the school year, NACUFS is also kicking off some new initiatives. I’m excited to introduce a special edition of Campus Dining Today, which most of you have probably already received. This issue features the results of our membership survey task force, the board’s new vision to take NACUFS forward, and specific actions to build value—starting with a focus on developing a comprehensive educational strategy. Here, you’ll also find highlights from our 2016 national conference, like summaries of some featured interest sessions, stories from our award winners, and a save-the-date for 2017 in Nashville, TN.

Make note! We just initiated an open call for volunteers for the 2017 nominating committee (see the e-blast we sent on Wednesday, September 1). The purpose of the open call is to recruit representatives for upcoming vacancies. This year’s upcoming vacancies include representatives from the Southern and Pacific regions and two at-large institutional members. The committee will be charged to submit a slate of candidates for the board of trustees. The final 2017 nominating committee will be comprised of one representative from each region and three at-large members (one of which will be an industry member). Self-nominations are encouraged!  Applications are due by September 30, 2016.

You may have seen on social media or in last week’s e-newsletter that our myNACUFS membership campaign launched. Over the coming weeks, you will be introduced to 19 of your fellow members, sharing their stories of NACUFS. A common element from these videos is people—the connections they've made with one another—as they describe how NACUFS is the place, the source, and the voice for them as they elevate dining on their campuses and outward to the public. They speak about professional development, sharing ideas, challenging each other, recognizing successes, celebrating excellence, and joining together virtually and in-person to learn, to teach, and to connect. Please click below and share the myNACUFS membership video with your peers, especially those who are not yet members and need an introduction to NACUFS. Click here to view the video.

Finally, an update on our building purchase vs. lease process: A board appointed exploratory committee, led by Rich Neumann (treasurer) provided substantial due diligence in comparing current and future costs of leasing vs. buying, and analyzing available properties in the region. Following their review, the NACUFS board of trustees approved a recommendation from the finance committee to purchase a building. This purchase will use building funds set aside by the NACUFS board several years ago, and save NACUFS thousands of dollars annually in operational expenses. At the closing, NACUFS will have a new asset on its books. Other benefits include additional space for on-site meetings and a location which will reduce meeting expenditures. NACUFS’ offer was accepted by the seller. We are excited to honor the longevity of this organization by giving NACUFS a permanent home—a true headquarters—for all members to call home and to come together for committee and board meetings. This building symbolizes 60 amazing years continuing our path to greatness, stability, and strength.

Great things are happening at NACUFS! 


Amy Beckstrom, CASP

Executive Director
Housing & Dining Services
University of Colorado Boulder


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Posted by Ms. Amy B. on Aug 3rd, 2016 11:27am

Hello Everyone:

This is my first blog as NACUFS President.  I look forward to communicating with you more about vision and our future in my next blog, but this blog is devoted to current events.

Regional Director/Director-Elect Orientation

I’m very excited to have spent two days last week with our regional directors and directors-elect for our inaugural orientation and training.  We have bright and talented next generation leaders who are eager to learn and lead.  I trust that our future is bright, particularly when I listen to what they see as priorities and how they envision taking NACUFS into the future. 

Internship Program

Regarding the discontinuation of the internship program, we know transition and change are hard, and we are listening to your feedback.  Complete details of the membership survey task force (MSTF),  its findings, recommendations and board decisions are coming soon in a new issue of Campus Dining Today for the entire membership to read.  I would like to take this opportunity to clarify the decision-making process and communications so everyone understands the process and status regarding this program in particular.  Please keep in mind that this is one program that was considered among a total product mix review of over 40 products, programs, and services.

The MSTF considered significant input prior to making its recommendations.  In addition to member survey data which ranked the internship program second to last in terms of member benefits, host school participation dropped from 40 to 26 seven years ago and has remained at that level since then, representing only 5% of our members.  Student applications also dropped 30% in the last four years even though host schools stabilized.  In 2013, ACUHO-I dropped its financial support and the program now runs at a deficit. 

Regarding input and communications, the internship task force, along with all committees and task forces, was involved in the process through a webinar and a strategic plan assessment.  The internship task force was comprised of eight of the 26 internship host schools. The MSTF considered this input during their deliberations.  Following board approval of the recommendation to discontinue this program, and based on the recommendations from the internship task force, the board of trustees prioritized significant time and attention to communicating with those affected by the decision, as we recognized that schools had to plan their budgets for the fall starting in June. Every internship coordinator was called personally, each voting delegate of participating schools received a letter and all faculty and students connected to the program received an email.

The MSTF also envisioned a vetting process for new or revitalized products, programs or services, which has now been developed.  It is available for members to propose new or revitalized initiatives that are aligned with the strategic plan. This process was communicated with the internship task force.  Details about this vetting process and who to contact if you have any questions about this process or any other program, will be included in the upcoming issue of Campus Dining Today.

Regarding communication in general during a time of great transition, there is always more that can be done.  We hear that many of you are grieving the loss of a program that you believed was valuable to members and benefited students.  The regional directors and regional directors elect made suggestions that we will incorporate going forward as well.

Bylaws Change

At the July board of trustees meeting, the board voted to expand the size of the finance/audit committee from four board members to five board members.  The finance/audit committee will now be composed of the Treasurer, President-Elect and three board members selected by the President.  This change was made to ensure that the committee would have a quorum if one or more voting members couldn’t be present.

NACUFS Office Space –Building Exploratory Task Force

Several years ago, the NACUFS board set aside reserves to locate and provide a building for office space.  Recently, a study was reviewed by the finance committee and board of trustees of the cost of continuing to lease office space compared to the purchase and ownership of a building.  As the current leased space agreement expires in February 2017, an exploratory task force has been appointed with Rich Neumann, treasurer of NACUFS, as the lead in continuing to analyze the prospect of owning versus leasing a facility for office space.  We will keep members appraised of the outcomes from this review.

As NACUFS President, you are welcome to contact me directly with questions, concerns or observations.  I value the feedback from our members, and will continue to work hard to strengthen our vibrant association!  I can be reached at Amy.Beckstrom@Colorado.EDU.


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