NACUFS presented its top honor, the Theodore W. Minah Distinguished Service Award, posthumously to Dr. Samuel Bennett of Texas Tech. Named after NACUFS’ first president, the Minah Award is the organization’s highest honor.
Nona Golledge, director of KU Dining Services at the University of Kansas and NACUFS past president, introduced the award.
“I know Sam is with us this evening, grinning ear to ear,” Golledge said. “And I’m confident he’ll feel a sense of pride as I share his four decades of accomplishments with all of you, his NACUFS family.”
Golledge reviewed Bennett’s many accomplishments, beginning as a student dining assistant in 1971 and concluding with his role as assistant vice president for student affairs and director of hospitality services. The audience watched a photo retrospective on Bennett’s professional life.
Bennett’s award was accepted on his behalf by Shirleta Benfield, associate director of food services at the University of Oklahoma, also a NACUFS past president and a friend and colleague of Bennett’s for more than 30 years.
“He was proud of his work at Texas Tech and was equally proud of his team members that worked with him at the university. I know that he’s with us tonight in spirit as we celebrate his life and accomplishments,” Benfield said.
Three David R. Prentkowski Distinguished Lifetime Member awards were given to: Haddon Reines of Performance Food Group, Sharon Coulson of the University of California-Davis and Sarah Johnson of Purdue University Residences
(above) Haddon Reines wins the David R. Prentkowski Distinguished Lifetime Member award
(above) Sharon Coulson wins the David R. Prentkowski Distinguished Lifetime Member award
The Daryl Van Hook Industry Award presented to NACUFS industry members, was given to Andrew Shakman of LeanPath, Inc.
(above) Andrew Shakman wins the Daryl Van Hook Industry Award
Two Richard Lichtenfelt Awards were presented to Sharon Olson of Y-Pulse and Richard Williams of Grinnell College.
(above) Sharon Olson wins the Richard Lichtenfelt Award
(above) Richard Williams wins the Richard Lichtenfelt Award
In other awards programs, NACUFS recognized achievements in nutritious menu development, wellness programs, c-stores and sustainability. See more on the c-store winners here. And see the nutritious menu award winners here.
First place and an ACF gold medal in the Culinary Challenge went to Bryce Benes, a chef at Orange Coast College, Costa Mesa, CA, representing the Pacific Region. His winning dish was Duo of Duck: Crispy Pan Seared Breast with Red Wine Gastrique/Cassoulet Style Confit. More on the Culinary Challenge here.