The National Association of College & University Food Services (NACUFS) has named Gretchen Couraud, CAE, CFRE, as its next executive director, effective November 1, 2012. Couraud will only be the third executive director in the association’s 54-year history, and will be its first female chief staff executive. She will succeed Joseph Spina, CAE, Ph.D., who is retiring after 22 years of service to the association.
“I’m pleased with the thorough approach taken by the board of directors and search committee in selecting Gretchen as the association’s next executive director,” says Nona Golledge, NACUFS past-president and director of KU Dining at the University of Kansas. Golledge oversaw the search process during her presidency, which began with a pool of over 100 candidates. “Gretchen will provide the leadership necessary to build upon the dynamic programs established during Dr. Spina’s tenure as executive director. NACUFS is in great hands.”
Couraud comes to NACUFS after more than 25 years in non-profit and association management, with extensive experience in government relations, issue advocacy, strategic planning, and organizational leadership. She is currently the executive director for the Michigan Library Association (MLA), a position she has held the past seven years.
Prior to joining the MLA, Couraud held positions at the Capital Area Humane Society, Lansing Community College Foundation, and Lansing Regional Chamber of Commerce in Lansing, Mich., and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in Chicago. Couraud received her Certified Association Executive (CAE) credential in 1990 and has been a Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) since 2006. She also serves on the board of directors for the Michigan Society of Association Executives.
“Because dining services is such a vital element of student life, I am excited to join an organization that is dedicated to the success of college and university foodservice programs,” states Couraud. “I look forward to working with the association’s board, volunteers, members, and staff to advance the mission of the organization and elevate the image of collegiate foodservice on campus, as well as that of NACUFS itself.”
Once Couraud joins NACUFS on November 1, Dr. Spina will stay on as executive director emeritus through the end of the year to help ensure a smooth organizational transition. Timothy Dietzler, NACUFS president and director of dining services at Villanova University, will facilitate the transition.
“We thank Joe for his leadership these past two decades, and are fortunate that this transition comes with the association in excellent financial shape and with an active and engaged membership," says Dietzler. "I look forward to introducing Gretchen to the members and am confident that her vision, enthusiasm, and experience will guide NACUFS to grow and thrive in the future."