Basic American Foods is pleased to announce winners of the 2024 Foodservice Achievement Management Excellence (FAME) Awards, highlighting four outstanding K12 foodservice leaders who are making a difference in their schools and communities. The FAME Awards’ most prestigious honor, the Golden Foodservice Director of the Year Award, is being presented to Julie Telesca, director of nutrition services at the Grapevine Colleyville ISD in Grapevine, Texas.
Telesca is an accomplished director who won the School Nutrition Association (SNA) Southwest Regional Director of the Year award in 2018. Over the last three years, she has maintained financial solidity of her budget and was one of the first districts in her area to create a cooking class for students along with innovative promotions that connect the cafeteria to the classroom. In addition, Telesca implemented a comprehensive plant-based menu rollout that included several new chef-inspired dishes, staff training videos, and marketing through social media posts.
Winning the 2024 FAME Silver Leadership Award winner is Lauren Weyand, MDA, RD, director of school nutrition for the Craven County (N.C.) Schools. Weyand has striven to make every department employee feel valued and purposeful, even coming up with a team logo and mission statement to help all employees see their worth. One result has been that they increased their district’s daily breakfast participation from 35% to 70%.
The 2024 FAME Silver Spirit Award goes to Karyn Buckner, foodservice cooperative manager for Region 8 ESC Co-Op in Pittsburg, Texas, who for 23 years has been a champion of school foodservice and currently manages procurement for 63 districts with just a staff of two. Under her leadership, the Co-Op has excelled in training, customer service, TDA communication, marketing and commodity processing planning.
The 2024 FAME Rising Star Award winner is Moss Crutchfield, food service director for the Epping (N.H.) School District. Adopting a “Bob Ross” style of management, Crutchfield is on a first name basis with the students, faculty and staff, growing trust, encouraging happy accidents, and tempting students to try new, culturally relevant and exciting dishes. By making the student and faculty experience a priority, over the last two years, he increased breakfast and lunch participation by 139% and 43%, respectively.
The 35th Annual FAME Awards ceremony will be held during the School Nutrition Conference on January 14th in Orlando, Fla. For more information, visit FAME Awards.