Jim McGrody, director of culinary services for UNC Rex Healthcare, was honored for his dedication to culinary prowess and innovation. He and his team service more than 1,000 patient meals and 3,500 retail transactions each day. McGrody has dedicated his career to good food, excellent culinary training for his staff and the creation of innovative retail operations.
Dennis Pierce, executive director at the University of Connecticut, was honored for his 30 years at UConn, the last 11 as director. Pierce leads one of the largest self-operated dining programs in the country, with more than 5.8 million meals served each year. UConn’s dining program under Pierce has developed many innovations, including the country’s first gluten-free bakery.
Ken Yant, director of the school nutrition program at Gwinnett County Public Schools in Georgia, received this year’s award for K-12 schools for his 11 years with the country’s 13th largest district. Yant has exhibited marketed prowess in his years at Gwinnett, including the addition of new products through LTOs. He also introduced a new procurement model and IDEA Centers, which act as incubators for new menu concepts and best practices.
Michiel Bakker leads Google’s global foodservice program as director of its Food Program, which includes 220 cafes, 1,100 micro-kitchens and more than 25 food trucks. Under Bakker’s leadership, Google’s foodservice operation has put health and sustainability at the forefront, with programs like the CIA’s Menus of Change put into practice.
Other winners in this year’s Silver Plate include:
Hotels & Lodging: Susan Terry, Marcus Hotels & Resorts
Retail & Specialty: Voni Woods, Giant Eagle
Chain Full: Gene Lee, Darden Restaurants
Chain Limited: Paul Brown, Arby’s
Independent: Craig Huse, St. Elmo’s Steakhouse