Over the past five years, JDRQUEST&CO has placed diverse hospitality talent in senior leadership roles at several universities. Recent hires at Princeton University include: 

Edward Wang, Director of Operations and Project Management
With 20 years experience in senior and client leadership roles in hospitality, finance, educational and senior living markets, Edward brings his creative skills and business acumen to lead operations at Princeton. His diverse educational background - a Bachelors Degree in Fine Arts at Seattle University and Masters Degree at Cornell University in Hospitality Food & Beverage Management - and wide-ranging work experience made him a perfect fit for this role.

Tommy Thothongkum, Executive Chef
A native New Yorker, Tommy was taught at an early age that you only get what you want through hard work - but how can you consider work “hard” when you love what you do every day.  As a scholar-athlete in high school, Tommy learned the value of team work and coaching - he has 'paid forward' the support he received in his fifteen year career in hospitality. “My goal is to extract the maximum potential from my staff and get them to where they want to be.  Everyone has an important job in reaching our collective goal.”  Tommy has successfully promoted staff to positions of executive sous chef, sous chefs and chef assistants over his tenure at Restaurant Associates where he has spent the last ten years of his career.

David Dembek, Associate Director 
With 12 years of experience in food and beverage and hospitality management, David began his career in hospitality at the Park Ridge Marriott in New Jersey which lead to various leadership roles at food and beverage outlets - banquets and in-room dining - in New York City.  Recognized as manager of the year at the Marriott East Side and leader of the quarter at the Omni Berkshire Place in New York City, his extensive experience building teams, developing relationships with union associates, and implementing processes to ensure successful business operations have been instrumental in his new role at Princeton University.

After an extensive national search, JDRQUEST&CO has placed Temesgen Araya as Williams College's next Director of Dining Services. Temesgen previously served as the General Manager of Dining Services for NBC at 30 Rock and additional locations. His more than fifteen-year career in the hospitality industry is defined by his rapid rise through a number of increasingly complex and varied management positions across a variety of operations.

The arc of Temesgen’s resume is truly impressive. Even so, it doesn’t fully illustrate the ways in which he has inspired members of his current large, complicated organization through times of growth and change.

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After a comprehensive national search by JDRQUEST & CO., Van Sullivan, Director of Retail Services and Campus Center at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, has been appointed Executive Director for the Faculty Student Association (FSA) effective December 3rd, 2018.

In his new role, Van will serve as the Chief Operating Officer of our auxiliary corporation, providing strategic vision and leadership for FSA, with an emphasis on the continued development, refinement and implementation of ‘best-in-class’ services.

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How big-picture threats to higher ed are impacting campuses and what administrators are doing to take control.

Clouds that emerged throughout 2017 are hanging over the heads of campus administrators, posing potentially huge impacts to higher ed as a whole.

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David ter Kuile, an accomplished leader with 19 years of experience in multiple sectors of the food service industry, has been named Executive Director of Campus Dining. David will lead the award-winning Campus Dining program, which includes 21 campus locations, 42 managers and a staff of 280.

David formerly served as Resident District Manager overseeing dining operations at Southern Methodist University. Prior to that, he served as Senior Director of Dining at High Point University and his professional background includes entrepreneurship, as well as food service operations.

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Sunil Yaradi has been named Director of University Catering and joins the Campus Dining team beginning May 30, 2017. In this capacity, Sunil will provide leadership for the University Catering department that averages over 7000 events per year.

Yaradi’s experience includes growing food and beverage portfolios for the Hyatt Hotel chain and in developing both staff and standards. Most recently, Sunil was the Assistant Director of F&B at the Hyatt Regency O’Hare assisting in the daily operations of a food and beverage division supporting an 110,000 sq. ft. convention center and a 1,096 room hotel.

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Campus Dining is brilliant.

When you walk through the buffet, have you noticed that the options are usually ordered in the same way, at every dining hall, at every meal? You receive vegetables first, then grains and proteins.

This isn’t an accident. It’s a subtle, powerful policy choice.

Campus Dining has embraced “plant forward” menus that highlight great flavors and healthy, sustainable ingredients. As part of the Culinary Institute of America and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health’s Menus of Change program, this plant forward approach is Princeton’s way of integrating optimal nutrition, environmental stewardship, and social responsibility into the meals we eat each day.

“Plant forward” means that dining hall menus often promote vegetable-heavy dishes and diets. With the assistance of the Greening Dining student group, Campus Dining has been encouraging healthy eating through signs in the servery, flyers inside napkin holders at tables, and buffet architecture. This architecture may be the most powerful — yet least appreciated — component of the plan. By literally placing vegetables in front of meats and grains in the buffet line, students are “defaulted” into filling up space on their plate with vegetables. It shifts consumption patterns toward more vegetables, which are healthy for the human and the planet, and away from everything else. It’s light-touch intervention: For those truly motivated to avoid vegetables, loading their plates with meat requires walking forward two more steps. But for the vegetable-neutral, distracted, or apathetic dining hall consumer, beginning the meal with a serving of vegetables is the easiest option. This default is a subtle, but powerful, Campus Dining strategy.

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Dustin Cutler wasn't interested in a new university dining director position -- until he heard the phone call was about a job at Cornell. The Central New York native has spent over a decade in food service management, and he'll join us as Cornell Dining's new director on January 30.

Cornell Dining is consistently ranked in the Princeton Review's top ten for best campus food among all colleges and universities in the country. That high rating comes from customer surveys, and reflects Cornell Dining's commitment to serving high-quality foods that are healthy and creatively prepared with genuine care for a diverse community. Cornell Dining operates 29 on-campus eateries -- which include all-you-care-to-eat dining rooms, cafés, coffee houses, food courts, and convenience stores -- and serves more than 26,000 meals a day to members of the Cornell community.

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Princeton University Campus Dining brings together expertise in the culinary, wellness, sustainability, procurement and hospitality to develop innovative programs in support of their diverse and vibrant community.

The award-winning food program is based on scientific and evidence based principles of healthy and sustainable menus prepared by the culinary team.

In honor of National Food Day, Campus Dining held its inaugural Princeton Teaching Kitchen program in celebration of National Food Day. Following the Food Day theme of “Apple Crunch,” Brad Ortega, Executive Chef of  Butler and Wilson dining halls, and Rick Piancone, Executive Chef of Rockefeller and Mathey dining halls, led demonstrations of dishes that featured apples.

Executive Director Smitha Haneef introduced the program to an online and in-person audience, explaining that the concept of a teaching kitchen to advance health and transform lifestyle is embedded in years of research by some of the best physicians and nutritionists.

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Universities are looking to the hospitality industry for ways to attract students and enhance the college experience. From concierge service to luxury resort style facilities, dorm rooms and gourmet dining - the level of service and breadth of amenities has become a deciding factor in an ever-competitive educational landscape. Waterparks, upscale movie theaters, golf ranges abound across college campuses across the United States. Residential housing has never looked this ‘grown-up’ – granite counter tops, stainless steel appliances, private on-suite bathrooms, walk-in closets and designer furniture – are becoming the standard. Private developers are working with higher education institutions to build and manage residence halls. These trends are here to stay. We are seeing the effects on existing talent acquisition models among prominent Universities already – with a new focus on hiring talent directly from the hospitality industry. Searches for Princeton University, Middlebury College and Iowa State support this direction and demonstrate resounding success. Follow the link to learn more about the latest amenities and trends around college campuses.

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