Thursday, October 23, 2014
group shot of dining services and others

Jon Plodzik (fourth from left), director of UNH Dining Services, accepted the 2014 NH Employment Leadership Award last week at a ceremony in Manchester. (Courtesy photo)

UNH Dining Services has added another award to its long list of accolades, receiving the 2014 N.H. Employment Leadership Award last week at the sixth annual statewide employer recognition ceremony at the Currier Museum of Art in Manchester.

Sponsored by the New Hampshire Department of Education, New Hampshire Developmental Disabilities Council and BusinessNH Magazine, the award recognizes New Hampshire employers’ efforts to assist people with disabilities in obtaining and maintaining competitive employment. A committee evaluated workplace policies, practices and philosophies, as well as employee comments, to determine this year’s winners.

Dining Services was one of 10 employers in the state to receive the honor. UNH Director of Dining Services Jon Plodzik accepted the award, saying, “This award is a source of great pride to all of us. We strive to create the best possible environment for all employees so that we can, in turn, provide the highest level of service to our university students.”

Plodzik noted his department’s inclusive hiring practices and accommodating internship program as two points of pride. “I am so pleased to work at an organization that provides individuals who have challenges an opportunity to contribute to the local workforce…it not only makes for a better organization, it also creates a better experience and life for everyone involved.”

It is the second time this year that UNH Dining has been recognized for its employment practices. The UNH President’s Commission on the Status of People with Disabilities presented the organization with the Disability Commission Award in February.

A Winning Organization

UNH Dining Services has earned several awards over the years and has been nominated for Restaurants and Institutions magazine’s Ivy Award, which recognizes exemplary foodservice operators. Here’s a snapshot. 

2013 – Second Place in the Loyal E. Horton Dining Awards Contest for Harry Potter Theme Dinner

2013 – Second Place for Retail Sales-Single Concept “UNH Dairy Bar” in the Loyal E. Horton Dining Awards Contest

2012 – FoodService Director magazine Goldies award for Health & Wellness (Read article)

2012 – Second place in Best Vegan Recipe content hosted by National Association of College & University Food Services (Read article) 

2011 – Third Place in Most Innovative Nutrition Program Contest sponsored by the National Association of College & University Food Services for “Eat Right. With Color.” Entry (Read article) 

2010 – Third Place in 2010 Most Innovative Nutrition Program content hosted by the National Association of College & University Food Services for the “UNH Tropical Lunch With Guiding Stars” theme meal

UNH Dining Awards prior to 2010

Upcoming Dining Events

Beast FeastOctober 29, starts at 4:30 p.m., Holloway Commons, Philbrook Hall, Stillings Hall

Karaoke Night, November 5, Philbrook Hall

Thanksgiving Dinner, November 19, Holloway Commons, Philbrook Hall, Stillings Hall