NACUFS Members Honored for Outstanding Service to Association

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Dennis Pierce

C. Dennis Pierce, retired executive director of dining services at the University of Connecticut won the 2023 David R. Prentkowski Distinguished Lifetime Member Award during an awards breakfast at the NACUFS 2023 National Conference in Baltimore, Maryland.
C. Dennis Pierce, retired executive director of dining services at the University of Connecticut won the 2023 David R. Prentkowski Distinguished Lifetime Member Award during an awards breakfast at the NACUFS 2023 National Conference in Baltimore, Maryland.

Dean Wright

Dean Wright, retired managing director of dining at Brigham Young University won the 2023 David R. Prentkowski Distinguished Lifetime Member Award during an awards breakfast at the NACUFS 2023 National Conference in Baltimore, Maryland.
Dean Wright, retired managing director of dining at Brigham Young University won the 2023 David R. Prentkowski Distinguished Lifetime Member Award during an awards breakfast at the NACUFS 2023 National Conference in Baltimore, Maryland.

BALTIMORE, MD, July 21, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The National Association of College & University Food Services (NACUFS) honored five distinguished individuals on Friday for their outstanding service to the association during an awards breakfast at the NACUFS 2023 National Conference in Baltimore, Maryland. The winners are:

  • 2023 Richard Lichtenfelt Award:
    • Barry Greenberg, University of Iowa
    • Jenna Goins, CAE, MBA, director of membership & marketing, NACUFS
  • 2023 David R. Prentkowski Distinguished Lifetime Member Award:
    • C. Dennis Pierce, retired executive director of dining services at the University of Connecticut
    • Dean Wright, retired managing director of dining at Brigham Young University
  • 2023 Daryl Van Hook Industry Award: Tom Lyons, vice president of business development at Johnson Lancaster & Associates

Selected by the association’s president, the Richard Lichtenfelt Award honors individuals who have provided outstanding contributions to NACUFS at the national level.

The David R. Prentkowski Distinguished Lifetime Member Award, nominated by peers and colleagues, honors individuals who have retired from college and university foodservice leadership or other positions that supported the betterment of college and university foodservices.

Both Pierce and Wright noted the significance of receiving the award, which is named after their personal mentor and friend. Prentkowski, 55, died in 2012 after a drowning accident. He was the director of food services at the University of Notre Dame.

Pierce said he never considered himself a candidate for the prestigious award, and his involvement in NACUFS was a gesture to give back for all he had received.

“What is more important in receiving this award is that it was authored by David Prentkowski before it was named after him,” Pierce said. “David helped me navigate my way as president-elect by mentoring me while he was president. Looking back, I wish I had taken the time to express my gratitude for his mentorship, the leadership he provided, and how he helped to craft the bylaws and direction that NACUFS took.”

Wright said he has always admired those who received the award, but that receiving it is particularly special.

“I was one of the last NACUFS members to have visited David on the campus of Notre Dame. He was a very dear friend,” Wright said. “He personally helped me design BYU’s Culinary Support Center. David and I served together on the NACUFS Board of Trustees, and he followed me as president. To receive this award named in honor of my mentor is hard to explain; it is emotional.” 

Nominated by peers and colleagues, the Daryl Van Hook Industry Award honors an industry member who has provided educational support, product innovation, and outstanding service to the association.

“This is a very humbling experience for me,” Lyons said. “To be recognized by NACUFS for contributions to the association over the past 20-plus years is amazing. NACUFS has enabled me to grow personally and professionally, have wonderful experiences, and make some great friendships and business contacts.”

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About NACUFS

The National Association of College & University Food Services (NACUFS) was founded in 1958 by a group of college and university foodservice professionals from across the United States. Since its inception, NACUFS has focused on its mission to support and promote excellence in collegiate dining by providing members with the programs and resources they need to excel, from benchmarking and best practices to educational programming and professional networking.

NACUFS institutional members range from private colleges to large public universities, including two-year and four-year institutions, spanning the United States, Canada, United Kingdom and beyond. Industry members include food and equipment manufacturers, distributors, brokers, foodservice support companies, councils, boards, trade associations, advisory commissions and other professional groups. For more information, visit NACUFS.org.

Attachments

CONTACT: Mary Wardell National Association of College & University Food Services 5178271111 [email protected] 

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