Deon Lategan, Colorado State University’s director of residential dining, has been named a Top 11 Foodservice Director of the Year by Premier, a national healthcare alliance serving healthcare facilities and universities across the United States.
The Top 11 Foodservice Directors were chosen from an extensive list of hospital, healthcare facility and university food service leaders who were nominated for the Premier Illuminating Excellence Award, which recognizes the top food service director in the nation.
In eight years at Colorado State, Lategan has led an extensive overhaul of the dining centers on campus. The Corbett Hall dining center was renovated in 2005, creating an open-concept marketplace, the first of its kind at CSU. Lategan then oversaw the construction of the Ram’s Horn dining center, CSU’s first new dining center in 40 years. The Ram’s Horn, part of the Academic Village, was opened in 2008 and was named the Facility Design Project of the Year by Food Service Equipment and Supplies. This past year, Lategan lead a major renovation of the Braiden Hall dining center. The renovation included additional seating for the popular dining center, sustainable features including a pulper to allow composting of all food waste and a new online sandwich ordering system called RamWich.
Lategan also has added two express facilities and a smoothie bar to campus, providing students with the ability to grab meals and snacks on the run. The express facilities, located at Durrell and Ram’s Horn, provide in-demand menu items such as sushi, ready-made salads and prepared sandwiches. The smoothie bar, located in the newly renovated Student Recreation Center, provides an opportunity for students to enjoy refreshments outside the dining centers.
"Deon has provided the vision for both the remodel of existing dining facilities and the construction of new dining facilities that have received very positive feedback from students and won national awards," said Jim Dolak, executive director of Housing and Dining Services at Colorado State. "His contribution to our department has lifted us to new levels of student satisfaction with our dining program."
In the 2009 National Association of College and University Food Services survey, student satisfaction with the dining program at CSU exceeded the national average in every category.
The winner of the Illuminating Excellence Award will be announced at the annual Premier conference in Washington, D.C., on June 9. Lategan is one of three nominees representing a college or university.