In Memory of Dorothy “Dot” Pannell-Martin


In Memory of Dorothy “Dot” Pannell-Martin

Dorothy “Dot” Pannell-Martin, distinguished school foodservice author and trainer, who served as president of SFS21, LLC; director of Food and Nutritional Services for Fairfax (Va.) Public Schools and assistant director of Food Services for Prince George’s County (Md.) School with great distinction, passed away on May 9, at the age of 81.

Co-author of the classic textbook, School Food & Nutrition Services Management for the 21st Century, which was first published in 1975 and now in its sixth edition, Pannell-Martin capped off her celebrated career with being named the winner of the prestigious FAME (Food Service Achievement Management Excellence) Gertrude Applebaum Lifetime Achievement Award in 2016.

“Dot made so many great contributions to the school foodservice profession,” said Applebaum. “She was a good speaker, a good researcher; she had so many talents and qualities in teaching, training and mentoring others. But perhaps, her greatest quality was she was such a great writer, as you can see by her books. I think her legacy to the profession will live on.”

A preeminent writer and editor, Pannell-Martin authored or co-authored numerous publications, books and manuals that have become required reading for foodservice professionals. Most prominently, the Cost Control Manual for the School Foodservices, the USDA Food Buying Guide, the Menu Planning Guide for School Foodservice and the Management Skills for School Foodservice Managers.

In 1994, along with Applebaum, she founded inTEAM Associates, a foodservice consulting service, where she served as its first president, and co-wrote the inTEAM Food System Management Manual. Working together, the duo conducted hundreds cost control training programs across the U.S., not only directors, managers and employees, but industry.

When asked in a 2004 interview with Meredith Johnson with the Institute of Child Nutrition, what she thought her most significant contribution to the child nutrition field was, Pannell-Martin replied, “Well, I'd like to think the textbook on school foodservices has contributed. And I think today that we, Gertrude Applebaum and I work together, have taught cost control seminars across this U.S. We have taught undoubtedly two or three hundred seminars by now in 45 states. We have pretty much penetrated the market with cost control seminars. And I think it has been helpful to food service directors to look at what they do as a business, because that's what it is. It's a restaurant business that happens to be operated in public schools; also in private schools.”

Born June 10, 1935 in Bolivar, Tennessee, Pannell-Martin earned her bachelor’s degree at Mississippi College and her master’s degree from the University of Mississippi, where she wrote her master’s thesis on the National School Lunch Program. Pannell-Martin’s first job was as assistant director for Morrison’s Management Company at Mississippi College Dining Services, before becoming director of Foodservice with Chapel Hill Carrboro (NC) City Schools.

Past President of the Maryland School Foodservice Association (today the Maryland SNA), she would also teach at the University of Maryland, Prince George’s Community College and Northern Virginia Community College.

The family has requested that in lieu of flowers, contributions for scholarships for SNA members can be made in memory of Dorothy “Dot” Pannell-Martin to:

School Nutrition Foundation
120 Waterfront Street, Suite 300
National Harbor, Maryland 20745

Among the numerous awards Pannell-Martin has received include, IFMA’s Silver Plate in Elementary and Secondary Schools, Most Distinguished Pacesetter Award presented by the National Roundtable for Women, named Food Service Executive of the Year by the Restaurant Association of Metropolitan Washington, recognized by ASBO International with the Eagle Service Award for Outstanding Contribution to Schools, as well as a FAME Award winner.

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