The results are in: Basic American Foods (BAF) has announced the winners of the 2023 Foodservice Achievement Management Excellence (FAME) Awards! For more than 30 years, the FAME Awards have recognized outstanding heroes in K-12 foodservice who raise industry standards by making a difference within their school districts and communities.
The FAME Awards’ most prestigious honor, the Golden Foodservice Director of the Year Award, is presented to Jessica Shelly, Director of Student Dining Services, Cincinnati (Ohio) Public Schools. According to BAF’s news release, Shelly creates a dining experience for the students she serves and is known for her ability to “not just serve school lunch, but to serve lunch at school.” By empowering choice and offering options, Shelly increased high school lunch participation from 48% to 76%.
The 2023 FAME Silver Leadership Award winner is Christine Clarahan, MS, SNS, RDN, Director of Food and Nutrition Services, School City of Hammond (Ind.) Clarahan’s strengths include growing others into leaders. She was the first to implement a comprehensive leadership training program for all staff, which no other district “non-curricular” department had ever done. With her six years as the director, Clarahan passionately values her staff and works hard to ensure fair compensation for all.
Lauren Koff, MS, RD, LD, SNS, Dietitian for Houston County Schools, Perry, Ga., is the 2023 FAME Silver Spirit Award winner. For the last 10 years, Koff has far exceeded the original scope of her position. Whether it’s developing a local food show, training others in growing their careers, obtaining grant money or bringing CEP to more than half of the schools in the district, Koff is invested in all parts of her school foodservice program. She is well-respected beyond her Houston County family and is regularly requested to speak at conferences.
The 2023 FAME Rising Star Award winner is Melanie Romano, MS, RD, LDN, School Nutrition Director, Alliance Charter Schools, Charlotte, N.C. With just two years of experience, Romano has successfully transitioned Alliance from a vended, catered contract to a delicious, self-prep program offering multiple nutritious entrees daily, thus establishing much high meal participation and satisfaction. This change increased breakfast participation in one of the Alliance schools from 106% to 274%.
The 34th annual FAME Awards ceremony will be held live and in person on January 15, 2023, during SNA’s School Nutrition Industry Conference (SNIC) in San Diego, Calif. For more information and to register for the conference, click here.