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The results are in: Basic American Foods (BAF) has announced the winners of the 2024 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 Julie Telesca, SNS, Director of Nutrition Services, Grapevine (Texas) Colleyville ISD. Telesca—who won SNA’s Southwest Regional Director of the Year award in 2018—pioneered a cooking class for students in her district to bridge the divide between cafeteria and classroom and implemented a new plant-based menu project, including “new chef-inspired dishes, staff training videos and marketing through social media posts,” according to BAF’s news release.

The 2024 FAME Silver Leadership Award winner is Lauren Weyand, MDA, RD, Director of School Nutrition, Craven County Schools, New Bern, N.C. Weyand is committed to ensuring every employee feels valued, developing a team logo and mission statement to help encourage a strong, passionate team that was able to increase their district’s daily breakfast participation from 35% to 70%.

Karyn Buckner, Foodservice Cooperative Manager, Region 8 ESC Co-Op, Pittsburg, Texas is the 2024 FAME Silver Spirit Award winner. Buckner has been dedicated to her career in school foodservice for 23 years, currently managing procurement for 63 districts. According to BAF’s news release, “under her leadership, the Co-Op has excelled in training, customer service, TDA communication, marketing and commodity processing planning.”

The 2024 FAME Rising Star Award winner is Moss Crutchfield, SNS, Food Service Director, Epping (N.H.) School District. “Adopting a ‘Bob Ross’ style of management, Moss enjoys a first-name basis with the students, faculty, and staff, growing trust, encouraging happy accidents and tempting students to try new, culturally relevant, and exciting dishes,” the news release shares. Over the last two years, he has “increased breakfast and lunch participation by 139% and 43%, respectively.”

The 35th annual FAME Awards ceremony will be held on January 14, 2024, during SNA’s School Nutrition Industry Conference (SNIC) in Orlando, Fla. For more information and to register for the conference, click here.

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