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Abby Hazekamp
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NACAS East On the Road at Penn State University - 2020

February 18-19, 2020

The event began with a welcome from Jonathan Kukta, who announced that almost 70 attendees were present representing colleges, universities and business partners from PA, NY, NY, OH, VA, WV, FL, NH, MD, MO, Washington DC and Canada. Jonathan thanked colleagues from many different departments in the Auxiliary and Business Services unit that helped him and Rob with the program that was truly a team effort. He also recognized NACAS East Board members in attendance as well as Mark Ironside, Assistant Vice President of Business Services at Lehigh University and President-Elect of NACAS. Jonathan also acknowledged Kim Berry, COO/Director of Business Services from Penn State Berks who served as NACAS East President in 1998.

The reception speaker was Mr. David Gray, Senior Vice President of Finance and Business for Penn State. David is responsible for the management and strategic planning process for F&B Units: Physical Plant, Human Resources, University Police, Internal Audit, Ethics and Compliance, Commonwealth Operations and Auxiliary and Business Service. During Gray’s remarks, he spoke about the important role auxiliary operations play in recruitment and retention. He also spoke about his own involvement in professional organizations such as NACUBO and EDUCAUSE and the importance of these being involved with a network of peers.

Attendees then attended the basketball game to watch the Nittany Lions vs. University of Illinois.

The next morning the day started with a welcome and remarks from Penn State’s Provost and Executive Vice President Nick Jones. Then Associate Vice President of Auxiliary and Business Services, John Papazoglou spoke about Auxiliary and Business Services Strategic Plan Process which he highlighted Thematic Priorities of the University and spoke about the Auxiliary and Business Services 5 “Must Haves” and why it is important. John’s presentation highlighted the need to engage employees. He concluded his presentation by talking about the Auxiliary and Business Services Mission Statement which is We make Penn State Home to our University, and extended communities through exemplary people, service, quality, and financial stewardship.

The next speaker was Rob DeMayo, who spoke about Mobility at Penn State. Rob’s presentation highlighted four components: Parking, Fleet, Transit and Sustainable Transportation. His presentation highlighted mobility past, present and the future which gave the audience great information to take back with them to their institutions.

There were then tours of Panera Bread at Otto’s Café in the Kern Graduate Building, Starbucks in the Paterno Library provided by Dave Gingher Director of Retail Dining and Catering.

The group went on to Pollock Dining Hall which included tours of Edge Coffee Shop and Pollock Market by Geno Corradetti, Assistant Director of Residential Dining.

During lunch, there was also a presentation by Cheryl Fabrizi, Assistant Vice President of Housing and Food Services. Cheryl’s’ presentation was titled “ The Art and Science of Food Service.” Cheryl reviewed Food Service Case Studies at Penn State on the Penn State Bakery, Blending Retail Brands, Convenience Stores and Food Procurement. She also spoke about what future initiatives are in the works and concluded with Strategic Elements of Art and Science.

Afternoon tours then included newly renovated Tener Hall by Conal Carr, Director of Housing Operations. Conal spoke about the East Halls Project and the tour highlighted building program features and goals and spoke about the student engagement involvement.

The next stop was at the Penn State Warehouse and Penn State Bakery for tours with Director of Warehouse and Distribution Clay Barclay and the Executive Pasty Chef Heather Luse.

The final stop was the Hetzel Union Building, Robeson Center where Dave Gingher gave the group a tour of the various operations in the HUB and highlighted the recent renovation at Sbarro. The day ended with a wrap-up with Dave Rose, Assistant Vice President for Auxiliary and Business Services who led a discussion on what best practices were learned, take away from the day and what was something that someone was doing at their institution that Penn State could benefit from. It was an active discussion which confirmed the success of the day and importance of the NACAS East On the Road programs.

Comments from the co-chairs:

“It was an absolute delight to host our fellow auxiliary professionals at Penn State. The time spent together was a great opportunity to not only show some of our successes but to also learn what other Universities are doing and make connections to reach out to in the future,” said Rob DeMayo, CAFM Director of Transportation Services.

“The NACAS East On the Road program reminds me of a quote by JFK, Leadership and Learning are Indispensable to each other. As leaders in higher education, we must continue to learn and this program is a great opportunity to provide leaders in all areas of auxiliary services the opportunity to share best practices and ideas and tour other institutions’ facilities and operations,” said Jonathan Kukta, Director of Housing and Food Services at Penn State Berks and Penn State Schuylkill.