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Diane Reynolds, CASP, Named 2021 Winner of Robert F. Newton Award for Distinguished Service

Diane Reynolds, CASP, Named 2021 Winner of Newton Award

Charlottesville, VA — NACAS is proud to announce the 2021 winner of the Robert F. Newton Award for Distinguished Service: Diane Reynolds, MBA, CASP. Reynolds serves as the Assistant Vice President for Business Services at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond. Diane received her Bachelor of Science degree in Marketing as well as an MBA from Virginia Commonwealth University. Previously she has served as President of the National Association of College Auxiliary Services (NACAS), President of NACAS East, and numerous other volunteer roles within the organization. The award was presented to Diane by some NACAS East colleagues and her VCU team earlier this month, and publicly announced at the C3X 2021 Annual Conference & Expo in Atlantic City, NJ.

“Diane’s reputation precedes her,” said NACAS CEO Matt Marcial. “From her initial time as a member to becoming President of the Board of Directors, she has shown outstanding service and leadership for NACAS members, VCU students, and staff. Diane became involved with NACAS soon after she began her career, and has truly displayed extraordinary service to NACAS, the auxiliary services industry, and higher education in her career. She embodies the description of the Robert F. Newton Award for Distinguished Service.”

The Robert F. Newton Award for Distinguished Service is the most prestigious award recognizing an individual who has displayed extraordinary and outstanding service to NACAS and to the profession.

“I am so honored and touched by this recognition. I’ve been involved with NACAS since I began at VCU,” Reynolds said. “This was a surprise and truly a shock for me. It has been an honor to work with my colleagues, NACAS members, staff, and business partners. I have made lifelong friends, and these are people that I count on in challenging times when faced with dilemmas. Someone in NACAS has been through a similar issue and is always willing to help.”

Reynolds’ professional career in auxiliary services spans 24 years, nearly all of which have been committed to NACAS mentoring and leadership. She obtained her Certified Auxiliary Service Professional certification the very first year it was offered. She has since been a contributing member on the Certification Committee.

Reynolds was nominated by her fellow longtime East Board member Phillip R. Allison, among others. “Diane’s dedication to her profession and our association cannot adequately be quantified. She volunteered hundreds of hours in service in support of NACAS, mentored emerging professionals, and shared best practices with peers.” Another nomination from Erma Baker exclaims, “After many years in the profession, there is no grass growing under her feet!”

Reynolds attended her first NACAS event in 1998 and has attended more than 40 regional and national conferences in her years of membership. She has served on the East Board of Directors, as the 48th President of that Board in 2016, and was designated the Regional Volunteer of the Year in 2020.

“NACAS is a phenomenal organization, and one which I am really proud to have spent my entire career being involved in,” stated Reynolds. “You certainly get more out of the organization than what you ever give to it. Thank you again for this tremendous honor.”

NACAS 2021 Award Winners

David H. Lord Scholarship for Exemplary Community Service
David C. Atkins, George Mason University

Edwin R. Golden Award for Inclusive Excellence
DaNesha Allen, University of Houston, Office of Administration

Innovative Achievement in Auxiliary Services
University Dining Program, UW-Green Bay University Dining

Outstanding Business Partner of the Year Award
Chartwells Higher Education

Dr. Wright L. Lassiter, Jr. Legacy Award
Jason A. Levy, Temple University

Silver Torch Award
Robert Holden, MPA, CASP, University of Georgia (Retired)

Volunteer of the Year
Emily Messa, PhD, CASP, University of Houston

Robert F. Newton Award for Distinguished Service
Diane Reynolds, MBA, CASP, Assistant Vice President, Business Services, Virginia Commonwealth University

Central Region – Volunteer of the Year
David VanderSloot, CASP, Grand Valley State University

Central Region Mentor Award
Matt Suwalski, CASP, University of Wisconsin-Green Bay

Central Region Rising Star
Dr. Anita Hicks, Oakland University

East Region – Volunteer of the Year
Mara Lowrey, Algonquin College

East Region Mentor Award
Phillip R. Allison, United States Naval Academy

East Region Rising Star
LTC Lee Clark, CASP, Virginia Military Institute

South Region – Volunteer of the Year
Rick Torres, University of North Carolina at Charlotte

South Region Mentor Award
Michael L. Smith, Florida A&M University

South Region Rising Star
Khushbu Thakor, University of Houston

West Region – Volunteer of the Year
Lakshmi Sangaranarayanan, CASP, University of Calgary

West Region Mentor Award
Joseph Pearson, CASP, Central Washington University


Founded in 1969 as the National Association of College Auxiliary Services, NACAS is a professional trade association that supports the non-academic segment of higher education responsible for generating business through a diverse array of campus services that students need and value – such as food services, bookstores, housing, and transportation. As the leading organization supporting all campus services, NACAS is the community-of-choice for strategic leaders who advance campus environments to improve the quality of life for students.