Sodexo names Donna Bauck to head Luther food service operations

Aug. 7, 2009

Donna Bauck, a food service manager with 15 years professional experience, has been named the general manager of food service operations at Luther College by the Sodexo company, which directs the college's food service.

Bauck will assume her duties at Luther College Aug. 24. She will oversee the colleges 50-employee food preparation and serving operations in the Luther Cafeteria, Oneota Market, Marty's Cyber Cafe, Sunnyside Coffee Shop, and Catering.

Sodexo has directed Luther's food services since June. Jerry Dohr is currently serving as the company's interim general manager.

Bauck said she looks forward to the opportunity to work with Luther College staff and the Decorah community.

"The reputation of Luther College attracted me to this area, but my decision to move my family here was solidified when I toured the town of Decorah," said Bauck. "The warm and friendly reception I received from everyone in the community reminded me how fortunate I am to be part of this special place."

Prior to accepting the position at Luther, Bauck has served since 2001 as Sodexo's general manager of food services at the University of Minnesota-Morris. As head of UMM operations, she led the Sodexo transition team for the university's change from its former food service system, and she oversaw all operations, including student dining and board, catering, and the university's retail unit.

Bauck has nine years experience in directing sustainability initiatives for food and food service facilities. Her most notable successes include increasing the local, sustainable food purchases at the Morris campus from $1,200 in 2001 to more than $80,000 in 2008.

A focus of her work has been creating a close working relationship with local producers, including farm visits, inviting producers to participate in on-campus dining and training, and sponsoring farmers markets on campus.

Working with on-campus and off-campus partners, Bauck secured UMM a five-year grant from Blue Cross Blue Shield to implement healthy eating on campus to include local foods. She also converted the UMM dining program to all compostable and biomass products.

Sodexo has lauded Bauck for her visionary approach to customer service, diversity, talent management and use of resources. She has also been praised for her proficiency in creating and conducting five-year planning for food and food service facilities.

At UMM Bauck was responsible for monitoring and directing all on-site dining, retail food operations, trends and marketing in catering, web page layout and design, operations manuals, the safety program (food and physical), the student manager and internship program, and other food services initiatives. She developed and maintained successful working relationships with union organizations and employees, university unions, the Foodies and Pride of the Prairie local foods initiatives, the Commission on Woman commitment to the education and advancement of women organization, the Safe Zone program of GLBT, the minority student leadership facilitator and mentorship program, and other corporate and UMM student mentoring programs.

In July 2008, Bauck directed the opening of food service operations at the UMM Crookston campus with all affiliated responsibilities. She has also been a member of the SEED organization (www.seedinit.org) with the workgroup focusing on local products.

Before her work at UMM, Bauck served 1998-2001 with Sodexo for service operations on the campus of Augsburg College in Minneapolis as retail manager, concession manager, safety manager and Serv-Safe trainer. Her career also includes service with Host Marriott in Minneapolis/St. Paul, and the food service department and biochemistry department at the University of Minnesota.

Bauck studied at the University of Minnesota and completed programs and earned certificates in nine areas of food preparation and presentation, including perishable food handling and storage, specialty cooking, presentation and display, and sanitation and inspection. She has also studied at Hennepin County (Minn.) Vo-Tech.