NACUFS has named Dennis Pierce from the University of Connecticut as the recipient of the 2016 Theodore W. Minah Distinguished Service Award, the association’s highest individual honor.

Originally established in 1967 as the Distinguished Service Award, the award was renamed in 1973 to honor the first recipient, Theodore W. Minah. The award is presented annually in recognition of exemplary and enduring contributions to the foodservice industry and to the association. The NACUFS board of directors and council of past presidents select the recipient from among nominations submitted by the NACUFS membership.

“This year’s recipient is a person who has demonstrated his passion for the industry, NACUFS, institution, family, and community,” said Leonard Hodgson, a past president of NACUFS. “At every step in his organization, he is providing programs for the staff to be the best at their job.” It was also said that Dennis lives the philosophy of It matters not what I achieve, but what I aspire for others.

Pierce’s 42 years of professional achievements include establishing a highly-respected sustainability program, implementing a trayless dining environment, earning a Gold LEED certification after renovating an existing dining facility, contributing a monthly column for The Ground Up, receiving two Connecticut Journalism awards, making award-winning recipes, and co-managing a weekly sustainable organic Storrs Farmers Market.

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Dennis Pierce has given many years of service to NACUFS. He served as the national publications officer, board member, board president, national conference co-chair, northeast regional conference co-chair, and national conference education co-chair. Pierce says of his award, “I am honored to be recognized by my peers by being awarded the most prestigious award that NACUFS bestows. I am one who believes that although it is the individual who receives the award, it is shared with those individuals who saw potential in me, provided opportunities for growth, and encouraged my career and participation in an outstanding association, NACUFS.”

Pierce received the award on Wednesday, July 14 at the NACUFS 2016 National Conference in Anaheim, California.