Foodservice Equipment & Supplies

APR 2018

Foodservice Equipment & Supplies magazines is an industry resource connecting foodservice operators, equipment and supplies manufacturers and dealers, and facility design consultants.

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38 • FOODSERVICE EQUIPMENT & SUPPLIES • APRIL 2018 She may describe herself as an accidental administrator and foodservice professional — her sights were initially set on clini- cal work in nutrition and dietetics — but there's no accident behind Mary Angela Miller being the first foodservice operator to be honored with an FE&S Top Achiever Award. During her 28-year tenure at Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center (OSUWMC) Miller has proven time and again that getting things done, building effective teams, embracing change and dig- ging deep to pull actionable solu- tions out of complex, often chaotic circumstances, is both her strength and her passion. And she's blazed a trail that few in healthcare foodservice have, rising through the ranks to become an administrative director who now oversees multiple departments, including Food and Nutrition Services. She's also a professor in OSU's School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences. She has been and continues to be a tireless advocate for the medical center's foodservice programs, which are recognized as some of the most efficient, safe and progressive in the na- tion, as well as for the industry at large. Miller's rise was relatively rapid. She applied at Columbus, Ohio-based OSUWMC in 1990 to lead the medical center's new clinical wellness/weight management initiative. Perhaps sensing her capacity to handle whatever might come her way, she was encouraged to also interview for the foodservice director's post, which had been vacant for nearly two years. Despite having no foodservice background and little management experience, she landed the position and dug in to turn around a program that had been feeling the effects of a leadership void. The unexpected left turn into food- service was, Miller says, a happy acci- dent for which she's forever grateful. Creativity and Technology Over the next two decades, Miller reached a career milestone that under- scored the fact that, foodservice roots or not, she had secured her place as one of the industry's best and bright- est. She won the 2008 IFMA (Inter- national Foodservice Manufacturers Association) Silver Plate Award in the healthcare category for OSUWMC's innovations and embrace of technology to reduce costs and improve efficiency. A telling example: OSUWMC was the first foodservice program in the nation to begin transporting patient meals via robots, improv- ing efficiency, cutting labor costs, reducing injuries and diverting employees from pushing carts to hospitality-focused activities. Miller and Julie Jones, who was one of her first promotions and who now leads OSUWMC as director of Food and Nutrition Services, built a program that mar- ries a strong culinary focus with superefficient production systems. "We have the best technol- ogy, a staff of 33 chefs and a tiny kitchen with a cook-chill system that handles our dining-on- demand room service program for more than 1,000 beds," Miller says. "We're very, very efficient on the prep end, and leveraging technology is a big part of what we do. We're a not-for-profit, state organization, which forces us to think differently. As a public institution, we have to rely on creativity and technol- ogy to achieve our goals, not on money." Since Miller's transition to a full- time administrative position, which officially took effect in 2005, the OSUWMC campus grew from four hospitals to seven, with many ancillary satellite operations scattered through- out Columbus, Ohio. Her administra- tive scope — foodservice and beyond — expanded as well. Billed revenues under her management grew from $1.8 million in 1990 to $150 million; expenses from $6.4 million to $50 mil- lion; and personnel from 250 to 850. When Miller came aboard, OSU- WMC had one cafe in the main hospi- tal. Today, it has 11 BistrOHs (bistros spelled with Ohio flair), plus kiosks ACHIEVER OPERATOR T o Administrative Director Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center By Dana Tanyeri Mary Angela Miller

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