Tag: Aramark

Bauer Cafe just added fresh sushi offerings to its daily grab-and-go selection. You’ll find the California rolls and spicy tuna near the salads and sandwiches in the cooler. Thanks to Aramark for expanding their menu with more brain food for hungry students, staff and faculty! And it’s just in time for another Green Monday…enjoy!

Gene Castellitto, Aramark General Manager for The Charles F. Knight Executive Education & Conference Center shares the news that his staff has received recognition for one of the hundreds of special events it caters each year.

Louie AwardCongratulations to the entire Knight Center team on their Louie Award for the annual Scholars in Business Dinner held last fall in the Atrium of Knight and Bauer Halls.

Each year since 1999, the International Special Events Society – St. Louis Chapter has given Louie Awards to outstanding professionals in the special event industry. The award acknowledges the extraordinary efforts, performance, planning, design, and execution of special events in the metro St. Louis area and surrounding cities.

141106_naunheim_olin_scholar_dinner_018At the awards dinner March 6, the Knight Center received the award for “Best Overall On-Premise Catered Event, Budget $30,000 and Over”.
Images: Scholars in Business Dinner by Jerry Naunheim.

Many thanks to all the Aramark employees at the Charles F. Knight Executive Education and Conference Center who work so hard to cook, serve, and clean up the biggest Thanksgiving day feast on campus! 2014 marks the 20th anniversary of Olin’s turkey tradition that began with a small gathering of international students who were introduced to this very American holiday with all the fixings when Stuart Greenbaum was dean.

More than 500 reservations have been made for this year’s celebration. And the Knight Center Chef has roasted 50 turkeys. Pass the mashed potatoes and enjoy!!

Image: Rick Scully, Thanksgiving Dinner, 2008, Flickr, Creative Commons

Do you remember your first job?  For many of us, that initial position is something we do part-time as a teenager to earn a little extra money for going on dates or hanging out with friends.  But for the youth at Marygrove Children’s Home, that first job represents something entirely different: an opportunity to support themselves when they “age out” of foster care.

Over eighty percent of the kids at Marygrove have been abused or neglected, so they lack the family connections that teenagers typically rely on as they transition to adulthood.  When the Marygrove kids age out of the system, they are forced to fend for themselves and start a life from scratch– a frightening prospect for someone who has been living in a group home and doesn’t have a steady job.  Many of the youth end up homeless, addicted to drugs, or incarcerated, which has prompted some people to throw up their hands and say these children are hopeless.

But that couldn’t be further from the truth.

In 2013, the Olin student group Unite4Kids met with Mike Baer, the director of transitional living at Marygrove.  Mike has been helping kids for over twenty-five years, and he has seen kids go on to college as well as become homeless.  Mike believes the difference between success and failure hinges on whether the kids are able to land an entry-level job.  “If they can get some sort of income,” Mike said, “then they have a chance to make it on their own.”

Finding that first job isn’t easy.  While most teens can surf for jobs on a smartphone or borrow their parents’ car to go fill out applications, Marygrove kids hunt for jobs by piling into the back of a van so a staff member can drive them around town.  When the employees at the local fast-food place see five or six kids pop out of a white van, they immediately know it’s “those Marygrove kids again” and tell them there aren’t any job openings.  After all, those kids must be “damaged.”

Such stereotypes can prevent people from taking a chance on a youth who could prove to be a very hard-working employee.  While it is true that young people who have been abused or neglected face challenges, it is important to remember that these youth are survivors, not victims.  They have had tough lives but they haven’t given up on themselves even if others have.

unite for kidsThe Unite4Kids team got to see this first-hand when it reached out to Alan Kuebler and Bob Weinstein from Wash. U’s purchasing department.  Alan and Bob contacted Aramark, which handles the bulk of Wash. U’s custodial services, and Aramark reps Jeff Barlow and Brian Bilthuis promptly hired a young lady named Maria.  It might not have seemed like much, but this new job enabled Maria to successfully transition to living on her own and made a tremendous difference in her life.  Jeff and Brian have praised Maria’s job performance and she is now on the path to success.

But Maria isn’t an isolated case.  Aramark has since hired two more youths from Marygrove.  And with the help of Ryan Rakestraw and the Employment Connection of St. Louis, another Marygrove resident named Jonathan was connected with a job on the night shift at a local hospital.  Jonathan did so well that he was moved to the day shift and given a permanent, full-time position.  Excited about his promotion, he accidentally blurted out, “I make more money than some of the Marygrove staff!”

Maria and Jonathan have shown that children from difficult backgrounds can move forward.  But to do so, they need the rest of us to believe in them.  Those who think these young people need our pity, or that we can help them by simply writing a check to a local charity, are mistaken. What these young people really need is someone willing to give them a chance.

Because they are ready to make the most of it.

Blog post by Michael McLaughlin, MBA’14

If you are interested in providing an employment opportunity to a youth who will be aging out of foster care, please send an email to:  Michael@Unite4Kids.org

Image: Michael McLaughlin and Ryan Rakestraw

What?! You’ve never been to the Knight Center Pub? Ever wondered what lies at the top of that spiral staircase outside the dining room on the third floor? It’s a cozy place where you can usually find EMBA students relaxing after a marathon day in the classroom.

Olin Marketing & Communications Brand Managers, Gabe Watson and Sarah Gibbs take part in a photoshoot for new Pub fare publicity with one of our favorite photogs Jerry Naunheim.

The Aramark staff at the Pub is hoping to attract more customers with a new menu and more hours for students hungry to hang out with friends in a place where everybody knows your name.

             In case you can’t read the new menu snapped with my iPhone…..you’ll find some unusual twists on bar food when you get to the Pub.  Duck Confit Pizza, Mesquite Turkey & Brie sandwich, and Chicken & Waffles will tempt your tastebuds along with more standard fare such as burgers, fish & chips and salads.

There’s also a new wine list, small plates menu, St. Louis craft beers, and nightly specials.  New Pub hours are Monday through Friday from 4:00 – 9:00 pm.

Move over Iron Chef. The winner of the Copper Skillet chef competition is in the kitchen at The Charles F. Knight Executive Education & Conference Center at Washington University and he’s cooking up some award-winning dishes.

Shane Brassel, Executive Chef at the business school’s Knight Center, smoked the competition at the recent International Association of Conference Centers (IACC) Copper Skillet Competition in Chicago. He will represent the United States at the 10th annual international round of the competition in March.

Shane Brassel

The prestigious IACC Copper Skillet Award for the United States recognizes the vital role that food service plays in conference center operations. This competition is designed to highlight the artistry and skills of IACC members from around the world.

Chef Brassel’s winning dish, pictured above, featured pan-seared duck breast on a bed of root vegetable hash served with white wine and butter-poached shrimp.

Shane Brassel was born and raised in St. Louis, MO, and began to develop his culinary interest at the age of 16. He attended Johnson and Whales University in Providence, Rhode Island.

During his career, Shane has worked at variety of hotels and restaurants including the Ritz Carlton, Dallas Omni, and Chase Park Plaza Hotel before being joining ARAMARK – manager of the Knight Center facility. Shane has worked for ARAMARK since 2007 and has been the Executive Chef at The Charles F. Executive Education and Conference Center since 2010.

Congratulations Chef Brassel on an outstanding performance and good luck at the international competition!

-Submitted by Gene Castellitto, General Manager, The Charles F. Knight Executive Education & Conference Center