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BC Dining Services Director Leaves For Position At Google

Heights Editor

Published: Thursday, September 12, 2013

Updated: Thursday, September 12, 2013 03:09

After serving eight years in Boston College Dining Services (BCDS), Helen Wechsler has resigned from her position as director to fulfill a similar food services role at Google.

“Helen did a wonderful job at Boston College, and left an indelible impression on those with whom she worked,” said University Spokesman Jack Dunn. “We’re happy for her opportunity at Google and wish her the very best.”
Named director of BCDS in 2005, Wechsler sought to actualize goals pertaining to student health, locally produced foods, and improving department communication.

In addition to enhancing student dining experiences and creating alternative food options like “On the Fly” mini marts and the Loft @ Addie’s, Wechsler was also the driving force behind increasing employee satisfaction and cultivating pride among the over 200 BCDS employees.

“She maintained the standards set before her and continued to raise the level of customer service expectations,” said Patricia Bando, associate vice president of auxiliary services, in an email.

Bando, who also served as the director of BCDS for nine years prior to Wechsler’s term, oversees food service operations at BC and currently presides as the immediate managing director for the department.

Also selected as chairman of the board for the Massachusetts Restaurant Association in 2012, Bando utilizes her experiences in the field of dining to contribute to the immense scale of adequately feeding nearly 15,000 students every day.

“The BC Dining Services mission is Ever to Excel in F.A.C.T.: Food, Attitude, Customer Service, Teamwork—and to be an employer of choice,” she said. “The leadership of BC Dining Services has the chore of helping the vast and diverse team of employees to achieve this mission daily. Our mission can only be achieved with the teamwork of all of our dining department employees.”
Under Wechsler’s term, BCDS underwent new business development that responded to student concerns and concentrated on partnering with local food purveyors, but kept a focus on fiscal growth within the department.

Between 2005 and 2011, BCDS had increased revenue from $25.4 million in 2005 to $39 million—a growth factor of nearly 54 percent.

The financial expansion allowed BCDS to establish a wider base of vegetarian dining options—including B’ean Green in the Carney dining room in McElroy Commons, and an eight-week farmer’s market on Thursdays from September to October in Corcoran Commons—and programs that enable students to voice their opinions directly on issues of food quality and affordability, like its Survey on the Spot app: “… a simple customer feedback tool that lets you instantly give [BCDS] feedback and ensures a return reply from a dining manager when something fails to meet your expectation.”
Despite transitional management in Wechsler’s absence, two associate directors—Megan O’Neill and Michael Kann—“continue to carry the operational leadership load,” Bando said, amid an active search to fill the position.

Despite Wechsler’s leaving, BCDS maintains a consistent emphasis on customer service, staff engagement, and innovative solutions to student interests in a highly price-sensitive industry.

“Our mission can only be achieved with the teamwork of all of our dining department employees,” Bando said. “BC Dining has earned national awards and recognition for our exceptional employees and our employee career programs.”
The University’s food service program received the top national award of Silver Plate in 2004 and Ivy Award in 2006.

The National Restaurant Association has also twice awarded BCDS with the Employer of Choice Award—BC being the only university to receive this recognition from the restaurant industry.

“Our university’s food service programs offer our BC students a maximum of meal plan flexibility and menu choices,” Bando said. “This has often been an envy of other university students.”
BCDS holds the director accountable for maintaining and surpassing such operations, making the search for a qualified individual a difficult task.

“The goal of the BCDS director is to continually raise the bar of expectations for our F.A.C.T. mission—never allow complacency,” Bando said. “This is a challenging requirement that we seek as we currently actively search to fill the Dining Director position.”

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