Steve Hammel, Dining Services Program Manager, U.S. Navy Regional Southwest

Posted by IFMA

Tagged in Foodservice Operators Leadership

Steve Hammel directs U.S. Navy operations of 40 retail foodservice facilities serving 30,000 meals daily with annual sales of $45 million. More than 900,000 meals are served to active duty military in 11 Navy Five Star galley operations—five having been awarded the Ney Memorial Award for foodservice excellence. Get to know him.

If your career was a greatest hits album, what would its title be?

A Great Adventure

Share a story about your first job in foodservice.

I worked for Marriott as a Banquet Setup Associate during my summer breaks from college. I had an AM and PM Manager. The majority of my shifts were in the AM. Each had a different management style. After a few weeks, I was able to see the positive AM Manager and the PM Manager was just there for a paycheck. I learned the positive style was the best approach to every situation. Many years later, the PM Manager applied for a position at a company I worked for—he didn’t get the position.

How do you keep up with industry news and events?

Industry events and trade journals. Participating in Hospitality Management school career days.

What is your motto?

No is the opportunity for YES!

What is your advice to a person new to the industry?

LISTEN, Stop using IPhone at work, pay attention the details.

In your opinion, what is the best industry event?

IFMA President’s Conference, Always insightful presentations and gain CEO knowledge to utilize in my everyday business and personal life.

What industry challenge keeps you up at night?

Poorly trained college graduates for the real world work environment. Faculty isn’t up to date on foodservice industry.  Lack of work ethic of today’s workforce.

How does being an IFMA Member benefit you?

Continually learning about new products, able to participate in the Silver and Gold Plate Society.

What do you value most about being on an IFMA committee?

Being able to express how our industry can always improve, combined with, providing support for the IFMA Wounded Warrior Scholarship initiative.

Looking back at the last 10 years, what do you consider the greatest innovation in foodservice?

Cashless electronic phone payment.

What is your favorite meal?


What is your favorite sports team?

St. Louis Cardinals—reminds me of my home town and childhood.

Finally, give us a shameless plug. Don't hold back!

IFMA is the most rewarding industry experience I’ve had during my over 40-plus years. More importantly, IFMA is an ever changing and supportive organization.


IFMA featured members are selected based on their accomplishments in the food industry. Recognized as leaders, they are the people moving the industry forward with big ideas and even bigger goals. Know someone who fits the bill?  Tell us.


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May 19

Gold & Silver Plate Celebration

This Annual IFMA Gold & Silver Plate Awards event during NRA Week enables manufacturers to honor the nation's top operator talent. Annually, IFMA grants Silver Plate Awards in nine operator categories and honors one winner with the prestigious Gold Plate Award on the night of the celebration. This event affords the perfect opportunity to entertain operator customers. 

Making Sense Out of the Complexities of Foodservice

Doug Brooks, former CEO of Brinker (Chili's and Maggiano's), described several key foodservice industry trends and discussed how operators can respond to these trends at Chain Operators Exchange, COEX. In this environment of marketplace mayhem, the challenge for restaurants is to adapt and improve without losing sight of their brand's core values.


Dawn Aubrey - Associate Director of Housing for Dining, University of Illinois

Dawn advises those new to the industry to understand it is more than a job, it is a calling that has a significant impact on others. She says personalized service and excellent food made with ethically sourced and sustainably made ingredients are what students like most about U of I Dining. Get to know her.








Annica Kreider, Mellow Mushroom Pizza Bakers - Vice President, Brand Development

Annica’s first experience working in a restaurant kitchen was at a local pizza shop in college. Today, she is the Vice President of Brand Development at Mellow Mushroom Pizza Bakers, responsible for marketing and creating a brand voice for the consumer. 

Get to know her.








Terri Moreman, Associate Director, Food & Nutrition Services, U.S. Olympic Committee

Terri’s job is to facilitate dining operations of the Colorado Springs Olympic Training Center while supporting other training centers and venues around the country. Her motto is “there are no forbidden foods; it’s only a matter of planning for them.” Get to know her.

IFMA & Foodable TV’s NRA Show Media Stage Drove Industry Insights

IFMA’s partnership with Foodable Network—a foodservice based media organization that is focused on editorial video content—was launched at this year’s NRA Show with an on-floor media stage. More than 20 interviews highlighting key industry hot topics were addressed including several that were live-streamed.

Foodservice Spending Is Up but Visits Are Flat As Consumers Continue To Eat More Meals At Home

Foodservice spending, which was up 3 percent in the year ending April 2015, did not equate to foodservice visits, which were flat in the period, according to The NPD Group, a leading global information company. The foodservice industry remains challenged to get people out of their homes to eat versus eating in home.  Four out of five meals are prepared and consumed at home and in home meals have been on the rise for several years, reports NPD’s ongoing food consumption market research.

John Koncki from CKE Restaurants Gets May's SMB Call Fired Up

Every month, IFMA's Small & Midsized Business (SMB) community hosts a discussion with industry experts, trading partners or operator customers. In May, John Koncki, Director of R&D at CKE Restaurants, joined the SMB community call, discussing how small and midsized businesses can work with the restaurant chain.

John Koncki from CKE Restaurants to Join May's SMB Call

Every month, IFMA's Small & Midsized Business (SMB) community hosts a discussion with industry experts, trading partners or operator customers. John Koncki, Director of R&D at CKE Restaurants, will be joining the SMB community call and discussing how small and midsized businesses can work with the restaurant chain.

Collaboration Techniques for Menu Changes, Product Improvements and Reacting to Today’s Demanding Guests

No activity is more mission critical for restaurant operators than menu development. Poor attempts at menu development won't always mean the demise of a concept, and successful menus won't ensure business success, but the quality of menu development definitely affects a restaurant's success. 

Wally Doolin to Moderate Panel at Presidents Conference, Top Operators to Offer Reactions to Conference Insights

Occasions that drive consumer choice, retaining quality employees and capital investment are areas of focus to the benefit of the foodservice industry. These insights, and others, are the subject of a recent article penned by TDn2K Chairman and Founder Wally Doolin. He will be addressing similar issues as moderator of the Closing Keynote Panel at Presidents Conference, which features executives from top operator brands and their reactions to insights conveyed during the conference.