What drives the nation’s top foodservice operators? To celebrate IFMA's 66th annual Gold & Silver Plate Awards, we asked the 2020 Silver Plate Class to share some perspectives and words of wisdom with the industry. Find out what they have to say about their passion for foodservice, career accomplishments and what it means to be part of a legendary group of operators.
Meet Zia Ahmed, Senior Director of Dining Services at The Ohio State University. Zia received the 2020 Silver Plate Award in the Colleges & Universities category, and was nominated by Basic American Foods, Ecolab, Hobart-Traulsen-Baxter, Hormel Food Corporation, JL&A Communications, and Sysco.
How did you get your start in the foodservice industry?
I worked at the University of Akron Dining Services while I was a college student.
What do you enjoy most about your career in foodservice?
Nurturing and developing the future generations.
Tell us about your biggest career accomplishment.
Building relationships with students and implementing food systems stewardship.
How is your segment making a difference for the foodservice industry?
Colleges and universities are shaping the future of our industry by creating a savvier and more informed consumer for broader food service industry.
What advice do you have for someone new to the foodservice industry?
Be ready to lead innovation, and understand your impact as an influencer in the most important system in our world.
What does being an IFMA Silver Plate recipient mean to you?
Humility, respect, and appreciation for all the people including my home and work family members who helped shape my professional and personal life.
What is your favorite meal?
Too many to mention! Our globe is rich with millions of flavors and texture. I am extremely fortunate to have the opportunity to learn about food from all over the world.
Celebrate Zia and the rest of the Silver Plate Class on Monday, Nov 2 in Scottsdale at the 66th Annual Gold & Silver Plate Awards Celebration. This year’s program has been added to IFMA’s Presidents Conference and tickets are now available.