About Award Winning UMass Dining
Award Winning UMass Dining is known for its extremely strong culinary program, professional customer service and can-do attitude, but not without the tireless efforts of our management team, students and culinary workers. Meet the team that make UMass Dining shine bright everyday!
Our Award-Winning Team
Ken Toong is the Executive Director of Auxiliary Enterprises, which is comprised of UMass Dining, Hotel UMass, UMass Conference Services, Licensing, UMass Catering, University Club & Restaurant, as well as the University Bookstore. Auxiliary Enterprises provides the core service that support the academic and extracurricular goals of the university. Ken always puts customer service first and is committed to going beyond simply providing services by creating a unique experience for all customers and visitors. An avid supporter of student health and regional food system, Ken places a strong focus on sustainability, nutrition and community. In his free time, Ken enjoys jogging, reading, traveling, walking the dog, and rooting on the Dallas Cowboys and UMass Minutemen.
Christopher began his career at the University of Massachusetts during his senior year working in the Purchasing department as a staff assistant. He was able to work his way up to Director of Purchasing and now oversees the procurement operation for all of Auxiliary Enterprises and its yearly budget of over 25 million dollars. Throughout his tenure at the University, Christopher has developed a strong rapport with local farmers and suppliers continuing the department’s strong tradition of local sourcing and outreach. In addition, he manages all marketing initiatives for Auxiliary Enterprises and its associated brands including its strongest and most influential brand, UMass Dining. Great story telling is one of the critical elements to any marketing department’s success and at UMass this is no different. Together with his creative team, Christopher focuses on the successes within Auxiliary Enterprises to focus further attention on the great things that are happening at the University. Through compelling storytelling and great a great customer experience, UMass Dining has grown to become one of the most recognized and admired College and University Dining Program in America. Christopher is an alumnus of the University of Massachusetts twice over with a Bachelor of Science in Animal Science (2003) and a Masters in Business Administration (2008). He resides in Auburn MA, with his wife Karen (also a graduate of UMass Amherst) and their 3 year old daughter Emma.
Chef Willie Sng is the Executive Chef for UMass Dining services. Chef Sng studies and develops new recipes that are delicious and exciting, while remaining healthy and balanced. While mastering French Cuisine and studying culinary arts across the world, Chef Sng uses his 30+ years of experience to create menus to serve 50,000+ meals every week. While in any of the UMass dining locations, you can see him walking around the kitchen working with approximately 500 chefs in order to improve the award winning food everyday. He loves what he does and enjoys working with students keeping kitchen safety his main priority. When he is not at UMass he is traveling the country bringing his famous recipes to other schools so they can enjoy his food as much as UMass students do. His favorite things to cook include food from Southeast Asia and using spices to create an amazing meal.
As Director of Finance, Claudia Brown contributes to the overall success of Auxiliary Enterprises by managing all financial functions for the organization. Reporting, budgeting, accounting and analysis, accounts payable, accounts receivable, the Business Office and Meal Plan Office, Project Management and Cash Management are some of the areas within the department of Finance. "I love problem solving and strategizing with team members in setting goals and in resolving financial concerns. Numbers can paint a very clear picture. It’s very gratifying to assist our operations through the analysis of data." Outside of work, Claudia enjoys living on a small farm and getting together with family and friends.
Garett Distefano is the Director of Residential Dining. His position entails overseeing all residential dining commons and the UMass Bake Shop. Garett assures that all dining commons are running efficiently and effectively while producing high quality food. Garett takes pride in the food served by the residential dining commons, but notes that there is always room for improvement. While his background is in investment banking, Garett switched to food services when he found the values on Wall Street didn’t match that of his family restaurant growing up. Outside of the office, Garett is a family man, raising two daughters with his wife whom he has known since the sixth grade.
Eichstaedt is the director of Retail Dining at UMass Amherst. He graduated with his MBA from the Isenberg School of Management in 2009. Prior to joining UMass Amherst, Eichstaedt was employed as a regional manager for the Compass Group in the national accounts division.
Martha Monaghan is the Special Events Manager at UMass Dining. She is responsible for bringing in guest chefs, and running promotions and special events. Her events promote healthy, sustainable, local food, and teach students the importance of healthy eating. In order to keep the food at an award-winning level, she leads a team of 24 student ambassadors that provide feedback to the program. While working at UMass for 8 years, she has made great relationships with many students and loves seeing students enjoy the food and events offered at UMass. When she is home she loves gardening, vacationing in the Cape, and trying new recipes.
Dianne Sutherland is the Senior Dietitian at UMass. Her main responsibilities include nutrient analysis of all the dining commons recipes, entering and modifying ingredients and recipes, working with SPE to make healthy meals available to students, overseeing the nutrition education program, and mentoring undergraduate nutrition majors and dietetic interns. Using her personal experiences, she is able to connect with students with special dietary needs and their families making it possible to get a nutrient rich meal and never leaving the dining commons hungry. Outside of work she enjoys spending time with her family, cooking, baking, and helping with her teenage daughter's sports and band activities.
Kevin Wissmann is the Manager of Human Resources and Organizational Development for Auxiliary Enterprises at UMass. Kevin supervises employee payroll for Auxiliary Enterprises, consults with employees and upper level management on various employment issues, and advises and investigates these matters as needed. He also represents Auxiliary Services in contract negotiations and participates in grievances and arbitrations on behalf of UMass Auxiliary Enterprises. Kevin prepares employee written documents as needed and oversees hiring and employment related training. Outside of work, Kevin enjoys spending time with his family. He enjoys walking his dogs, playing yard games, playing cards and watching sports.
Rachel Dutton oversees the Sustainability Programs of Auxiliary Enterprises. In an effort to increase the prevalence of sustainability on campus, Rachel coordinates programs focused on waste reduction, sustainable sourcing, educating the student body, and instilling a culture of sustainability within the UMass community. By being directly involved in programs like the Real Food Challenge, she helps to build partnerships on and off campus and promote food systems sustainability on campus and beyond. "Creating a better food system has become a meaningful practice for me. I see the far-reaching impact it can have, and I've always enjoyed doing work that helps other people in some way.
Bio coming soon.
Amy Brandt is a Communications and Marketing Specialist at UMass Auxiliary Enterprises. She creates engaging social media campaigns, produces and promotes special events on campus and implements strategic marketing initiatives for all brands under Auxiliary Enterprises. She earned her MA in media and communications arts from Pace University in Pleasantville, NY and received her BFA in fine arts with a concentration in painting from UMass Amherst. Amy joined the marketing team in September, 2014 after being an independent marketing consultant and before that interning in the marketing and ecommerce division of illy caffè North America, Inc. When she isn’t in the office Amy loves visiting museums, yoga, trying and cooking new foods and traveling.
In 2000, Anthony became part of the UMass culinary staff at Hampshire Dining Commons, starting at the bottom, and progressing to the position of Sous Chef. In 2006, Anthony became the Chef of the newly renovated, 14 million dollar Berkshire Dining Commons. In 2013, Anthony was transferred back to Hampshire DC after its 16 Million dollar remodel. Anthony looked forward to the challenges of opening Hampshire DC with its strong emphasis on local, sustainable, and world cuisines. In 2014, Anthony was promoted to Chef du Cuisine, overseeing both Worcester and Franklin DC on the north side of the UMass campus. Not wanting to leave unfinished business, in 2013, Anthony reenrolled at UMass, and is poised to graduate May 2015 with a HTM degree and is completing a five (college level) course sustainability certificate. Anthony has the distinction of being a ACF Certified Executive Chef, 2008 National NACUFS Culinary Challenge Champion, 10 time ACF Gold Medalist, 3 time Northeast Regional Champion, five time UMass Culinary Team Captain, 3 time “Taste of the World” Team Champions, current culinary chair for the NACUFS Northeast Regional Culinary Challenge, and 2014 first place International Student Iron Chef Coach. In his limited free time, Anthony enjoys spending time with his family, fly fishing, golf, and cooking for his girlfriend.
Bob Bankert is the Chef de Cuisine at UMass Dining. He oversees all culinary operations at both Hampshire and Berkshire Dining Commons and takes pride in keeping menus fresh and in season. Bob is originally from New York, and grew up in his family’s restaurant. Through this, the love of cooking was instilled in him at a very young age, and inspired him to attend the New England Culinary Institute where he earned a BA in Food & Beverage Management. Since coming to UMass in April, 2014 Bob has been responsible for monitoring recipes, production, and food cost. When he isn’t in the DCs you can find Bob running, traveling, brewing beer at home, and spending time with his family.
Heather Scoble is the Assistant Manager of Hampshire Dining Commons. She is responsible for overseeing operations and directing staff to ensure the highest quality service. Heather has a passion for hospitality. She finds providing people with extraordinary experiences most rewarding. With a background in events management, Heather takes pride in organizing and staging special functions. She also enjoys educating students about healthy, sustainable, and fresh cuisine. In her free time, you can find Heather spending time with loved ones, antiquing, decorating, painting, and playing with her chocolate lab.
Ryan Pipczynski is the Manager of Berkshire Dining Commons & oversees the overall operation of the DC. Although Ryan studied in college to be a weatherman, he never predicted that managing McDonalds retail locations would lead him to UMass. When in Berkshire, you can spot Ryan wearing his infamous bow-tie, talking to all the employees, and talking to students about what they want in order to improve the award winning food. In 2006, Ryan revolutionized late night dining by introducing 'Late Night at Berk,' which has since become the most popular evening dining option on campus. When Ryan is not wearing his many manager hats at work, he enjoys spending time on his boat with his dogs cruising down the Connecticut River.
Selina Fournier is the Manager of Hampshire Dining Commons. Selina’s main responsibilities at Hampshire include the hiring of student workers, managing student employees, training new hires, and implementing the rules and polices of Hampshire DC. In order to keep an efficient dining room, she creates new food stations, and focuses on maintaining high-level customer satisfaction using the expertise she gained from her background in the hospitality industry. She wants her students to enjoy trying new foods from different cultures while making smart choices that are SPE certified. She enjoys hosting special events and watching her 300 student employees succeed in their work.
LuAnne Herrick is the Assistant Manager of Berkshire Dining Commons. LuAnne is responsible for selecting and ordering food, keeping food costs records and data entry, ensuring recipes are followed and that service areas are always attractive. Her favorite thing about working for UMass Dining is interacting with students and providing them with fresh food. Her main goal is for students to have fun, learn on job, and to teach them to head in the right direction and help them make the right decisions. Outside of work, her family is of great importance to her and she loves watching them grow and create families of their own.
Andrew Mankus is the manager of the Worcester Dining Commons at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. He is responsible for the overall operation at Worcester ensuring every meal is executed properly each day. Here Andrew enjoys training new staff members, keeping employee moral high and interacting with students who dine within the facility. Primarily eating a vegetarian diet, Andrew is always interested in hearing from students what their favorite vegetarian recipes are. Andrew is in his fifth year with the UMass dining services management team. Outside of the University Andrew enjoys riding thrill rides at theme parks; where he happened to meet his wife, snowboarding, golfing and taking his dog on walks. Andrew holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management from Western New England University.
David Kushi is the Assistant Manager of Worcester Dining Commons and oversees the ordering of all food and ingredients. David forecasts food needs on a daily basis for Worcester Dining Commons and UMass Special Events. David received a Bachelor’s of Science in Business Administration from Western New England College. David has a wealth of experience working in the Food Service Industry. He has worked with UMass Dining for the past 14 years. In his spare time he enjoys being outdoors, gardening, landscaping, and hiking. His favorite UMass Dining Dish is Chicken Picatta.
Tom Lawson is the Assistant Manager of Worcester Dining Commons at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Tom is responsible for hiring and scheduling all employees for the Worcester DC. He oversees all dinner and late night shifts and is responsible for creating the Late Night Menu. Tom received his degree in Landscape Contract Design from Penn State University but always had a passion for the culinary arts. Tom’s previous experience includes working as a Sous Chef in various restaurants and was the Catering Chef for the University of Vermont for two years. Tom enjoys mountain biking, snowboarding, hiking, and being outdoors. His favorite foods include Asian Cuisine and Sushi.
Joseph Flueckiger is the Manager of Franklin Dining Commons and has worked with UMass for nearly four years. Joe’s is responsible for ensuring that all Franklin operations are running safely and efficiently. His daily tasks entail managing food costs, payroll and employee schedules, as well as employee and community relations. Outside of work, Joe is an avid runner, enjoys artistic painting, and reading crime novels. Joe is also the soccer dad to his two daughters. Overall, Joe feels his main responsibility is providing great customer service to the students at UMass, and making UMass Dining an unforgettable experience.
Keren Yu is an Assistant Manager at Hampshire DC. Keren has been working at UMass since 1995 and has held various positions throughout UMass Auxiliary Services. Keren began working as a line lady and worked several positions, including a DC chef, before becoming assistant manager. Keren is responsible for supervising day-to-day operations, the various kitchen lines, and the students and staff at Hampshire. She is also responsible for overseeing the menus and recipes, as well as coordinating special dietary needs for students. Keren enjoys working in her beautiful garden where she has many Chinese vegetables, flowers and plants.
LuAnne Wu is an Assistant Manager at Hampshire Dining Commons and has worked at UMass for two years. LuAnne previously worked as a Line Supervisor at Hampshire before being promoted to Assistant Manager. LuAnne’s main responsibility is seeing that Hampshire DC operations run smoothly and efficiently. She oversees all the students and staff that work at the dining commons. Outside of work, LuAnne enjoys spending her time with her family. She enjoys reading, playing piano and drawing with her one and four year old daughters. Her favorite thing about working at UMass is the people. She enjoys interacting with the awesome students and staff.
Marc Morrissette is the Manager of the Franklin Dining Commons. As manager of Franklin, Marc’s responsibilities include the hiring and management of personnel, maintaining inventory, implementing the menu, and taking care of Franklin’s customers. Outside of Franklin Dining Commons, Marc likes to hit the links and practice his golf game.
Tim Lane is the Operations Manager of Franklin Dining Commons. With over 10 years of UMass Dining experience, Tim previously worked at Berkshire Dining Commons as well as the Worcester Dining Commons. As an Operations Manager, Tim manages the ordering for the Franklin Dining Commons and oversees DC operations alongside the manager, Marc. When he isn’t in the office, Tim enjoys running and kayaking.
Van Sullivan is the Manager of Campus Center Food Services, also referred to as the “Emperor of Food.” Van has worked at UMass for four years and is the manager of food services for the Campus Center and all outlying cafes on campus. He is responsible for ensuring that all operations of these locations are perfectly prepared for students. Van focuses on providing students and staff great customer service at each location. When asked what he enjoys doing outside of work, he responded with no hesitation “Soccer!” He enjoys playing, coaching, and watching soccer and said his favorite team is Everton F.C. out of Liverpool. Van couldn’t be happier working at UMass Amherst. “The energy at UMass is awesome, it’s truly a one-of-a-kind campus.”
Stephanie Stacey is the Assistant Retail Food Service Manager for UMass Dining. Her roles and responsibilities include managing the various coffee shops and cafes across campus including the new Roots Café in the Commonwealth Honors College and retail markets. Stephanie is an alumnus of UMass, and graduated with a degree in Hospitality and Tourism Management from the Isenberg School of Management. Her previous experience includes working as the Assistant Manager for several Starbucks locations in Western Massachusetts and as a Department Manager for Big Y World Class Markets. Her hobbies include snowboarding, playing ultimate Frisbee, and being outdoors.
Tunde Gyorgy is the Assistant Manager of Retail Dining Services and has been with UMass Dining for two years. Tunde is responsible for overseeing several dining locations throughout the Campus Center, such as Blue Wall, The Hatch, and many commercial cafes throughout campus. Her responsibilities include overseeing employees, and food operations for each dining location. Outside of work, Tunde enjoys traveling and experiencing new cultures. For example, Tunde enjoyed living in Paris for 5 months, where she learned about the Parisian culture. Other than traveling, she said she loves to hang out with friends and family and loves being surrounded by people.
Paul MacGregor is the Retail Manager for UMass Amherst. Paul came to UMass in 1996 as a Sports Management Major. His freshman year he started as a cashier in the Mullins Center and by his senior year Paul was an assistant manager. Upon graduation, he was offered a full time position to run the concessions for UMass events. From the experience he gained as a student employee, he enjoys working with students and leads by the example that hard work can pay off. When he is not working, he enjoys spending time with his 2 young sons and watching them hit homeruns over the Green Monster in his replicated Fenway Park back yard.
Christopher Fisher is the Manager of Food Trucks and Commissary for UMass Dining. Two years ago, he came to UMass with his food truck expertise and helped in the creation of babyBerk and babyBerk2, while also managing the concessions truck. On a day to day basis, Chris sets employees schedules and truck maintenance, hosts at special events, runs the trucks social media, and updates the menus. He is always innovating new ideas and making sure students always have another eating option, even in two feet of snow. “If we are needed anywhere, we can be there in ten minutes with hot cooked food ready to go.”
Morgan Doyle is the Night Manager for Southwest Café, Worcester Pita Pit, and Southwest Delivery. Morgan oversees the scheduling, staffing, ordering of food, labor costs, food costs, and inventory for these three areas. Morgan received his Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management from Westfield State University. Morgan worked as the Assistant General Manager for Six Flags New England for 8 years. In 2012, Morgan began working for UMass Dining as the Night Manager. Morgan’s interests include working on automobiles and golfing. His favorite food at UMass is Pita Pit.
Matthia Accurso is the Chef de Cuisine of Retail Dining. Previous to UMass Dining, Matthia achieved the Level 2 Pro Chef from the Culinary Institute of America and was the Executive Sous Chef at the Washington DC Metropolitan Club. Some of his daily responsibilities include ordering, assigning tasks, monitoring and overseeing the entire food preparation process, and scheduling personnel. Matthia also takes pride in keeping things local and sustainable in his kitchen. One of his favorite items on the catering menu is the Braised Short Ribs, which are braised in locally brewed beer. When Matthia isn’t masterminding the perfect dish, he can be found running, bicycling, and enjoying the great outdoors.
Simon Stevenson is the Bake Shop Manager and Pastry Chef for UMass Dining, overseeing production and distribution of all baked good on the UMass- Amherst campus. Simon is originally from England and has over 20 years of experience as a Pastry Chef. Simon attended Johnson and Wales University and served as Head of the Bakery Department at the Connecticut Culinary Institute. Simon has won 3 Gold Medals and 1 Silver Medal from the American Culinary Federation. Simon has produced educational segments for the T.V Show “Connecting Point” on WGBY where he promotes healthy baking and healthy eating. Simon enjoys reading, gardening, cooking, and traveling.
Pamela Adams is the Assistant Manager and Assistant Pastry Chef for UMass Dining. Pamela assists the Bakeshop Manager in the supervision of staff and managing the bakery operations. Pamela creates recipes and dessert menus for the Dining Commons as well as some Retail outlets. She also researches new products, ingredients, and food trends. Pamela received a Culinary Arts Certificate from the Connecticut Culinary Institute and she is also a UMass graduate. She has over 15 years of experience as a pastry culinarian, having at one point, owned her own small bakery in the Caribbean and worked for the Ritz Carlton. Pamela has represented UMass Dining in team competition both in the United States and in Canada, being the recipient of 3 gold, 1 silver and 1 bronze medals. Nationally, she competed individually in the Commercial Category for the 5th Annual America’s Best Raisin Bread Contest and was awarded Grand Prize Winner for her Cinnamon Swirl Raisin Bread in 2012. Pamela enjoys painting, kayaking, riding motorcycles, cooking, and spending time outdoors.