Faith News

Terry Waltersdorf Earns One of Foodservice Industry’s Highest Honors

ANKENY, Iowa—Faith Baptist Bible College Foodservice Director Terry Waltersdorf has earned one of the foodservice industry’s highest honors as the 2019 recipient of the Theodore W. Minah Distinguished Service Award.

The award is given annually by the National Association of College and University Food Services (NACUFS) to one person who has been nominated by peers based on criteria such as leadership, length of service, contributions to formal education programs, contributions for the advancement of college and university foodservice, and the career development of personnel. Waltersdorf was presented the award during the NACUFS 2019 National Conference on July 10, 2019, in Denver, Colorado.

Waltersdorf has been in the foodservice industry since 1971 when he began as a baker’s assistant with Hy-Vee while in high school. Following high school, he accepted a full-time bakery position with Hy-Vee and later broadened his experience with Bishop’s Buffets, Inc. and Tiffany’s Bakeries in South Bend, Indiana. While working in Indiana, Terry met his wife, Colleen. The Waltersdorfs have been married for 40 years and have two children and five grandchildren.

Terry accepted the position of Food Manager at Faith Baptist Bible College in 1979. The Waltersdorfs remained at Faith until 2004, when he took a position with the Dining Services Department at Grinnell College. Terry returned as the Director of Dining Services at Faith in 2011.

Food preparation has been a part of Waltersdorf’s life since childhood. He grew up on a farm in southwestern Iowa and learned the art of cooking from his mother, sister, and grandmother. In junior high, he became the primary cook in the family while his parents were in the fields during planting and harvest. His high school years were filled with early-morning donut frying at Hy-Vee—a part-time job that turned into a full-time offer after graduation.

Waltersdorf has been an active member of NACUFS for nearly 40 years, learning and serving in various capacities as Region VI President, At-Large Director on the Board of Directors, and as a presenter at regional conferences. He has led the charge on many initiatives throughout his career at Faith, from the installation of the first computer systems and digital recipe files to the implementation of the “All-You-Can-Eat” meal service. He also implemented benchmarking and the first-ever handbook for Dining Services.

Waltersdorf gave a speech to accept his award at Wednesday’s ceremony. Here are some of the highlights of that speech:

“I don’t look at my work as a job or my position as one of importance. I look at my work as an investment in the lives of our students. I would like to thank my administration and the Dining Services team at Faith Baptist Bible College. For almost 35 years, FBBC has stood with me and, together, we have gained from my involvement with NACUFS. I am thankful for the seven presidential administrations under which I have served, including that of Faith’s current president Dr. Jim Tillotson, who is with us this evening. I am also thankful for the over 1,500 student employees whom I have had the opportunity to mentor and influence—I hope in a positive way.”