Debby Webster and Institute of Child Nutrition
Debby Webster is currently the Nutrition Services Director for Rainier School Districts in Rainier, OR. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Food Science and Nutrition from Central Washington University, and has had a passion to feed students her whole career. Debby has worked in all sizes of districts from large to small, and had the pleasure of working as a consultant for the state agency doing nutrition analysis for SMI reviews. Debby is a member of the Oregon USDA Foods and Procurement Advisory committee and is active in several professional organizations. She has been training School Nutrition Professionals for over 27 years, and provides training for the Institute of Child Nutrition.
Craig Weidel and Institute of Child Nutrition
An Ohio native, Craig Weidel spent his first ten years there, before his family relocated to Phoenix, Arizona. He started out in child nutrition as warehouse supervisor for Mesa Public Schools, before becoming an area supervisor. He currently works with inventory management is cost control, and is very active in the School Nutrition Association.
Jim Weill and Institute of Child Nutrition
For the past decade, Jim Weill has led the Food Research and Action Center as its President. The FRAC’s mission is to end hunger in the United States. The Center works toward this noble goal primarily through its support of public policy, federal nutrition programs, food stamps, school meals and summer food programs.
Gene White and Institute of Child Nutrition
Gene White grew up in Ohio and attended Miami University of Ohio, graduating with degrees in Home Economics Education and Nutrition, which was called Dietetics at that time. She then continued her graduate education at Ohio State University. She worked more than twenty years as Food Service Director in China Lake, California. She went on to become that state’s Director of Nutrition Services in the late 1970s and while in that position she served as President of the American School Food Service Association from 1977-1978. Currently she is involved with international feeding programs.
Gene White’s oral history interview was updated on May 15, 2013, by Jeffrey Boyce. The update can be found at the end of the original interview.
Gene passed away on June 23, 2021, at the age of 99.
Don Williams and Institute of Child Nutrition
Don Williams is a retired school nutrition director, having worked for twenty-six years in the State of Georgia. He is now involved in a second career working in school nutrition software.
Joan Williams and Institute of Child Nutrition
Joan Williams has many years of experience in school nutrition and education. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in education from Georgia Southern College, a Master’s in education from Georgia College, and an Education Specialist degree from the University of Georgia. After teaching home economics for seven years, Joan served for 27 years as the school nutrition director for Carroll County Schools, a 15,000-student district in Georgia. Joan helped build an effective team that received many awards for increased participation and innovation. She received the USDA Best Practices Award for the Southeast Region twice, was recognized by the state of Georgia for high employee retention, and mentored future leaders within her program and region. Joan has been actively involved with the School Nutrition Association in various capacities at the state and national levels including serving as a trainer, conference presenter, board member, and state president. Joan is a consultant trainer for the Institute of Child Nutrition.
Walter D. Williams, Jr. and Institute of Child Nutrition
Born in Alabama and reared in Florida, Walter D. Williams, Jr., then joined the U.S. Air Force and served twenty years all over the world before retiring and settling in Alaska. He now works as a nutrition specialist in rural Alaska.
Julia Williams and Institute of Child Nutrition
Julia Williams is a school nutrition manager in Alabama. Williams started as a part-time dishwasher, then worker, then assistant-manager, and after seventeen years had worked her way up to food service manager.
Emma Jo Williamson and Institute of Child Nutrition
Emma Jo Williamson’s first job after college was in social work before making a career change and teaching Home Economics at Plaquemine High School in Iberville Parish for thirteen years. She then decided to go into school food service. She began her new career as an Assistant Director of the parish for two years before assuming the position of Director. Emma Jo is finally retired after twenty-seven years of serving the children of Iberville Parish.
Lydia Wirkus and Institute of Child Nutrition
Lydia Wirkus, a Florida native, grew up in the Miami area, near the Everglades. After college at Florida State, she taught for a few years in Miami, and then earned a master’s degree. One day she woke up and decided she didn’t want to live in Miami anymore, and that it would be cool to move to Alaska, so she drove from Miami to Alaska and taught for a few years. After earning a second master’s in nutrition at the University of North Carolina in Greensboro, she returned to Alaska and worked for a while in child nutrition, before returning to teaching for twenty years. After retiring from teaching she returned to child nutrition and now is a school nutrition program reviewer in Alaska.
Susan Wood and Institute of Child Nutrition
Susan Wood, a Nebraska native, has spent her entire working career in Alabama. She is a Registered Dietitian and spent a number of years working in hospitals and nursing homes, as well as teaching at the University of Alabama, Birmingham. In her current position Susan is the Director of Child Nutrition Programs for Hoover City Schools, where she has served the district’s children for the past twenty-two years.
Mary T. Wroten and Institute of Child Nutrition
Mary Wroten, a native of Mississippi, worked in the East Baton Rouge Parish Child Nutrition Programs for twenty years. Among her many accomplishments while there was to greatly improve the procurement procedures for the district. Mary’s legacy will continue in Dietetics when her daughter graduates in the same field in May 2009.
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