James Purdum, general manager for Hospitality Services at Penn State, has been named the recipient of the 2013 International Foodservice Manufacturer’s Association (IFMA) Silver Plate Award in Hotels and Lodging.
IFMA’s Gold and Silver Plate Awards, the highest possible operator awards in the foodservice industry, acknowledge outstanding operators in the industry each year. Winners are chosen by a rigorous process that includes evaluation by a jury of immediate past winners, chief editors from leading foodservice publications, and industry experts.
“The awards allow us to pay tribute to outstanding individuals whose contributions advance their individual segments and the foodservice industry as a whole,” says Larry Oberkfell, president and CEO of IFMA.
Purdum, who received a bachelor’s degree in 1977 from Penn State in food services and housing administration, is honored by the award and credits his team of colleagues for their professionalism and commitment. “This award is a tribute to the hard work, dedication, and commitment to excellence by the entire Hospitality Services team,” he says. “It’s also a recognition of the support and commitment our hotels have had from our leadership, our guests, and the many colleagues we are fortunate to work with each day to support the mission of this great University.
“This recognition is a testament to the quality of our people and the opportunities we all embrace as Penn Staters to serve others and to make a difference. Penn State has a deep and rich tradition in hospitality, and it’s wonderful that our program has been recognized in this manner.”
Another Silver Plate Award winner—in the Independent Restaurants/Multi-Concept category—happens to be a Penn Stater as well. John Metz Jr., president and CEO of Sterling Hospitality, is a 1990 graduate of Penn State’s hotel, restaurant, and institutional management program.
Purdum, Metz, and other Silver Plate Award winners will be honored at the 59th annual Gold & Silver Plate Awards Celebration on May 20 at the Great Hall at Union Station in Chicago.