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College of Human Ecology

Distinguished Service Award

2012 Recipient: Lora Gilbert

Lora GilbertAs senior director of food and nutrition services for the Orange County (FL) Public Schools, Lora Gilbert turned around the troubled program ($7 million in the red) and overhauled operations that have allowed the nutrition department to meet its goals of 40 per cent food and labor costs. The school district has an enrollment of almost 175,000 students and an annual foodservice budget of about $76 million.

Gilbert's operation serves nearly 157,000 meals a day to students. One of the first things she did on the job was to put nothing on the menu unless the kids loved it. She invited area chefs into school kitchens to work with staff and students to develop new menu items.

In 2011 she received the Silver Plate Award in School Foodservice from the International Food Manufacturer's Association, considered one of the foodservice industry's highest recognitions, and the Golden School foodservice Director of the Year, the top honor in the 22nd annual National Foodservice Achievement Management Excellence Award program. She has developed menu software, has written a cookbook and has been published in several professional journals.

Gilbert received her master's degree in 1981 from K-State in human nutrition. She has worked as nutritionist for the Northwest Area Agency on Aging, Salina Family Physicians as clinical dietitian and  Schwan's as a corporate nutritionist.

Past Recipients

  • 2018: Mary Anne Trickle
  • 2016: David W. Andrews
  • 2013: Julie Martin
  • 2012: Lora Gilbert
  • 2011: Ruth Wells
  • 2010: Janice (Wanklyn) Wissman
  • 2009: George Dilly
  • 2008: Karla Hughes
  • 2007: R. Elaine Turner
  • 2006: Mary Clarke Barkley
  • 2005: Marilyn Corbin
  • 2004: Lea Ann Holzmeister
  • 2003: Sally Baker
  • 2002: Phyllis Miller
  • 2001: Barbara Stoecker
  • 2001: Lynette Olson
  • 2000: Larry Ganong
  • 2000: Marilyn Coleman
  • 1999: Rachel Engle
  • 1998: Olive Ubel
  • 1998: Katherine Boyd
  • 1997: Jean Reehling
  • 1997: Carol Kellett
  • 1997: Jeanette Johnson
  • 1996: Martha Starling
  • 1996: Verna Hildebrand
  • 1995: Adele McQueen
  • 1995: Roberta Grogan
  • 1994: Jeanne Lindsay
  • 1994: Elnora Huyck
  • 1993: Anita Wilson
  • 1993: Helen Frieze
  • 1992: Carolyn Roby
  • 1992: Bettie Greig
  • 1992: Vera Ellithorpe
  • 1991: Martha Streeter
  • 1989: Elizabeth Crandall
  • 1989: Christine Chalender
  • 1988: Marjorie Warta
  • 1988: Kay Obendorf
  • 1987: Joan Coleman
  • 1986: Jo Schwanke Heinz
  • 1985: Frances Lewis
  • 1985: Edgar Chambers IV
  • 1984: Nancy Fogg-Johnson
  • 1984: Betty Denton
  • 1984: Virginia Bayles
  • 1983: Joan Baird
  • 1983: Sharon Nickols
  • 1982: Ann Arnott
  • 1981: Kathryn Sughrue
  • 1981: Harriet Morris
  • 1981: Janice Hamilton
  • 1980: Beverly Bradley
  • 1973: Arlene Wilson
  • 1973: Maxine Wilson
  • 1973: Joyce Terrass
  • 1973: Doris Stewart
  • 1973: Martha Starling
  • 1973: Georgiana Smurthwaite
  • 1973: Shirley Sarvis
  • 1973: Lucile Rust
  • 1973: Lyllis Ling
  • 1973: Grace Goff
  • 1973: Ruth Dales
  • 1973: Elizabeth Crandall
  • 1973: Tessie Agan
  • 1970: Clinita Ford
  • 1963: Rita Youmans
  • 1963: Fern Storer
  • 1963: Genevieve Smith
  • 1963: Margaret Justin
  • 1963: Rosa Fowler
  • 1960: Gladys Roehm
  • 1960: Patricia Morris
  • 1960: Mary Grimes
  • 1960: Katherine Aldersman
  • 1959: Esther Latzke
  • 1959: May Cowles
  • 1958: Elizabeth Perry
  • 1958: Julia Kiens
  • 1957: Katherine Tucker
  • 1957: Anna Smith
  • 1957: Frances Rowland
  • 1957: Helen Parsons