At various times throughout the year I will create a “game” or challenge for myself to either have a little fun or help me keep things in perspective or both!
You all may remember some of my past games: try something new each day, intentionally introduce myself to someone each day, cook something new each weekend for a month, count to 10 and breathe several times before answering anything that will impact another person, and so on.

My most recent “game” has been to stop and mentally/emotionally put myself in the other persons shoes, before or while talking with them. In doing this, I find myself asking some of the following questions:

  • If I am the person that works in the dishroom, what am I thinking when my DM is doing an audit?
  • If I am the Director or Manager, how do I feel when my DM gives me feedback?
  • If I am speaking to my DM, and she interjects with her thoughts before I am finished, how do I feel?
  • If I am the cook who has worked very hard on the meal and some of it really just doesn’t taste right, how am I going to hear what my DM says when she talks to me about it?

None of these questions should stop me from doing what I need to do – which is give feedback and often discuss difficult situations or circumstances.
But, what this “game” does is help me…in the midst of my whirlwind…stop and think about some of the following:

  • What is my tone and do I need to change it?
  • What is my intention and have I gotten it across in a positive way?
  • Brutally honest feedback is good, but not if it’s given in a hurtful way
  • Have I really listened and heard what the other person is trying to say?

I could go on and you could help add to the list.
Yes, we have a business to run and need to strive to be the very best. But, what we do we do through people. People make our business. And how our people feel is equally as important as the information being discussed. We are people who Love Food, People, Serving Others.

During the busyness of spring, join me in my “game” and let’s all stop and think about understanding and helping each other.

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Lynchburg,VA 24503

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The food is just incredible! I really mean it...I hope you know that I am not just saying this. It's so colorful, fresh, and special every day!"

Faculty Member 

Just a note to say thank you for all of the delicious food you and your staff serve each day. I never knew kale could taste so good!


Outstanding food, outstanding service, outstanding people. I brag about MG to my peers at other schools, and even to my friends and family!


Thank you so much for all the gluten-free options this year! All of your staff have been so helpful. They make a point to come up to me at meals and let me know what options you have for that meal. Salads are great, but sometimes a warm meal is just what you need!

Faculty Member 

Thanks for all of the good work you and your team did to ensure that last night’s welcome gathering for new faculty went off without a hitch. I’m so grateful for Team MG working so hard to make sure things are done the right way.

Head of School 

It’s an understatement to say we were surprised by the excellent quality of the food. We could not recall having a better tuna dish, even at the four-star resturants we frequent in Raleigh. Duke Integrative is a special place.


Many times I find a favorite thing out of the many items served during lunch, and although the featured spinach and fruit salad was visually stunning; the SHOUT OUT winner of the day hands down was the very delicious unassuming Vegetarian Pinto Beans!!! The onions were glistening and the peppers served as a complimentary color to the two different shades of beans...I have one regret and that is I didn’t think to take a picture!


Thank you for making pimento cheese today! It not only is divine, but also hit the spot. I now regret wasting 62.5 years of life on this planet in which I did not eat this heavenly mix. As I explore different recipes in my home kitchen I will try my best to live up to the standard demonstrated by what I had today.

Faculty Member 

Everything was usual! The food was scrumptious...and the weather was gorgeous!

Conference Client 

I would not change a thing! Your staff was not only professional, but warm and caring. They truly set the tone for a memorable night. The food was delicious...our family and friends left with hearts and bellies full!

Catering Client 

I just wanted to thank you so much for all the delicious food at Duke. Your food was such a happy and positive experience and it made the days there so much more enjoyable to eat healthy, but tasty, great food.


Thanks for the delicious soup and the new harvest salad - and thanks for removing half the calories out of the Farm Basket brownie...haha.


THANK YOU for your help today with the open house! Our visiting families raved about the personalized environment. We had a student tell us that Guilford went from his 3rd to 1st choice!


Thank you for all of your hard work on the meals and breaks for the Alumnae Board. The food was outstanding; everyone raved about each meal. Favorites included the grits on Saturday morning and the butternut squash soup on Sunday. YUM!!!


The amazing characteristic is that, on a day by day basis, you give us nutritious, varied, interesting, delicious food...not just something special for company. Please know how much you are appreciated and loved by this community.

Conference Administrator