Most people think my story and career in food services started with Rie in college. Part of that is true. My adult career started with her when I was a waitress in college – if you count yourself as an adult when you are in college.

But really, my first experience with food service started at the tender age of 15 when I packed my bags and went to Massanetta Springs Camp and Conference Center to work as “staff” all summer. The jobs ranged from housekeeping (no one wanted), to front desk clerk (needed experience) to lifeguard (everyone wanted ) to last but not least – waitressing. You can guess where a young inexperienced, eager first timer landed….

Things we did and learned:

  • what family style service was all about
  • worked B,L and D 6 days a week
  • arrived a half hour before the meal for pre sets
  • stayed a half hour after the meal to clean up
  • spent time between meals at the pool
  • to carry a tray
  • about customer service – most folks were very nice but we had our fair share of grumps and had to deal
  • to be in uniform for each meal – complete with aprons and hairnets
  • adjusted our daily schedule based on which conference was there and what meal times they requested
  • that the more we worked together, the sooner we could hang out at the pool!

We also we were coached and counseled when we messed up. I still remember being called to Col Finlayson’s office (retired military who was the “Operations Manager”) because I was late for breakfast service. He told me that I did a great job but…..if I couldn’t get there on time, it didn’t matter. He needed people that would be there. I am pretty sure I was on time the rest of the summer!

And…I earned a whopping $25.00 a week (also lived in Cottage B for free and of course, had all my meals). I returned to Massanetta for 5 summers and to this day am still friends with some of the other staff that worked there. You will be glad to know that eventually I graduated to working the front desk!

I will be returning to Massanetta Springs in a few weeks and am looking forward to enjoying family style meals with my friends, You can be sure that I will be checking out food, people and service!!

What was your first job? Was it memorable? What did you learn from it and how do you still apply what you learned to today?

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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