Optimizing Employee Performance and Building Healthy Work Cultures with Dionna A. Appling M.S.M

Optimizing Employee Performance and Building Healthy Work Cultures with Dionna A. Appling M.S.M

Dionna Appling has a Masters Degree in Business, specializing in Management Science and is Lean Six Sigma certified as well. In her work experience, Dionna noticed a trend of poor leadership, demotivated employees and dysfunctional work environments in various companies. She decided to start a consulting & coaching business, Business Advocates PRO, Inc. (BA PRO), to help companies overcome these issues. BA PRO helps small business owners & team managers transform toxic & dysfunctional company culture. The goals is simple: To help leaders create an engaging & high performing workplace where employees to come to work & do their best because they want to, not because they have to.

Dionna has been featured on fitsmallbusiness.com as a Company Culture expert. She has also been honored with opportunities of servicing clients in various industries including (but not limited to): school districts, administration, medical practices, and non-profit organizations.

Dionna is the creator of The Culture Building like a PRO Podcast where she shares practical tips, tools & resources to build a thriving culture, increase employee engagement, and develop leadership skills.

This episode we discuss:

  • Defining work culture

  • What constitutes a good leader

  • Improving work cultures in our districts where productivity and morale is slipping and retention rates and suffering

  • How to stay professional in a toxic environment

Sustainability in School Nutrition

Sustainability in School Nutrition

Ryan Cengel MS MA RD LD SNS- Registered Dietitian for the Austin Independent School District has a unique perspective on the importance of school nutrition as a former classroom teacher. Ryan has over half a decade of  experience as a classroom teacher including multiple years serving his students breakfast in the classroom. His educational background includes undergraduate degrees in culinary arts and nutrition and master’s degrees in education and nutrition. 

This episode we discuss

  • Connecting and effectively marketing to parents in the district

  • Introducing sustainable initiatives to the school nutrition program

  • Marketing salad bars in a way that captures the attention of elementary students

Serving up Quality Meals and Nutrition Education at the Department of Juvenile Justice

Department of Juvenile Justice works to protect and serve the citizens of Georgia by holding young offenders accountable for their actions and by supporting these children to become productive lives as law-abiding citizens.  Despite that there is confusion and misinformation around the treatment of kids in the care of DJJ. 

This episode I speak with Stephanie Henesy, Chief of the Office of Nutrition & Food Services at DJJ.  She sheds light on what the nutrition department does to nourish and support the students at DJJ.

Stephanie Henesy has been named the 2019 Young Dietitian of the Year by the Georgia Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.  You will have a sense of why Stephanie stands out from her peers and is an award willing young professional by the end of our conversation together. 

This episode we discuss

-      How to successfully on board yourself in a new administrative food service position

-      How DJJ food service compares to other school nutrition operations

-      Gardening programs and nutrition education at DJJ

-      The true purpose of administrative reviews

Continuing a Strong Legacy of School Nutrition in Georgia

Continuing a Strong Legacy of School Nutrition in Georgia

Linette Dodson PhD RD LD SNS FAND is the current School Nutrition Director for the Georgia Department of Education. Linette has a long history with school nutrition. During her tenure with Carrollton City Schools she built an award-winning nutrition and Farm to School program. Dr. Dodson completed her PhD at Iowa State University conducting research focused on registered dietitians in leadership roles in school nutrition. She is as brilliant as she is kind, taking out the time to mentor us all in this episode and sharing a bit about her career path to her current role as State Director.

Chef Sharon Schaefer Mastering Menu Development

Chef Sharon Schaefer  Mastering Menu Development

As a classically trained chef with more than 18 years professional experience in catering, fine dining, and culinary education Sharon Schafer brings a unique perspective to the K-12 kitchen. In this episode she shares tips to help us master our kitchen equipment, tighten our inventories, and improve the overall appeal of our menus.

Customer Service as a Marketing Tool w/ Heidi Aselton and Kena Greene

Customer Service as a Marketing Tool w/ Heidi Aselton and Kena Greene

Everyone knows that customer service is important but it is rarely seen as an opportunity to add value to the client experience. Customer service can be used to set us apart from other dining options. I sat down with Heidi Aselton and Kena Green to learn more about how they use customer service as a marketing tool and consistently make the cafeteria a fun and welcoming place to be for their students and staff members alike.