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June 08, 2012

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IMCOM Connelly Award inspector evaluates Fort McCoy dining facility

Inspection of the Fort McCoy Installation Dining Facility, building 50, was the first step toward potentially repeating as an Installation Management Command (IMCOM) Central Region Philip A. Connelly Food Competition winner.

PHOTO: Tom Lara (left), a Connelly Award program inspector, talks with a dining patron. Photo by Rob Schuette
Tom Lara (left), a Connelly Award program inspector, talks with a dining patron at the Installation Dining Facility. (Photo by Rob Schuette)

Inspector Tom Lara, IMCOM Central Region Food Program manager, said Fort McCoy has put together a good food service program, which has received the regional Connelly food service award in its category for the past three years.

He inspected the facility May 22 during the breakfast and lunch meals as part of the IMCOM Central Region competition.

Fort McCoy is competing in the civilian-garrison category, which includes all contractor-operated dining operations of any size.

“I look at the entire operation,” Lara said. “I look at the appearance and attitude of the employees, their serving the troops, the food presentation and quality and coaching/mentoring of employees.”

Fort McCoy is one of the few operations that have a culinary training manager on duty. Lara said this person can provide input and training to the other cooks.

The judging includes supervisory and training records, dining facility administration, head count and requisition procedures, food safety protocol and command support, he said.

“I’ll also look at the relationship with the customers and how Fort McCoy takes care of the Soldiers,” Lara said. “I’ll continue to be on the road doing judging through June and probably into July, before I decide the winners in the competition.”
 
If Fort McCoy advances past this stage, it will again go on to compete at the Army level. Lara said the winning installations will receive an Army-level inspection visit in the October-December time frame.

Andrew Pisney, Fort McCoy food program manager, said the installation participates in the competition to improve its food service.

“We get great experience from the program — win or lose — and the objective of our participation is to improve the program and offer great food service to the Soldiers who train here,” Pisney said.

The Fort McCoy food service program helps support the installation’s organization competencies by providing the food service support troops need to help meet their training requirements during peacetime and war, Pisney said.

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