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National Employee Appreciation Day

written by Laura Guerrero-Almeida, BUDS Editorial Intern

Binghamton University Dining Services (BUDS) is composed of spectacular employees whose collective efforts make our work possible. Our frontline workers offer their best attitude and strive to uplift students throughout the day. Marketing employees implement strategies to bring a sense of dining normalcy in the age of social distancing. Catering teams adjust their skills to serve students in isolation.

Lori Benson, Director of Marketing, Tom LaSarso, General Manager of Retail Dining and John Enright, General Manager of Resident Dining, have teams of people working to serve students. In the following interview, they express why their colleagues are fantastic workers and even better people. 

Why is employee recognition important?

"I believe that everyone comes to work and wants to make a positive contribution to their organization. It is vital to recognize employees to let them know the job they are doing matters to you. Saying thank you, you are appreciated, is just the right thing to do."

Lori Benson

"We commit so much energy to serve the campus community that a simple 'thank you' needs to be said and felt."

Tom LaSarso

What impact does your team have on the campus community?

"I will always remember when 2 graduating seniors asked to have their photo taken with a staff member. Why? Because this person made their 4 years at Binghamton special with her interactions. That's the impact we have on the campus community. Forever, those students will remember our staff and this individual as making their college experience memorable."

Tom LaSarso

"The BUDS team quite honestly can start somebody's day off on a positive note with a great meal and friendly interaction. Some days we provide comfort when students are stressed."

John Enright

What does a day without your team look like?

"I would not want to come to work that day! I cannot do this work without them, PERIOD!"

Lori Benson

In the past year, what makes you the proudest of your team?

"Without a doubt, isolation meals. We planned and successfully executed multiple phases that have been implemented. Everyone involved took an extreme commitment and attention to detail."

John Enright

"Covid has forced us to re-think the way we present our services and operations. Nowhere more noticeable is this than in the Chenango Room. We went from a sit-down and wait for service to "create your own" theme experience. The staff has built a successful and growing operation by interacting and engaging the students as well as accepting a brand-new concept."

Tom LaSarso

"I would like to focus on the team's success supporting the openings of the four new retail concepts. We collaborated and developed a detailed plan that included creating: new station names, new logos, new menu designs and signs, digital menu screens, marketing materials, and promotional plans. Students were excited before they came to campus to try the new stations, and they were not disappointed when they arrived. It has been gratifying to see what once were ideas on paper only, develop into thriving stations and to know the impact your team has made."

Lori Benson

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