Meet our SPU Dining Management Team

September 18, 2018

Each summer, Dining Services establishes department goals for the next year, and reviews/aligns the leadership and staffing structures to achieve these goals.  This year we determined it was necessary to realign our management positions to achieve our 2019 goals.  One of the primary goals is to reinvent our dining hall food program to be Food Forward.  We are incorporating more local, fresh, and plant base products to provide an enhanced dining experience.  Food quality, food presentation, station designs and employee training (culinary and customer service) will be enhanced, creating and exceptional dining experience for our students, faculty, staff and guests. 


We are excited to share with you our new management structure and to welcome our new management team members.


District/Campus Executive Chef: Chris Studtmann (NEW)

Chef Chris is a seasoned Executive Chef with over 25 years in the industry, and 20 years with Sodexo.  For the last 4 years, Chef Chris was the District Executive Chef for Northwestern University, Evanston, Il., and is our district/campus chef, responsible for all food operations at SPU.  Chef Chris will support our managers and team leaders to grow and enhance our programs, while incorporating new food and service innovations.  He is passionate about food, local sourcing, fresh ingredients, culinary training, safe operations, and has won multiple awards for culinary competitions.  Chef Chris is certified as an American Culinary Foundation practical exam administrator and a chef mentor.  Chef Chris will office in Gwinn Commons Dining Hall.


Retail Manager: Tracy Luepnitz (Lipnitz) (NEW)

Tracy has both retail and catering experience with over 11 years in management positions in university settings.  Tracy is very outgoing, energetic, engaging and focused on high standards, excellent customer service and staff training to create an exceptional customer experience each and every day.   Tracy has led large teams of student and full time employees and is very excited to join the SPU Dining team.   Her office is located in Falcon’s Landing food court in the Student Union Building.  She and her family recently relocated from Nebraska, and are looking forward to seeing more of the Seattle area, and the greater Northwest.


Resident Dining: Gwinn Commons Dining Hall


Executive Chef: Angela Shultz

Chef Angy is the Executive Chef for resident dining and has been in a leadership position for the past 4 years.  She  is responsible for all of the culinary operations for the dining hall, which includes the management of $1.5M in food purchases per year, oversight of Catering and retail Simply To Go food production, along with the leadership and development of our culinary team members.  Chef Angy and Chef Chris have designed our new resident dining menu and are very excited to launch our new program.  Chef Angy and our service managers will work together to make our dining hall one of the best in the Northwest!


Director of Operations: Loida Arabia Kennedy (transfer)

Loida has over 23 years of management experience at SPU, with positions including a Catering Manager and Director of Operations for Retail and Catering services.  She is a dynamic leader with a strong focus for attention to detail, employee training and growth, and excellent customer services.  To meet our goal of creating an exceptional customer experience in Gwinn, Loida is the perfect fit for this work.  She will be leading the Gwinn front of house operations and working closely with Chef Angy and our new Service Manager to implement and drive our new program.     


Resident Dining Service Manager: Sandy Chinn (promotion)

Congratulations to Sandy for her promotion to the Service manager position!  Sandy was our Sr. Retail Supervisor for the last 14 years and has been in a leadership role at SPU for the last 23 years.  With her years of leadership, customer service, food service and department operation knowledge, she is the right person for the position.  Sandy is engaging, approachable and delivers excellent service to our customers.  Over the fall quarter, as Sandy and Loida transition into their new roles, they will also support our new retail manager, Tracy Luepnitz, ensuring a smooth transition of leadership to our retail units.


Catering Manager: Carina Westover

Carina, has managed our catering department for the last 3 years and has established great client relations and managed a large variety of events.  Carina has worked closely with Loida Arabia Kennedy, Dir. of Operations Retail/Catering, and is a strong catering manager.  As Loida moves into her new position in resident dining, Carina will be assuming all catering responsibilities.  Over the Fall quarter, Loida and Carina will work to transition all catering services to Carina, ensuring a seamless transition.   


We are excited about our new leadership team and the dynamic program we are building for our SPU community!  Please join us in welcoming and congratulating our Dining Services leadership team.