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Leadership

DAVID P. DAVIDSON, Managing Director

David P. Davidson, Managing Director for HUDS since September 2011, has a two-decade affiliation with Harvard University. Starting as a retail café manager in the 1990s and working his way up, David now directs the overall program providing residential, retail and catering services on campus, representing $69.5 million in annual revenues, and serving 5 million meals annually. David’s commitment to customer relationship-building and outreach, focused customer service initiatives, and building strong teams and developing talent from within forms the backbone of the HUDS program. In his role as Managing Director, David shepherds the strategic and daily operational challenges of Harvard’s program: he works closely with administrators and students to shape the menu and services that best meet their needs while being fiscally responsible; he continuously advances sustainability and nutrition initiatives, embracing food and facility changes and integrating with the academic community to serve as a test lab for new ideas; he forges strong and productive relationships with Harvard’s labor unions; and he fosters community by embracing collaboration and a sense of respect and appreciation, both with customers and his team. David is a member of the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health Nutrition Roundtable, and with HUDS is a founding member of the Menu of Change University Research Collaborative, shaping the real-world implementation of nutrition and sustainability guidelines as recommended by those organizations.

Prior to serving as Managing Director, David was HUDS’ Director of Operations for Retail and Residential Dining, overseeing the day-to-day functions of Dining’s two largest divisions, as well as HUDS’ Food Literacy Project (FLP) and Facilities & Physical Plant. David returned to HUDS in 2007, after a seven-year sojourn to Yale University, Back Bay Restaurant Group and Phillips Exeter Academy. As Director for Dining Services at Yale, David oversaw residential, retail and catering operations, and was instrumental in the implementation of the Yale Sustainable Food Project. At Back Bay Restaurant Group, where he was Vice President of Operations, David focused efforts on the "Perfect Guest Experience" delivered through the company's 21 area restaurants. Phillips Exeter was a return to residential service, and as Director for Dining Services David instituted an integrated management approach that encouraged customer-focused change.
David believes that personal and attentive customer service and fresh, satisfying food shape a great dining experience. He brings that philosophy to the 25+ Harvard operations and 600+ employees he leads.

 

BRUCE CALVERT, Director for Residential Dining Operations

Bruce Calvert joined HUDS in 2013 as the Director for Residential Dining Operations. Bruce is a 30 year veteran of higher education dining service operations and management, beginning his career in the early ‘80s at Emerson College and working with several foodservice management companies in the New England area.  Bruce spent several years at Yale University as the Director of Residential Dining Operations and was most recently a Resident District Manager for Dining Services at the University of Hartford.

Bruce is highly skilled in multi-unit oversight, staff development, financial management and team building.  He is passionate about creating memorable dining experiences for the customer, while providing leadership and mentoring opportunities for his dining service managers and staff.

 

MARTIN BRESLIN, Director for Culinary Operations

Martin Breslin is the Director for Culinary Operations at Harvard University Dining Services.  In this role, he sets the culinary standards of the department by overseeing all culinary operations which serves approximately five million meals a year. A native of Dublin, Ireland and a graduate of the Dublin College of Catering, Breslin has worked at prestigious restaurants, hotels and universities throughout the United Kingdom, New York and Boston.

He is currently responsible for overseeing and directing all culinary, nutrition, and technical services that relate to food technology, food science and food presentation. In this capacity, Chef Breslin oversees all recipe development at the Culinary Support Group (Commissary) and is responsible for the quality and cost of food, development of culinary staff and sanitation standards, meeting all FDA and USDA requirements for food manufacturing. Breslin has won Five American Culinary Federation (ACF) gold medals, four silver and a bronze. Additionally, he is an active member of the Research Chef’s Association of America, the American Culinary Federation, and a founding member of the Healthy Menus Collaborative. He is also a standing member of the Harvard School of Public Health’s Nutritional Round Table.

 

ROBERT LEANDRO, Director of Operations & Facilities

Robert Leandro, Director for Operations & Facilities, has been with HUDS for more than 35 years. Throughout his career, he has held positions in General Service and as General Cook, Butcher, Pantry Steward, Production Manager, Assistant Manager, Production Manager for the Harvard Faculty Club, General Manager, and Assistant Director for Residential Dining. Promoted to his current position in 2005, Bob oversees maintenance and renovations and is the environmental safety and compliance manager. Bob was integral in the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver Certification awarded to the Dunster and Mather dining hall renovations.

 

KIM SMITH, Associate Director for Retail Dining Operations

Kim Smith, Retail Area General Manager, oversees roughly half of HUDS' retail operations, with special expertise in those that are student managed. Kim earned her Bachelor’s degree in Food Service Management at Johnson and Wales University and her Master’s degree in Management from Cambridge College.  She has been with HUDS for more than ten years, starting at the Greenhouse Café but also leading locations such as the residential/retail hybrid at Dudley House. Kim has extensive experience in opening new locations and training students in all areas of operations.  She is practiced at planning, writing, and analyzing budgets, as well as managing all aspects of inventory, sanitation and day-to-day operations.

 

LAURIE TORF, Associate Director for Retail Dining Operations

Laurie Torf, Retail Area General Manager, oversees roughly half of HUDS' retail operations.  She has been with HUDS for more than 15 years, working in both the residential and retail divisions. Laurie has extensive experience in all areas of operations, with a special focus on large, complex facilities and .sustainability initiatives. Prior to joining HUDS, Laurie was a manager with Starbucks for five years.

 

DAVID RAND, Director of Catering

David Rand brings more than 20 years of event management to his role coordinating catering for Harvard University. In addition to his prior experience as Executive Director for Catering and Special Events for Chartwells at Northeastern University, David also owns his own private floral and special event design business, whose exclusive clients include the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences and Catherine Zeta Jones and Michael Douglas. David’s expertise lies in refreshing and elevating menus and presentation, and training teams in event design and trends. He joined Crimson Catering in 2012.

 

CRISTA MARTIN, Director for Strategic Initiatives and Communications

Crista Martin joined HUDS in 1998 and with her team coordinates online and print marketing, social media, market research, and public and media relations. The Communications team has won numerous awards from such organizations as the University & College Designers Association and the International Association of Business Communicators. Crista is a frequent presenter and volunteer with NACUFS, including as its Regional Director and Regional Conference Chair.

Crista also spearheads HUDS Strategic Initiatives, guiding the planning and implementation of work in the areas of sustainability, food donation, business development and planning, customer service and more. She serves on the Menu of Change University Research Collaborative spearheaded by the Culinary Institute of America and HSPH, and was named a "Food Hero" by the City of Cambridge in 2015 for her work on HUDS' food donation program. Crista has worked for several non-profit associations, and has degrees from Boston University and American University in public relations and creative writing.


AKEISHA HAYDE, Executive Chef for Residential Dining

Akeisha Hayde joined HUDS in April 2015 in the role of Executive Chef for Residential Dining. Akeisha comes to us from Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, where she served as Executive Chef since 2011. Prior to that, she worked in foodservice at other medical facilities and restaurants; she is a graduate of Newbury College. Akeisha is highly versed in taking a large institutional program to the next level, in food quality, sales and efficiency. She is particularly interested in global cuisines and sustainability, with special expertise in seafood.