Mark S. LoParco, director of UM Dining at the University of Montana and executive director of the UM Foodservice Management and Purchasing Consortium, is a pioneer of sustainable business initiatives in collegiate foodservice. An active member of the National Association of College and University Food Services (NACUFS) since 1986, Mark is currently serving as past president of the association. Mark’s recent presentations include regional and national conferences, the 2014 Tastes of the World Chef Conference, and a TEDx talk in September 2013 on the subject of food democracy and sustainable food procurement.
Recent honors for Mark’s life-long contributions to the foodservice industry include the 2014 International Foodservice Manufacturer’s Association Silver Plate Award in the Colleges and Universities category and a Doctorate of Foodservice Award bestowed by the North American Association of Food Equipment Manufacturers in 2015.
Mark’s leadership in foodservice sustainability has helped define the national movement in sustainable and local food procurement, waste reduction, diversion and composting, innovative on-campus food production techniques, and engagement of student and community stakeholders. These initiatives have garnered UM Dining six international sustainability awards, including Gold Awards in the 2013 and 2014 NACUFS Sustainability Awards for Food Procurement and Education and Outreach, and the 2014 NACUFS Grand Prize for Excellence in Sustainable Dining – Overall.