Ken Toong | Executive Director of University of Massachusetts, U-Mass Dining

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Gina Zimmer | Vice President of Marketing and Communications for Restaurant Associates
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Rafi Taherian | Yale Dining
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Ken Toong | Executive Director of University of Massachusetts, U-Mass Dining

Ken Toong has been the Executive Director of University of Massachusetts Amherst Auxiliary Enterprises (AE) for the past 16 years.

AE is the umbrella for UMass Dining. It is the nation’s largest campus dining operation with over 19,000 students on various meal plans and 90 million dollars in annual revenue. UMass Dining serves over 55,000 meals daily, including 15 world cuisines, ranging from Mediterranean, to Asian and Latin American.

Ken is one of the most recognized faces in the higher education’s dining segment in the nation. He is a big believer that a great dining program can assist the university to attract top students and enrich campus life while contributing to the financial well being of the university. Many students came to UMass because of the top-notch dining program with its healthy, sustainable and delicious food, along with a diverse array of authentic international cuisines.

Ken is a visionary for foodservice sustainability and health & wellness. UMass Dining was the first large public university to serve sustainable seafood, grass-fed beef and most recently 100% “no antibiotics ever” chicken in all of their retail and residential operations.

Ken has made a positive impact on the foodservice industry. He has inspired a network of chefs to support a food system built on sustainability, flavor, and wellness as the founder of the annual Tastes of the World Chef Culinary Conference. UMass Dining has received many national awards for its innovative and quality programs, such as the White House Campus Champions of Change Award 2012.

In 2012, FoodService Director Magazine named Ken Toong, to its inaugural list of the “20 most Influential” people and organizations having an impact on the non-commercial foodservice industry. In 2013, the International Foodservice Manufacturers Association (IFMA) awarded Ken, as one of the recipients of the Silver Plate Awards, which recognizes excellence in eight segments of foodservice operations.

Ken received his MBA from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and a BBA from Acadia University, Nova Scotia.

He is involved in the community, as a member of the Sustainable Business Leadership Council of Harvard School of Public of Health and The Culinary Institute of America, as a board member of the Amherst Survival Center, and most recently became the At-Large Director of National Association of College & University Food Services (NACUFS).

He received his MBA (Beta Gamma Sigma, 2004) from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and a BBA from Acadia University, Nova Scotia, Canada.

Ken enjoys traveling and spending time with his family. Ken is married to Pam and has three daughters (all millennials) that he adores.


UMass Story: Come for the Food , Stay for the Education
University of Massachusetts Dining Services (UMass Dining) is the most awarded dining program in USA. It is also one of largest and the most talked about dining programs in North America. Princeton Review ranked UMass Dining in the top three positions for the past five years as the “Best Campus Food” program in the nation. Come and hear, how Ken Toong, the Executive Director, transformed UMass Dining into one of the most respected dining program in the nation by focusing on sustainability, health & wellness, flavors and community.