BUIES CREEK - Chances are, if you’ve eaten food prepared on the campus of Campbell University, you’ve met Larry Aldridge.
His relationship with his customers was a big factor in the honor Aldridge received this week -- Front Line Manager of the Year for Aramark’s Southeast Region. He was honored by University administration and his employees and co-workers at a small surprise get-together Thursday, where he received his award.
Aldridge, Campbell’s director of dining services, was selected by a committee Aramark leaders in the region who reviewed nominations from 50 college and universities in North and South Carolina.
“It’s an annual award, and Larry is (Campbell’s) first top front line manager in a very long time,” said Mary Thornton, Aramark’s Regional Vice President. “He embodies what we’re looking for in a front line manager - he cares about his campus, his team and his customers, and he takes good care of them all.”
Aldridge, who’s busy this week preparing for the University’s 125th Gala event Friday and other Homecoming festivities, said he was “shocked … beyond surprised” to receive the award. So surprised, in fact, he offered few words beyond that.
“Everybody knows it’s a team effort,” he said to his co-workers on hand. “I know it, and you know it. So thank you.”
According to Thornton, top front line managers have several attributes, including “inspiring operational excellence, developing employees and being thoughtful, heartfelt, results-oriented, innovated, valued and trusted,” among other things.
Jim Roberts, Campbell’s Vice President for Business and Treasurer, said he’s proud to have Aramark on campus and that Aldridge’s award is a testimony to the its success.
“The award says a lot about the work he does and the people he works with. Nobody does a better job than Larry,” said Roberts.
Story and photo: By Billy Liggett, Assistant Director for Publications
Photo: Mary Thornton (left) and Jim Roberts (right) award Larry Aldridge with Aramark’s Front Line Manager of the Year for the Southeast Region.