FAME Awards

Foodservice Achievement Management Excellence (FAME)

Basic American Foods Annual FAME Awards recognize outstanding heroes in K-12 foodservice. What do these heroes look like? School nutrition professionals who raise industry standards by tackling challenges and making a difference within their school districts and communities.

The 34th awards ceremony will be held during the School Nutrition Industry Conference in San Diego on Sunday, January 15, 2023.


Step 1: Who is eligible?

  • All school nutrition professionals who are members of SNA, in addition to special supporters of school nutrition, are eligible for nomination.
  • While director nominees are limited to receiving one Silver Star Award during their careers as directors, they are also eligible to receive the Golden Star Award.
  • Career changes may make past FAME Award winners eligible to receive different FAME Awards. Past FAME Award winners are not eligible to receive the same award.
  • All winners must be in good standing with the industry.
  • Employees of Basic American Foods (BAF) are not eligible.
  • The selection committee and BAF reserve the right to disqualify any nominee or winner.

Step 2: Pick a category

There are four award categories, so take a look at the following nomination questions per category and decide which best fits for your nominee.

  • Golden Director of the Year Award
  • Leadership Award
  • Spirit Award
  • Rising Star Award

Step 3: Write an achievement summary

Once you’ve matched your nominee’s accomplishments with the appropriate award, use the questions to create a summary of your nominee’s achievements.

The FAME selection committee will use the achievement summary to determine the winners.

Step 4: Nominate online

  • Please be concise in your responses. Limit each response to 4,500 characters (approximately 500 words).
  • Additional materials, such as article clippings, samples, videos, etc., will not be accepted.

We believe there’s nothing better than a really great meal.


And we know what make school meals so great are the people like you who create them – in school kitchens and lunch rooms everywhere. We’re proud to serve the K-12 foodservice segment, where the Basic American Foods FAME Awards honor and recognize food heroes like you.

Get Inspired

Congratulations to the 2022 FAME Awards Winners. Watch their stories to get inspired to nominate a K-12 foodservice hero today.

Golden Foodservice Director of the Year Award

Roy Pistone

Director of Food and Nutrition Services
Citrus County Schools, Inverness, FL

Roy’s 27 plus years in the school foodservice and nutrition industry have been dedicated to the mission of feeding kids and improving lives through nutrition. He was the 2020-2021 president of the Florida School Nutrition Association, mentors new directors, and helps districts improve their programs for the benefit of the students. Roy’s fiscal savvy and leadership lead to renovating nearly every school kitchen in the Citrus County School district, all while keeping meal prices at a steady level over the years. Roy’s passion for helping the families of his students keep money in their pockets, while still providing outstanding food quality, is unsurpassed.

Silver Spirit Award

Denielle Saitta

Project Manager, Marketing & Communications
Fulton County Schools, Atlanta, GA

Denielle plans, coordinates, and manages all marketing and communications at 97 Fulton County Schools, the fourth largest district in Georgia. She is also an advocate for children, writing proposals for school nutrition education grants and securing grant funding for a variety of programs from alternative breakfast services to technology and mobile kiosks.

Silver Leadership Award

Rita Denton

Director of Student Nutrition
Mansfield Independent School District, Mansfield, TX

Since arriving at Mansfield in 2015, Rita has successfully connected and enhanced the quality of the menu, staff, and food and nutrition program. With a commitment to marketing, she established a new cafe concept, ‘The Crossing’, which is now recognizable throughout the community. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, in her first 4 years with the district, Rita’s nutrition department increased breakfast participation by 22%, and lunch by 18%. The team achieved this program growth with only a 4% enrollment increase.

Silver Rising Star Award

Shannon Solomon

School Foodservice Director
Aurora Public Schools, Aurora, CO

Over the last 4 years, Shannon has opened three new schools in the district, managed two renovations for safety and efficiency, and completely overhauled catering for the district. Shannon’s excellent work ethic and incredible attitude is how this dynamo rose through the ranks at Aurora Public School from kitchen manager, supervisor, assistant director to director. During her time at Aurora, Shannon was featured on Food Network’s ‘Chopped’ after catching the eye of a “Cook for America” training program that teaches cooks how to make industrial food delicious.

Questions? Need more information?

Please contact Deniece Ledin:

Phone: (925) 472-4139

Email: dledin@baf.com

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