Your Future... So Sodexo

Read stories about real Sodexo people who help make a difference in the lives of people like you.



Mary Gergely

Clinical Nutrition Manager III
George Washington University Hospital


How would you describe your career as clinical nutrition manager?
Every day's different. That's one of the reasons I love my job. I manage the dietitians and I'm the liaison also with the managers in the kitchen when there are requests for patient diets. I also love mentoring younger dietitians. For several of them, it's their first job and I like being able to work with them and managing their time load.

What's your experience working for Sodexo?
I have two children, and when my second one was born I was able to move to a part time schedule to balance my home and work responsibilities. This was one of the wonderful advantages of being with Sodexo. I feel fortunate to work for a company where you can have a flexibility work schedule while maintaining your longevity, your benefits and vacation.

Melissa Ronis

Clinical Dietitian
George Washington University Hospital


How did your career in Sodexo start?
After worked in the Marketing field for a few years I knew it wasn't for me. I went back to school for a Bachelor of Science in Dietetics. My goal was to enter Sodexo's dietetic internship program because of the great reputation that Sodexo has. My first job right out of my internship was working as a Sodexo Clinical Dietitian at Shady Grove Adventist Medical Center.

I knew that I had made the right choice to join Sodexo because of support I received from the beginning. During my onboard, I went through a training called “Come Alive With Sodexo” where they introduced me to company and culture. I really felt included and I felt like I was needed.

What kind of impact does your role have on patients?
I work with physicians and with nurses to help suggest different supplements that patients might be interested in trying.

I once had a patient who had very high protein needs. She had some recent surgery, and in order to heal properly and I worked very closely with her on increasing her protein intake from foods and supplements. I visited her frequently to determine if her protein status had really increased. Because it was a success, she was able to take that knowledge with her when she left the hospital to further her healing at home.

Sarah Swaintek

Clinical Dietitian
George Washington University Hospital


How did your career in Sodexo start?
The first thing that drew me to Sodexo was the dietetic internship program that they offer. I completed all my prerequisites as an undergrad and the next step is entering a dietetic internship. I was very interested in Sodexo's because they offered a very comprehensive and well-rounded program. They offered a very extensive clinical rotation so you got to see every disease state. You also got a rotation with food service and with electives so you got to kind of experience or build your own experience with things that you saw yourself doing in the future.

Cherylyn Gifford

Patient Service Manager
Nebraska Medical Center


How did your career at Sodexo start?
I interviewed with Sodexo after completing my dietetic internship. I wasn't expecting to get into management right away, but Sodexo gave me the opportunity to do so. In order to prepare me for this position, Sodexo supported me with training on managing employees and completing required Sodexo audits.

What would you say about working for Sodexo?
There are a lot of opportunities for growth and options to try different career paths in different environments. I can go into healthcare, or universities or education. I love working with food and impacting patient nutrition. In my role at Sodexo, I get the opportunity to work clinically with patients and also with food service. I like having the range of being able to do both.

Can you describe a project you worked on?
I had a patient who was on gluten free diet and was upset with the limited menu options available for him. He was away from home for an extended period, which was really hard on him. After spending some time getting to know him and his preferences, I worked with the chef to develop more options for him. It was satisfying knowing that we really made him happy, not just by providing him food options that he enjoyed, but by showing him that we cared by going out of our way to make his stay better.

Shana Sporman, MS, RD, LDN

Food Service General Manager
Beth Israel-Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, MA


“One of the things I love most about the role is how we can cater to the interests of the dietitian. One of our RDs loves giving back to the community. She has provided interactive nutrition demos at local after school programs and local community centers and taught how and why food is medicine. It’s pretty remarkable.”

What attracted you to the field of nutrition and dietetics?
From an early age, I was introduced to the importance of health and wellness through my parents’ career paths, family medical conditions, our family farm and being an athlete myself.  I’ve always loved leading, inspiring and helping others in school, sports and life.  After a year of general education and “career development” courses at Indiana University, I decided a B.S. degree in Dietetics with a minor in Psychology was the best fit because it embodied my two greatest passions: people and health.

A typical (or not so typical) day-in-the-work-life for you?
Funny question – there are very few “typical” days which is what makes my work life so fun and exciting – and also requires a lot of deep breaths. It changes all of the time. Most days I try to empower people (clients, patients, hourly staff or co-workers) with the knowledge, motivation and practical tools to live their life or do their job in a more balanced and effective way. 

How did your career in dietetics start?
After finishing my Master’s degree at Boston University, I started as a Sodexo Resource RD filling in vacant jobs or helping new accounts in the greater New England area. I supported eight different facilities while on reserve before committing to work at BIDMC. 

What skills were you born with and what skills have you learned along the way?
I was born with coaching skills – it’s in my genes as both of my parents are great coaches. With that comes the listening, understanding, motivating and collaborative nature that helps me learn from and connect to others. Along the way I have learned/am still learning to be more organized, to not be so goal-focused that I miss details and slow down in order to enjoy the journey.

What advice do you have for others wanting to be just as successful and fulfilled as you?
Follow your gut. Your brain can be too practical and your heart can be too passionate. My gut has given me the patience to wait and seek for the right opportunity and the instinct to seize it. I have been fortunate to have been offered jobs that I could probably do, but not LOVE. I currently LOVE my jobs.

Colleen Klobusnik

Clinical Nutrition Manager III
St. Anthony’s Hospital, Colorado


What led you to your current position at Sodexo?
As an RD in a management role, I was drawn to Sodexo because of the plethora of resources and opportunities offered to employees to enable them to excel in their career. Once I joined Sodexo in 2011 as a Clinical Nutrition Manager/Patient Service Manager, it became clear how I could choose my own adventure. In only three years, I have been exposed to clinical management, patient services and operations — allowing me to take on general management duties such as unit financials.

In 2013, I saw a posting for a unit leadership position that I was hesitant to apply for. My mentor, an Environmental Services General Manager with Sodexo, encouraged me to go for it, saying “Do not ever disqualify yourself.” I now oversee clinical operations at Hospital Sisters Health System (HSHS), a multi-institutional healthcare system comprising thirteen hospitals across Illinois and Wisconsin, as the Multi-Service Operations Manager. I firmly believe that when working for Sodexo the only person that can stand in the way of advancing your career is yourself. 

What is the best part of your role at Sodexo?
What I enjoy most about working for Sodexo is that I’ve been offered so much opportunity to grow and expand my skill set through continuous training and networking with great Sodexo managers. Sodexo has challenged me on many occasions to step out of my comfort zone, which I am grateful for.

I am proud to work for a company that inspires me to grow and allows me to inspire others with my passion to best serve our patients, customers and clients.

Jackie Womble

Sr. Manager Internal Engagement for Health & Well-Being
Orlando, FL


What inspired you to go into a career in nutrition?
I’ve been interested in dietetics since childhood. For that, I give full credit to my mother, Caron Sharp, RD, LD. She has been a Registered Dietitian for 34 years and has worked in almost all areas of dietetics. I remember how excited I was to have my mother come to my 3rd grade class and talk about health foods. My mom always partnered with me to create my own school lunches, allowing me to learn how to put together well-balanced meals at a very young age!

What types of projects have you worked on?
I worked with SodexoMAGIC when they launched the Sodexo Mindful program at Disneyland. One of my first projects was to work with our culinary team to customize menus to provide a variety of culturally diverse foods in a “mindful” way. This included training employees and holding launch events at each café.

What is a typical day like for you?
There really is no “typical day” for me! Keeping “healthy eating” exciting, fun and positive is a daily activity that will always be number one on my “to-do” list.

Jillian Butt

Clinical Nutrition Manager III
Trident Medical Center, Charleston, SC


What led you to your current position at Sodexo?
I knew I wanted to be an inpatient Clinical Dietitian after I finished my dietetic internship at the Medical University of South Carolina, but I had not given much thought to whom I wanted my employer to be. Until I learned about Sodexo!

What is the best part of working for Sodexo?

  • Sodexo supports professional networking and involvement. I was encouraged to maintain membership with the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, and Sodexo reimburses their annual dues. This allows me to stay up-to-date on evidence-based practices and network within my profession. 
  • Sodexo helps me maintain my RD credential. I receive several opportunities throughout the year to get free continuing education credits through Sodexo and am even reimbursed for some of the CEU events I attend outside the company. 
  • Sodexo supports career growth and development. One of the annual requirements of a Sodexo Dietitian is to create a development plan, which allows me to reflect on where I want to go in my career and helps create a roadmap for how to get there through Sodexo Learning and Performance opportunities.
  • Sodexo provides rewards and recognition. During my time as an inpatient Dietitian, I received recognition for going above and beyond for a patient with a CARES award. I was also recognized for my accomplishments as a new manager within my area. These moments of praise make me feel appreciated within the company.
Wayne Strauss

Senior Area General Manager
Louisville, KY


Cultivating and maintaining good relationships is integral to Sodexo’s ability to ‘Make Everyday a Better Day’ for its clients. For Wayne Strauss, Senior Area General Manager for Sodexo Health Care Services, a major part of his role is relationship based. Wayne is responsible for two major hospitals in the region – Jewish Hospital and University of Louisville Hospital, both part of Catholic Health Initiatives at KentuckyOne Health. He also is responsible for driving patient satisfaction and performance improvement for all sites. Listen as he shares how building and maintaining relationships has aided in the success of his career and others he supports. Listen to podcast.







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