The Whitworth community received an email last week from Jim O'Brien, general manager of the Whitworth Sodexo branch, announcing “Sodexo Executive Chef Jess Dozier has been promoted to Senior Manager of Culinary Development of the Sodexo Midwest Region, based out of Chicago.” Dozier is in his tenth year at Whitworth.
“I love Whitworth. I've spent one-third of my working life here,” Dozier said. “The people here are just amazing people.”
Dozier said he appreciates the way the university and the Sodexo staff relate to each other with fondness and respect.
“How the university treats us and how we relate to the university is a model. It isn't like this everywhere. We are under contract with the school, but they have never treated us as though we were in service to them.”
Dozier said he and the Sodexo staff are treated as a part of the Whitworth community, and this kind of relationship fosters the desire to work harder and to take care of the students.
“I probably view the world very differently from being here this long,” Dozier said.
Dozier has appreciated the experience he has had in getting to know students, residents assistants, and resident directors throughout the years.
“You learn a lot from being around young people,” Dozier said.
Dozier knows Whitworth's view of community and sustainability has impacted him.
“When I got to Whitworth, 'sustainability' wasn't even in our vocabulary.”
Now, he says, it has become a part of how he approaches things.
“[It is a] very difficult decision to leave,” Dozier said. “Lots of my friends are here. It's not the kind of thing you just leave behind.”
His new position will entail the management and culinary support for 135 accounts; facilitating and helping those clients with account-related problems.
Dozier stresses how important it is to him to keep in touch with people. He will be back and forth between Whitworth and elsewhere throughout the rest of the year, while the proposal for the expansion of the university dining-room is before the trustees. He hopes it is approved.