The National Association of College and University Food Services recently chose University of Montana Dining Services Director Mark LoParco as its president-elect.
The election was held in Boston on July 13 at the NACUFS National Conference. LaParco accepted the three-year commitment to hold the prestigious volunteer position. He immediately assumed the president-elect title and will serve until next summer’s national conference when he will begin his one-year term as president. In 2015 he will serve for one year as past president.
“I anxiously await the opportunity to bring my passion and deep commitment to sustainable business practices to the national stage,” LoParco said.
From 2005 to 2006, LoParco served as president of the NACUFS Continental Region. His also has served as co-chair for the National Education Committee, during which time he facilitated various regional and national education programs.
A leader in the local foods movement, LoParco is a popular speaker and presenter at regional and national conferences where he delivers presentations focusing on sustainability and supporting local agriculture.
For the past 25 years, LoParco has focused his work within NACUFS on developing and delivering high-quality educational programs. His goal is to continue to champion education and to work closely with the NEC to explore and employ cutting-edge technology in the delivery of educational programming.
LoParco is an enthusiastic advocate of developing a NACUFS Sustainability Summit. He aims to serve as a catalyst for the NEC’s educational series on sustainable business practices in college food service. LoParco also is a valuable resource for Montana state legislators and sustainability-advocate groups.
LoParco and students from the UM’s Environmental Studies program established UM’s Farm to College program in 2003. The program has been a recognized pioneer and leader in the promotion of buying locally grown and produced food products and other goods.
A past member of the UM Recycling Oversight Committee and UM Sustainable Campus Committee, LoParco is a two-time recipient of the Greening UM Award. He currently is serving as NACUFS’ 2012 Sustainability Summit Project Team chair. He also has recently been a judge for the first NACUFS Sustainability Awards.