UM Dining Director LoParco Wins Silver Plate Award

March 04, 2014

MISSOULA – University of Montana Dining Director Mark LoParco has won the International Foodservice Manufacturers loparcoAssociation Silver Plate Award for the colleges and universities category.

“We are privileged to award this year’s class of Silver Plate recipients,” said Larry Oberkfell, IFMA president and CEO. “The Gold and Silver Plate Awards are the IFMA community’s way of celebrating greatness within the operator community and acknowledging the leadership and dedication these particular individuals have put forth to advance the foodservice industry.”

Aside from directing all UM Dining services such as the Food Zoo, UM Farm to College Program and UM Catering, LoParco also is president of the National Association of College and University Food Services. He is the first standing president of the NACUFS to win a Silver Plate Award.

“While the Silver Plate Award is given to an individual, no one person could achieve the successes required to be honored in this way without a strong, supportive environment in which to thrive,” LoParco said. “For the past 22 years, I’ve had the privilege of serving the University of Montana, where Presidents George Dennison and Royce Engstrom and Vice Presidents Barbara Hollman and Teresa Branch have been fully supportive of our business activities on campus and strong proponents of our involvement in professional associations, especially NACUFS.

“Throughout my tenure at UM, the staff of UM Dining have been an unwavering source of creativity, innovation and dedication, and loyal to UM through feast and famine. For a foodservice professional in any category, winning this award is on parallel with winning a Heisman Trophy. I’m deeply humbled to be the recipient of the 2014 IFMA Silver Plate Award.”

This year’s Silver Plate winners are eligible for the 2014 Gold Plate Award, which will be announced in May at the 60th annual Gold & Silver Plate Awards Celebration in Chicago. Silver Plate winners are chosen by a jury that includes national trade press editors, foodservice experts, past award winners and the chair of the International Gold and Silver Plate Society.

For more information call LoParco at 406-243-4716 or email


Photo: Mark LoParco





Contact: Mark LoParco, director of UM Dining, 406-243-4716,