UM Dining Director Earns Prestigious National Award

July 30, 2015

MISSOULA – University of Montana Dining Director Mark LoParco recently received an award for his leadership and contributions to the National Association of College and University Food Services and the collegiate foodservice industry at large.

The Richard Lichtenfelt Award – named for NACUFS’ first president – recognizes outstanding service to the association on a national level. NACUFS named LoParco the 2015 recipient during the association’s annual conference held July 22-25 in Indianapolis.

“NACUFS is truly fortunate to have a dedicated leader like Mark,” NACUFS President Zia Ahmed said. “He has been a great resource for this association over the past 30 years. His leadership to begin the governance restructuring process should be highly commended. I was very fortunate to have him as an adviser throughout my time as president.”

The 2015 Richard Lichtenfelt Award is the third industry distinction bestowed upon LoParco in a year’s time. In 2014, LoParco became the first presiding NACUFS president to win the International Foodservice Manufacturers Association Silver Plate Award in the Colleges and Universities category. He also was awarded the Doctorate of Foodservice Award by the North American Association of Food Equipment Manufacturers in February.

LoParco has served as the director of UM Dining for 23 years. He has been actively involved in NACUFS since 1986.

“Mark LoParco strives to be unique, creative and great at what he does,” said Teresa Branch, UM vice president for student affairs. “He works at being the best in the food business. He is truly one of a kind and has excelled in providing quality service at UM.”

For more information call UM Dining Director of Marketing Sam Belanger at 406-243-5089 or email  

Contact: Sam Belanger, director of marketing, UM Dining, 406-243-5089,