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Media inquiries: Please contact Julie Buchanan, julie.buchanan@dcr.virginia.gov, 804-786-2292.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: August 22, 2001
Contact: Jim Meisner Jr., DCR Public Relations Specialist, (804) 786-8442, jim.meisner@dcr.virginia.gov

Virginia State Park employees receive NAC certification

(RICHMOND) - Six Virginia State Parks employees recently completed the National Association of Concessionaires' (NAC) Concession Manager Certification Program. The employees are: Business Manager Gloristine Evins, Chippokes Plantation State Park; Assistant Park Manager David Floyd, Lake Anna State Park; Chief Ranger Russell Johnson, Leesylvania State Park; Chief Ranger Chip Adams, Fairy Stone State Park; Business Manager Ishmael Richardson and Chief Ranger Robert Chapman, Natural Tunnel State Park.

"As the economy causes belt tightening in the business world, state government is enhancing employee training to achieve greater efficiencies in operations and to enhance our visitor's experience," said DCR State Parks Director Joe Elton. "Sending our business, retail and food service managers through this rigorous program gives us another tool to make our parks better."

NAC's Concession Manager Certification Program is America's premier recreational food service education program, providing the tools to manage efficiently and boost the bottom line.

The four-day program includes 25 hours of instruction with extensive emphasis on topics essential to a concession manager, including planning, cost-control systems, menu planning and event planning.

More than 500 industry professionals have been certified through this program, which is based on the curriculum at the School of Hospitality Management at Florida International University in Miami, and the School of Human Sciences Department of Nutrition and Food Science at Auburn University in Alabama.

"After completing this program, our people are now among the industry's elite," Elton said. "More state parks staff will receive this training in the future. Eventually, all of our retail and food service managers will achieve this new level of excellence."

Virginia State Parks, managed by the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, are on the cutting edge of effective concessions management.

"Our visitors deserve the best park experience possible," Elton said, "and one way we can make their time with us more enjoyable is to give our staff the best training available."

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