Executive Director, Auxiliary EnterprisesUniversity of Massachusetts, Amherst Amherst, Massachusetts
Ken Toong has been the Executive Director of University of Massachusetts Amherst Auxiliary Enterprises (AE) since 2011, an operational entity that includes UMass Dining (Residential and Retail), Conference Services, Campus Center Complex, Hotel UMass, the UMass Store, the University of Massachusetts Club Boston, and the UMass Trademark and Licensing Administration for the UMass System. Under Ken’s leadership UMass Auxiliary Enterprises has grown into one of the nation’s largest operations. Nationally he is one of the most recognized faces and frequent presenters in higher education’s dining and auxiliary segments. Ken is a big believer in building community and putting customers first, doubling down on the notion that a great auxiliary program can assist the university in attracting top students and enriching campus life while contributing to the financial well-being of the university.
Through Ken’s visionary direction, UMass Dining has become one of the nation’s most awarded programs for its innovative and quality programs, focusing on foodservice sustainability, authenticity, and health & wellness. Notable recognitions include the Global Restaurant Award in Sustainability in 2016 and most recently being voted #1 for Best Campus Food in the nation from Princeton Review 2023 edition, making it six years in a row.
In 2013, the International Foodservice Manufacturers Association (IFMA) recognized Ken as one of the recipients of the Silver Plate Award. In 2021, Nation’s Restaurant News Magazine named Ken Toong as one of the most influential non-commercial operators in a reader picks poll. In 2021, the Produce for Better Health Foundation named Ken the recipient of Foodservice Leader of the Year Award. Most recently, UMass’s Department of Hospitality and Tourism Management (HTM) in the Isenberg School of Business honored him with Special Recognition Award for his contribution to hospitality and industry.
Ken is involved in the foodservice community as a member of the Harvard School of Public of Health- Culinary Institute of America Menus of Change® Sustainable Business Leadership Council, an executive committee member of UMass Amherst Community Campaign, Chair of the International Foodservice Manufacturers Association (IFMA) C&U council, and a member of the NACAS Research Advisory Group.
Ken received his MBA (Beta Gamma Sigma) from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and a BBA from Acadia University, Nova Scotia.
A simple, but crowd-pleasing recipe for sure—incorporate potatoes on pizza. Take thinly sliced pieces of your favorite potato and add to your white sauce-based pizza. Add bits of crunchy bacon and Ranch on top to add a flavor punch. This is very popular with UMass students.