Friday, Feb. 19 marked the last day of work for Charles "Chuck" Couture, previous Dining Services assistant director for retail, at the University of Connecticut. Couture took a Food Service Director position at Quinnipiac University in Hamden – thus initiating UConn’s search to fill the position.
The university will look to fill the position through a nationwide search, also open to current Dining Services employees. Executive Director Dennis Pierce said he expects to “have both internal and external candidates.”
Dining Services will focus their efforts on applicants who have experience in large college or university dining retail settings, Pierce said.
“We are looking for an individual that has a strong culinary background, strong financial skills and the ability to focus on students’ needs in a retail environment,” Pierce said.
Couture began his career at UConn in 2010, where he initially served as a retail manager, before moving on to assistant director for retail operations, Pierce said.
Couture worked with his team to oversee coordination and operations of the Union, cafes, Dairy Bar locations and the university food and ice cream trucks. He was involved in many projects, including the startup of Freshens and 1 Plate 2 Plates, as well as the opening of Le Petit Marche and the Beanery. He was also involved with UC Subs and Mort’s, the sub-concept that came before Subway. UC Subs and Mort’s are currently retail operations at the Avery Point campus, Pierce said.
“Chuck’s contributions were meritorious,” Pierce said.
Pierce said it is his understanding that Couture left UConn to pursue the higher position at Quinnipiac in order to “follow the traditional career ladder.”
Along the same lines, Pierce also expressed his discernment, noting that in order to get to his current position as UConn’s Dining Services Executive Director, he has worked at six different colleges and universities since the start of his own career. He said it’s common for people like Couture to go from school to school to fulfill their aspirations, and gives Couture full support.
“We always support individuals that aspire to succeed,” Pierce said. “We shared with Chuck that we would assist him by sharing any resources that will help him succeed in his new position.”