Dining Services expands its leadership team
Virginia Tech Dining Services welcomes three new directors.
Virginia Tech Dining Services has added new leadership for many positions across its dining facilities. Each new director brings years of experience and a knowledge of dining and operations to help guide the Dining Services into a new era of culinary excellence, inclusivity, and engagement.
John Barrett is the new associate director of Dining Services and Dietrick Hall. Barrett has been with the Dining Services since he attended Virginia Tech as a student, starting in 1990 as a catering employee. In 1996, he became an assistant manager for catering service and held that position until 2001. Barrett was operations manager for West End Market from 2001-06. In 2009, he became the assistant director for catering, and left that position to become assistant director of Turner Place, which he helped open. After over a decade at Turner Place, Barrett accepted his current role.
“I love doing what I do. I never saw myself as a person who would wear a shirt and tie every day, but then the food service bug hit me and it was awesome. Being able to see students and workers grow and become better people is something that inspires me,” said Barrett. “I’ve met so many people that I consider family. You work with these people day in and out, and some of these people I’ve worked with for 20 to 30 years. I don’t think there’s a lot of jobs out there can have that affect.”
Katey Carr is the new assistant director of Turner Place. Carr has worked with the Dining Service since 2009. She graduated from Virginia Tech with a degree in hospitality and tourism management. She has contributed to Dining Services for 11 years, working five years at West End Market and then six years at Squires Student Center. In addition to serving in management at these facilities, Carr was integral to the opening of Viva Marketplace in 2022. As assistant director, Carr oversees the eight dining shops in Turner Place, which collectively can have upward of 11,000 transactions a day.
“I love the variety of food. That is one of my favorite parts of Turner Place," Carr said. "My favorite part of being an assistant director is building a team, seeing them be successful, and seeing them go on to better things. Turner Place does wonderful things, I’m here to make sure they continue on that path.”
Paul Magnant is the new associate director of Owens Hall. Magnant has over 40 years of experience in the culinary world, having trained as a chef and held many management positions. Among his accomplishments, Magnant has been a guest chef at the White House, holds certifications including membership with the American Academy of Chefs, and is a member of the Chaîne des Rôtisseurs, a global collection of award-winning chefs. He has also co-authored several culinary books.
“I have been fortunate enough in my career to accomplish many challenges in the culinary industry,” Magnant said, “I am honored to have found a fulfilling role here at Virginia Tech Dining Services.”