Kennesaw State’s leader of The Commons dining hall wins national award

NACAS David H. Lord Award for Exemplary Community Service presented to Gary Coltek   KENNESAW…

Georgia (Aug 27, 2015)NACAS David H. Lord Award for Exemplary Community Service presented to Gary Coltek


KENNESAW, Ga.  (Aug. 27, 2015) — Kennesaw State University’s Gary Coltek, executive director and chef de cuisine for The KSU Commons dining hall, has been awarded the 2015 National Association of College Auxiliary Services Conference’s David H. Lord Award for Exemplary Community Service. The award recognizes community leaders who not only encourage active citizenship but also make the needed changes to their campuses.

Coltek joined Kennesaw State in July 2007 after a career of more than 30 years in the culinary and hospitality industry. Coltek is an active member of the National Restaurant Association, Georgia Restaurant Association, National Association of College and University Food Service and the National Association for College Auxiliary Services.

Committed to shaping the next generation of chefs and food service professionals, Coltek serves as a chef mentor and board member of the Hospitality Education Foundation of Georgia (HEFG). He has provided his culinary expertise to high school culinary teams competing in national ProStart cooking competitions for a decade. In addition to his involvement HEFG, Coltek has served as a consultant to Cobb County School System and The University System of Georgia on the importance of providing culinary programs at the high school and collegiate level.

In coordination with the University’s Culinary and Hospitality Services, each summer Coltek hosts Camp Green Cuisine, for the Bill Thrash Kennesaw Teen Center. The after-school program for youth in the community opened in Kennesaw in mid-February 2011. Its main purpose is to offer learning and enrichment opportunities to students in middle and high school grades in the community.

Coltek also partners with CHOICES, the Center Helping Obesity in Children End Successfully, Inc.  This grassroots organization began in April 2002 to join the fight against the deadly epidemic of childhood obesity. The center promotes weight management and lifestyle changes through nutrition education, peer socialization, physical activity and community involvement. The KSU campus farm donates surplus farm eggs and produce to CHOICES food camps and classes.

Two years ago, Coltek established an on-campus farmer’s market. Held weekly on the Kennesaw Campus Green, the KSU Farmer’s Market was created to offer the KSU community the opportunity to purchase fresh, naturally and organically grown produce and goods from local farmers and artisans.  Healthy growing practices are supported and the local economy is strengthened, while the KSU community is educated about sustainable agriculture. 

NACAS is the largest auxiliary services support organization serving higher education that provides professional development and leadership opportunities necessary for its members to be successful. NACAS is committed to ethical and value-driven decision making essential to ensuring fiscal responsibility inherent in higher education's auxiliary services. NACAS embraces values that provide a focus on operational quality, service, innovation and value, responsiveness to service and product needs of all constituencies, identification of “best practices” in professional services areas and a commitment to integrity and sustainability.

—Robert S. Godlewski


The Commons


A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its nearly 43,000 students. With 11 colleges on two metro Atlanta campuses, Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the country and the world. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 6 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status. For more information, visit