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Celebrating National Disability Employment Awareness Month at Sodexo

By Karen Graham, Senior Recruiter

This article first appeared in the October issue of C@reer Connections, Sodexo's monthly e-newsletter. Sign up today!

"Everyone can relate to something about people with disabilities." – Bob Stern, Senior Vice President and General Counsel with Sodexo

October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month – a time to celebrate the diverse contributions of workers with disabilities in America. It's also a time to raise awareness about improvements regarding disability employment issues. This year's national theme is "Expect. Employ. Empower."

Understanding the unique needs individuals with disabilities may have, Sodexo supports our employees in numerous ways. One such employee is Regional Dietitian Claudine Mauriello.

"I have lupus and I wear a leg brace from a bike accident that left me paralyzed on one side," explains Mauriello. "Sodexo has been very supportive of my scheduling needs living with lupus, especially in this past year."

But living with lupus hasn't held her back. Mauriello's full-time work as a dietitian in Sodexo's senior living market keeps her busy with many responsibilities for the health and wellness of the residents in the communities that she supports. And, after hours, she's an active participant in the annual Lupus Walk-a-Thon held each October to support research efforts to prevent, treat and cure lupus.

As a company, Sodexo is committed to hiring and supporting employees with disabilities through our employee business resource group, SOAR (Sodexo Organization for disAbilities Resources). SOAR focuses on raising awareness, providing education and resources, and creating a culture that values the contributions of people with disabilities. Our resources are also available for employees who have a loved one with a disability.

In recognition of Sodexo as an industry leader and based on SOAR's accomplishments in developing resources and support for employees with disabilities, the company was awarded the Disability Matters – Work Life Award by Work Life Matters magazine and Springboard Consulting.

At Sodexo, we also celebrate International Day of Persons with Disabilities on December 3rd of each year to showcase the experience of our employees who live with a disability. Here are some of the stories of our employees who are making a difference every day: 8 experiences, 8 challenges, 8 paths, 8 amazing people!

We welcome our readers to join the conversation on our Sodexo Careers Facebook page – we would love to hear about the amazing people who touch your lives!

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Here’s What You Need to Be Successful as a Health Care Facilities or Engineering Manager at Sodexo

By Autumn Anderson, Employment Brand Sourcing Manager

This week, the American Society for Healthcare Engineering (ASHE) is holding their annual recognition of employees in a health care environment through National Health Care Facilities and Engineering Week or #HealthEngWeek on Twitter.  

ASHE emphasizes the importance of these teams, stating, “…your department keeps your facility operational, safe, and efficient. Because of all you do, there is power; running water; and a clean, comfortable, and safe healing environment for all who walk through your doors.”

As a world leader in Quality of Life Services, Sodexo is no stranger to providing solutions that promote the well-being of our clients, patients and their loved ones through building design, maintenance of equipment and much more.

As we, too, celebrate this extraordinary and often behind-the-scenes work that our Facilities and Engineering Managers do, we invite you to explore the type of career you can have by joining our team.

To get started, we asked three members of our FM recruitment team to share their perspectives on what it takes to be successful as a Facilities or Engineering Manager at one of Sodexo’s health care accounts. Here’s what they said:  

In addition to these insights, you can find more information to help you determine if a Sodexo Facilities or Engineering Management role is right for you by taking advantage of these resources:

If you've already done your research and are ready to apply, search our current opportunities now!

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What it Really Means to Improve Quality of Life

By Guest Blogger Nanette M. Harty, MS, RD

Sodexo Senior Recruiter Nanette Harty
Change is inevitable. Whether it be your job, your location, a personal situation or something else entirely, you’ve likely dealt with change many times throughout your life. And while change often signals progress, there are times when consistency can make all of the difference.

As you may expect, many things have changed for me throughout my 23 year career with Sodexo. From variations in our company name to innovative transformations in our technology platforms, our company continues to evolve and grow as an industry leader.

With that being said, I am proud to say that our values have remained constant and that our mission of improving Quality of Life has proven to be more than just words on paper.

Just as aspects of my Sodexo career have changed and evolved, so has my personal life. Recently, our twins embarked on their college journey, and as a first-time mom, especially one with an RD / Food Service background, food is always a topic of discussion.

Sodexo Senior Recruiter Nanette Harty's Son at Marquette University
Twenty-three years ago, I may have never guessed that my own son’s campus dining program at Marquette University would be managed by Sodexo. He is always PROUD to tell me about all the food options and how nice the people are to “freshman who still haven’t quite figured out the whole meal plan” or how quick they are to “offer a smile and words of encouragement after a tough day.” He raves about the choices and theme nights, and on a rare weekend visit home, he remarked he was missing “Nug Night,” as we dined over a homemade meal I had spent hours preparing!

I believe that life is like a boomerang - you get what you give. It’s ironic when the company you've shared so many years with becomes responsible for caring for your own, and I get the opportunity to see first-hand what improving Quality of Life can mean - especially to a first time college mom. 

This whole experience reminds me to never lose sight of our mission and makes me proud to see the difference Sodexo can - and will continue to - make in the lives of those we serve and even those we love. 

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Attending #FNCE 2014: Educational Sessions, Culinary Demos & Booth 2036!

By Guest Blogger Salome Papaspyrou Rao, M.S., Ph.D.

Two more days to Atlanta!    

As I prepare for the annual Food & Nutrition Conference & Expo (FNCE), there is much to be excited about. To give you some background, I’m currently a Dietetic Intern with Sodexo and hold two additional jobs, while caring for three children.

Thanks to Sodexo’s part-time (yet rigorous) dietetic internship option, I finally have the opportunity to achieve my goal, and I find myself extremely fortunate to have this door opened to me and to be a part of this new network that includes so many exciting career opportunities.

Because this is a new career path for me, there are many great reasons to attend an event like FNCE, and as I look through all the lecture sessions, workshops and networking opportunities, I am having a tough time deciding which ones to choose!

My background thus far has been in the study of adipocyte metabolism, but my passion has always been in the area of weight management, so here are some of the sessions I’m considering for my FNCE agenda:

Day 1: School Nutrition Boot Camp or Food Photography? These both sound like fun and interesting topics, but there’s also the Nutrition Care Process workshop, which may be good for someone on their way to a new career, like myself. Since I can’t be in three places at the same time, I still have a decision to make!

Day 2: There are so many options for evidence-based educational sessions on the latest nutrition information and more. Right now, my top two choices are Beyond Fat and The Power of Plant Protein.

While at FNCE, I will not miss out on the opportunity to indulge my other passion, so I plan to check out a few culinary demonstrations, like Cooking with Flavor to Reduce Sodium and Fat, Start Your Day Fiber Forward, Finish Fiber Mindful and What the Fat?, among others. Plus, a visit to the Academy’s bookstore is always a must.

I am also very much looking forward to spending time at Sodexo Booth #2036 to meet other aspiring and established Dietitians, share thoughts on current nutrition topics and rave about my Sodexo internship experience!

With that, I’m off to pack! Let me know in the comments section which sessions you’re excited to attend, and be sure to stop by Booth #2036 to meet members of the Sodexo team.

I hope to see you there.

Salome Papaspyrou Rao, M.S., Ph.D. is currently working toward becoming an RD with Sodexo. Her background is in the area of adipocyte metabolism, and she is currently carrying out research in a Sensory Science Laboratory, investigating the genetic effects of taste on weight management. 

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Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month Sodexo-style!

By Chloé Rada, Senior Marketing Manager - Talent Acquisition

If you have been following my posts on the Sodexo Careers Blog, it’s no surprise that I enjoy cooking authentic ethnic dishes and meals at home. It’s a great way to immerse yourself in the different cultural heritage found throughout America, and in my case, my city of Chicago!

America has traditionally been referred to as a “melting pot” welcoming people from different race, religions and countries like Spain and Mexico. Sodexo’s culture can also be described as such because we embrace differences and celebrate unique talents. Our diversity journey is continuous, however, as we transform into a truly multicultural mosaic.  Being named the #5 best company for Latinas to work for in the U.S by Latina Style Magazine and a top employer for Hispanics by Hispanic Network Magazine confirms that we are on the right track!

It is custom for us to celebrate Heritage months on our Facebook page with facts and figures, but this year we’ve created a new Pinterest board chalked full of great recipes too!    

Follow Sodexo USA Careers's board Hispanic Heritage Month on Pinterest.  
I’m celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month by preparing this Sodexo recipe for Brazilian-style Chicken and Rice, just like you’ll find in our cafes. Not only is it easy to prepare, it’s healthy and nutritious and one of the many Mindful by Sodexo recipes that our Executive Chefs and Registered Dietitians collaborated on to help mindful choices become second nature for our customers.

Do you have a great Mexican, Latin or Brazilian recipe to share?  Provide the link in the comments below and we’ll make sure to pin it to our board! 

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Top Reasons Millennials Choose Sodexo

By Kristen Jacobs, Employment Branding Sourcing Manager

This article first appeared in the September issue of C@reer Connections, Sodexo's monthly e-newsletter. Sign up today!

By now, we’ve all heard of the Millennial Generation, also known as Generation Y, which spans from around age 20 to the early 30’s. Although this group is already represented in the workforce, it’s expected that they will make up 40% of the working population by 2020.

As Millennials graduate from college and begin their careers, they have different priorities than earlier generations when it comes to choosing an employer. Attracting top talent from every generation is essential to Sodexo’s growth and the newest generation to hit the workforce is taking notice for several reasons:


With a focus on improved work/life balance, Millennials aren’t interested in the 9-5 schedules that earlier generations have become accustomed to. Sodexo’s Flexibility Works! program, along with a growing number of virtual opportunities, has allowed employees to enjoy a better Quality of Life.

Career Growth

This generation has a vision for their future and isn’t afraid to work for it. Providing growth opportunities and promoting from within are cornerstones of Sodexo’s performance and success. We offer education, training and incentives to help employees apply their abilities in their current specialty, or expand their ambitions into countless other disciplines.

Social Responsibility

According to the 2014 Creative Jobs Report, 35 percent of Millennials value having a job that makes a positive social impact. Enhancing Quality of Life means a commitment to sustainability and corporate social responsibility, along with being a responsible employer.


Raised by a generation that fought to be heard, Millennials are used to speaking up and having their opinions count. Sodexo’s culture of inclusion in the workplace drives our ability to identify and develop the best talent, create an engaged and committed workforce and enhance Quality of Life for our clients, customers and the communities we serve.  

In addition, i-Gen, one of Sodexo’s Employee Business Resource Groups, drives the understanding and respect of multi-generational differences and commonalities, resulting in a more positive workplace and a more productive workforce.

Are you ready to work for a company that embraces differences and rewards innovation? Start your search today!

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Sodexo Environmental Service Managers Excel in Compassion, Accountability, Respect, Service and Excellence

 By Guest Blogger, Amy Lentes, General Manager - Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare

More than 20 years ago was my first introduction to the Environmental Services industry.  I was a Housekeeping Manager for a hotel chain in Chicago where I learned quite fast how important it is to provide a clean environment.  The guests were paying for luxury accommodations, so if the cleanliness did not meet their satisfaction they did not hesitate to let me know that.  Expectations were high and first impressions were key to repeat business and loyal customers.

I was referred to Sodexo along the way by a friend.  My friend had witnessed all the demanding hours I had put in at the Hotel.  They had told me what a great organization this was and how there were countless opportunities available both nationally and internationally.  I seized the chance, applied immediately and have not looked back since.  I was even blessed by being able to work in Whistler, BC for the 2010 Olympics for two months.  This was a chance in a lifetime!

Shortly after moving into the Healthcare industry, I found that it was more rewarding than the Hotel business. I realized that the relationship with the housekeeping staff starts at the beginning of the stay, making the patient more comfortable. But similar to the Hotel business, first impressions make a lasting impact and our patients have a choice in where they get their care. The role of a Housekeeping Manager is much more than cleaning and in fact they need to excel in Compassion, Accountability, Respect, Service and Excellence.

I always enjoy celebrating Environmental Services & Housekeeping Week with my teams.  The plan for this year was to have fun and play games.  Through this we are continuing to build on teamwork and interpersonal relationships within the department.    Since my team loves food, and are one of the more diverse departments in the organization, we decided to incorporate Epcot’s Around the World feel to our celebration this year.  We achieved this by bringing in food stations from Mexico, Germany, China, Poland and the United States. My favorite food was the Egg rolls!

In the center of the room we set up Ping-Pong, foosball and the bean bag toss game.  We randomly matched players for the competition and awarded various prizes for the winners.

Additionally, we invited our client liaisons, the Senior VP of Nursing and Senior VP of Business Operation, to attend our Huddles for all of our shifts during last week.  This was an opportunity for them to express their gratitude to the team that keeps our patients in a clean and safe environment while boosting team morale.   

I’m proud that the Sodexo team at Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare is a dynamic, diverse and driven team of professionals who take a personal approach to providing service. They prove daily that they have the patients at the heart at everything they do!

Thank you to all of the ES Managers and Associates out there.  I hope you had a great week!

Amy Lentes is a 20 year veteran with Sodexo and is CHESP certified.  Located at Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare Milwaukee Wisconsin, she is a multi-site General Manager with a total of  eight managers and 150 frontline employees. 

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