Who's Who's in Dining Services

Hong Ju Charles George Thompson Peter Venman Molly Theresa Venne
Hong%20Ju

Full Name: Hong Ju

Brief bio:  From Xian, China.  I came to the US in 2008. My husband and daughter were here; My husband came in 2000 and I came later. My daughter graduated from UMass. My husband works at Amherst Chinese

Current Position:  Server.

Various Positions Held at Amherst:  Server.

Funniest Experience at the College: A student asked me one day why I’m always so happy. I answered, everything in my life is so good.  In China everyone is so poor, and here we both have jobs. My daughter is graduating from college. I’m so happy.

What Do You Splurge On?  Jewelry.

Favorite Thing to Do Outside the College:  I like to knit scarves.

Little Known Fact About You:  My birth mother is my mother’s sister. She gave me to my mom when I was three.

Your Coworkers Think You Are:  Nice.

What Sideline or Hobby Do You Have?  Knitting

One thing You Would Change About Yourself:  Not getting older.

What Really Sets You Off:  People lying.

People in High School Thought You Were:  Smart and quiet.

Most Proud Moment:  My daughter—she studies so hard. She’s very well-behaved and it never gets into trouble.

 

Charles%20Thompson

Full Name:  Charles George Thompson

Brief bio: I’m married with two sons—Timothy, 21, and Nicholas, 18., wife, Teresa. Went to Culinary Institute of America,  Hyde Park, New York, and graduated in 1977. I was in the restaurant business at 14. Fifteen years in healthcare, started in the kitchen, promoted to Chef, then director of food services and maintenance. Came to Amherst College in 1991 as assistant director and promoted to director in 1995.

Date Started at Amherst:  1991.

Current Position:  director of dining services

Various Positions Held at Amherst:  assistant and director of dining services

Funniest Experience at the College:  I was at a retirement party for Tito Grandonico who always wore a patch of the US flag on his shirts.    Earl Schmitter put several little plastic, US flags in the centerpiece which included a burning candle (before Rick Mears).  One of the flags caught on fire from the candle and Earl started to shake it to put it out.  Molten pieces of plastic flew off the flag onto my new suit and burned holes in it.

 What Do You Splurge On?  Dinners.

Favorite Thing to Do Outside the College: I’m a do-it-yourselfer.  Yard or house projects.

Little Known Fact About You:  I’m missing a tooth.  I had a baby tooth, lost it and the second tooth never came in.

Celebrity Sighting at Amherst College:  Dan Brown, Diane Sawyer, Kim Howard, Gary Sinise.

Your Coworkers Think You Are:  Fair

What Sideline or Hobby Do You Have? Remodeling

One thing You Would Change About Yourself:  Be quicker to the point.

What Really Sets You Off:  Lack of pride in what you do.  Hard to find pride in work in so many areas of our country.

 One Product, Trend, or Fashion You’d Like to See Return:  quality products.

People in High School Thought You Were:  Good, fun guy to be around.

Strangest Job You Ever Held:  Worked for my best friend’s father’s moving company and we moved houses.

Dumbest Thing You Ever Did:  Four wheeling with friends to an area which was too dangerous and we almost tipped over.

Most Proud Moment:  Getting married and everything since then especially my children being born.

Closing Comment:  Work hard and enjoy life.

 

Peter%20Venman

Full Name: Peter Venman

Brief bio: Born in Michigan, grew up in Amherst. Third of five kids. On-Call firefighter. I’ve been here 29 years. I worked at Clark University and Michigan State, and came here washing pots and pans. Now second cook and supervisor on Sundays, and fill in for [First Cook] Craig [Hudson]. I live in Hadley; I love Hadley. Have 5 kids. My wife is Div of Institutional Research at MHC.

Date Started at Amherst: Jan. 25, 1983.

Current Position: Second Cook.

Various Positions Held at Amherst: Pot washer, kit supply, runner and set up. Third cook, faculty dining at science center when that program was still in place.

Funniest Experience at the College: I played a trick on someone: I froze a mannequin inside a freezer, so when he opened the door, he thought someone had frozen in there.

What Do You Splurge On? Bonsai trees. I create them.

Favorite Thing to Do Outside the College: Fire department.

Little Known Fact About You:  I grow bonsai trees.

Celebrity Sighting at Amherst College: George Costanza [Jason Alexander].

Your Coworkers Think You Are: Cranky and loud.

What Sideline or Hobby Do You Have? Landscaping and gardening.

One thing You Would Change About Yourself: I wouldn't be such a perfectionist at work.

What Really Sets You Off: When someone doesn’t take responsibility and says, “It’s not my job.”

One Product, Trend, or Fashion You’d Like to See Return: I’d like to see more respect for others, especially elders.

People in High School Thought You Were a: Band nerd.

Dumbest Thing You Ever Did: Nervous about returning late from a break so to catch up II pushed an empty  warming box up a hill. Everyone saw me doing it.

Most Proud Moment: My kids being born.

Closing Comment: Amherst College has been very good to me. My dad said he could get me a job at UMass years ago, and I told him no. I came to Amherst College and love it. I am out at 2:30 and pick up my kids. It’s great.

 

Molly%20Venn

Full Name: Molly Theresa Venne

Brief bio: From Florence. Graduated Northampton High 1998, went to UMass Amherst, where I played softball and was on the color guard.  Went to  UMass, and received a B.A. in Hospitality and Tourism Management. Started as the receptionist in D.S. four years. Promoted to catering office assistant 18 months ago. Catering managerI learned from the ground up.

Date Started at Amherst: 2000

Current Position: Catering Manager. Soon to be Dining Services Director. Watch out, Charlie!

Funniest Experience at the College: Scott Shippey and I dressed up as each other on Halloween and neither of us knew we were doing it.

What Do You Splurge On? Going on vacation. Disney World this past year.

Favorite Thing to Do Outside the College: Spend time with friends and family. Go for motorcycle rides.

Little Known Fact About You: Having a baby in June.  Update: Aiden Esposito has arrived!

Celebrity Sighting at Amherst College: Ben & Jerry. Tonie Sanchez.

Your Coworkers Think You Are: Friendly and fun to work with.

What Sideline or Hobby Do You Have? Fish the Connecticut River –I just bought a boat.

One thing You Would Change About Yourself: I would have gone on to get my Masters Degree.

What Really Sets You Off: People lying or making things up in their job and in life in general.

One Product, Trend, or Fashion You’d Like to See Return: Side ponytail.

People in High School Thought You Were: Shy and quiet.

Strangest Job You Ever Held: Worked for DBA, a temp agency. I had to work in someone’s house and do personal mail . I was paired with a kid who had very spiky hair.

Dumbest Thing You Ever Did: Just after I got my license, I was driving on I-91 and a cop was behind me, put on his siren, and I pulled over onto the center median. He yelled at me to pull over to the shoulder. He wasn’t even pulling me over.

Most Proud Moment: My Mom died when I was a teen so the fact that I graduated cum laude from college was very special. 

Closing Comment: I love working in Dining Services. It’s almost like a second family. It’s very diverse, but we all work well together
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