Donna M. Holland
Assistant Director Nutrition Services
Hamilton Ohio City School District
ICN strives to assist child nutrition professionals with career development and the continuous improvement of child nutrition programs.
Donna Holland’s story is a genuine example of these efforts contributing to success. She spent 20 years of her professional life as a stockbroker in Cleveland, Ohio. But, when a close friend faced a serious illness that brought unanswered questions about what she should and could eat, Donna set out to help her get some answers. She found that she was more than a little interested in nutrition. This newfound passion led her on a long journey that included 2 ½ years of undergraduate classes in order to pursue and obtain her Registered Dietitian certification.
Now where to find a job with her RD in hand, but no practical experience in the field? When her husband encouraged her to apply for some of the school nutrition positions in their area, she was concerned that her lack of experience would be a problem. Donna turned to ICN and began learning all she could about school food service, attended ICN’s Orientation to School Nutrition Management, and came away feeling she had a good start. She applied for a few positions and not long after was hired as the Assistant Director of Nutrition Services in the Hamilton Ohio City School District.
Hamilton has about 10,000 students in 13 buildings with about 70% of students receiving free or reduced lunch, and they have started some very innovative programs. Donna shared her story with ICN’s Training Team and added, “I’ve been given a wonderful opportunity to be part of such a creative and innovative team. I greatly appreciate the training I received at ICN. It was only through this training that I felt confident enough with school food service (as you know there are a lot of moving parts to the NSLP!) to apply. I am so glad I came to your Orientation to School Nutrition Management Seminar in January. Thank you for offering this invaluable training! “
Cinde Gorbandt is the Senior Director of Dining Services for Hamilton School District and had this to say about her new hire, “As a director who has a nutrition degree, it has always amazed me that “we,” as a group, don’t pursue the school nutrition route when looking for employment. Where else can you mold people’s lives from the ground up…nowhere! Kids are ripe for the teaching and eager to learn. We host the perfect environment. When Donna interviewed with me, I was amazed at her self-motivation to do the ICN training on her own! It shows interest and her commitment to school nutrition!”