Collegiate Foodservice Association Presents Distinguished Service Award

David L. Annis, University of Nebraska–Lincoln, Receives Highest Honor

BALTIMORE, MD., July 20, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The National Association of College & University Food Services (NACUFS) has awarded its highest honor, the Theodore W. Minah Distinguished Service Award, this year to David L. Annis, director of dining services at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln. NACUFS Immediate Past President Kristina Patridge presented the award on Wednesday at a special reception during the NACUFS 2023 National Conference taking place this week in Baltimore, Md.

During his acceptance speech, Annis reflected on the rich memories and experiences from his decades-long involvement in the association.

“Most importantly, through NACUFS, I’ve gotten to meet and work with a lot of great people, people who I have looked up to, respected and admired. People who were passionate about the same things I was passionate about,” Annis said. “NACUFS is about people. I have been privileged to work with and be associated with some of the best and brightest in collegiate dining through NACUFS over these many years. I take a little part of each of these people, and they are a part of me now.”

Annis, current board member and past president, is a decorated leader whose contributions have advanced NACUFS and the collegiate dining industry throughout his 47-year career. His involvement in collegiate foodservice dates back to his childhood through his father, a founding member of NACUFS. In his youth, Annis ran concession stands and the commissary at the local Boy Scout summer camp, eventually managing the Camp Headquarters Dining Hall at Philmont Scout Ranch in New Mexico. In 1983, he became a food service manager at the University of South Dakota and went on to work at the University of Oklahoma, where he stayed for 30 years, until taking his current position at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln in 2019.

There, he recently completed the successful Selleck Renovation after navigating Nebraska dining through the pandemic as a new director. At the University of Oklahoma, his innovative design transformed the dining program and earned a “Best Renovation Award” from Food Management magazine in 2010. Among other awards, Annis has also received the University of Nebraska–Lincoln Regents Award to Dining Services for Meritorious Service in 2022, the University of Oklahoma Student Government Association Inaugural Nancy G. Moulder Award for Student Service in 2018, and the University of Oklahoma’s Otis Sullivant Award for Perceptivity in 2005.

His service within NACUFS began in the ‘80s and took the form of countless volunteer roles over the years, including as NACUFS president in 2007. He received the NACUFS Southern Region Distinguished Service Award in 2015, NACUFS Richard Lichtenfelt Award in 2009, the North American Association of Food Equipment Manufacturers (NAFEM) Doctorate of Food Service Award in 2007, NACUFS Volunteer Award in 2005, and NACUFS President's Award in 1993.

Annis has served on the Board of Directors of Food and Shelter for Friends in Norman, Okla., and been involved with the Food Pantry at the University of Oklahoma and the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma. Under his direction, the Able program at the University of Oklahoma Food Services was a major employer for the Council for Developmental Disabilities in Norman.

Previous winners can be found at


 About NACUFS:
The National Association of College & University Food Services (NACUFS) was founded in 1958 by a group of college and university foodservice professionals from across the United States. Since its inception, NACUFS has focused on its mission to support and promote excellence in collegiate dining by providing members with the programs and resources they need to excel, from benchmarking and best practices to educational programming and professional networking. 

NACUFS institutional members range from private colleges to large public universities, including two-year and four-year institutions, spanning the United States, Canada, United Kingdom and beyond. Industry members include food and equipment manufacturers, distributors, brokers, foodservice support companies, councils, boards, trade associations, advisory commissions and other professional groups. For more information, visit


NACUFS 2023 Minah Award winner David Annis

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