Alain Verbeiren, longtime Food Services director at Southern Arkansas University, will retire on Saturday after more than 12 years of dedicated service. An employee of Aramark, Verbeiren is well-known and loved on the campus.
He began his career with both Aramark and SAU on the same day, May 19, 2008. Raised and educated in Belgium, Verbeiren worked in restaurant management in northwest Arkansas before coming to south Arkansas.
“Alain has done incredible work at SAU,” said Dr. Trey Berry, SAU president. “This not only includes his tireless work and extremely long hours dedicated to providing our campus community top notch food services, but also in his total commitment to our students. Alain was always willing to do what was necessary to help each individual student in need and to adjust at a moment’s notice to provide what SAU needed in various circumstances. Alain epitomizes our commitment to a ‘Culture of Caring’ at SAU. Thank you, Alain! We will be forever grateful. We will miss you!”
“Alain has been an outstanding food service manager for SAU for over a decade,” said Dr. Donna Allen, vice president for Student Affairs. “He has been exemplary in customer service and most enjoyed getting to know and help students. He will be greatly missed. Alain made Aramark a great food service partner.”
Under Verbeiren’s tenure, SAU Aramark has grown its food service offerings, including the expansion of the cafeteria, the addition of PANDA Express Chinese Kitchen, Chick-fil-A, and the recent opening of We Proudly Serve Starbucks in the Reynolds Center. Thanks to his leadership, SAU food service has been consistently financially sound and received high ratings.
“What impressed me most about Alain is his ability and inner drive to connect with customers,” said Brad Crosson, Aramark district manager. “It never ceased to amaze me how many students, faculty and staff know him by name. He would always stop to speak to them or just greet them.”
Crosson praised Verbeiren’s “servant spirit that sets him apart from any other general manager. I’m forever thankful for Alain’s 12 years of service and stability to SAU.”
Verbeiren and his wife, Amrita, will move to Nepal. Amrita worked in the SAU Registrar’s Office. She is a graduate of SAU. Their daughter Claire will also be going with them. They will be opening an orphanage to teach and care for children.