CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Rod Stoner, a 30-year veteran of The Greenbrier Resort and a culinary consultant, has been named the 2011 “Friend of ProStart” by the West Virginia Department of Education’s Office of Hospitality Education and Training. The award, presented during a recent ceremony concluding the Hospitality Cup competition, recognizes outstanding contributions to hospitality and restaurant education by a professional.
"As a recognized leader in West Virginia’s hospitality industry, Mr. Stoner has been instrumental in continuing to grow our ProStart program and educating the next generation of industry leaders," said state Superintendent of Schools Jorea Marple. “He has provided professional input and resources for our efforts in professional development for teachers, scholarships for students as well as student competition opportunities and we thank him for his contributions and dedication.”
The ProStart program is a two-year curriculum designed to teach high school students the culinary and management skills needed for a career in the restaurant and foodservice industry. Students also have the opportunity to participate in paid internships where industry managers mentor them. When students meet academic standards, complete a checklist of competencies and participate in at least 400 hours of a mentored work experience, they are awarded the ProStart National Certificate of Achievement that signifies they are well qualified to enter the industry work force.
“Rod Stoner has been a supporter of ProStart from the very beginning of ProStart in West Virginia,” said Assistant State Superintendent Kathy D’Antoni. “It is undeniable that ProStart today would not be enjoying the level of success it has without the contributions of Rod Stoner.”
Stoner also has been a key force in the development of the West Virginia Hospitality and Travel Association’s Educational Foundation, which was founded to provide scholarships to students pursuing postsecondary education in hospitality in West Virginia. During the annual competition, he oversees a team consisting of 14 culinary professionals and post-secondary judges, who evaluate the student competitors in the culinary side of the competition. He also serves as an adviser to the programs in hospitality education in the state’s career and technical programs in secondary education.
For more information, contact Donna Wilkes with the Office of Career and Technical Education at 304-558-6321, or the Office of Communications at 304-558-2699.
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