Todd Lindsay grew up in a huge family, and that helped shape his career plans very early on.
Even though the Lindsay family numbered just three children – Todd and his two siblings – there was usually a full house at their West Haven, Conn., home. Over the years, more than 30 foster children lived there for varying periods of time; at one point, eight foster kids were under the Lindsay roof. “A real melting pot of children,” he says.
That melting pot provided a great test-kitchen for one of Lindsay’s early passions – managing mealtimes for the household (often with as little as five dollars in grocery money provided by his mother). By age 11, he was hooked on the role and rewards of being a meal planner, shopper, chef and server.
A year after high school, Lindsay enrolled as a full-time student in the UNH Hotel and Restaurant Management program, while also working full-time at Arnold’s Sanford Barn Restaurant in Hamden to fund his education. The curriculum, his professors and the experience gained daily at his restaurant job proved to be an excellent recipe for success as an industry professional.
“UNH helped me achieve my dream of becoming a leader in the contract management industry working with some of the top food service management companies in the world,” he notes.
After earning his BS in 1978, Lindsay pursued a career in sales and operations management in the food service industry, whose customers include business and industry restaurants, healthcare facilities, and educational institutions. He soon found a lifelong mentor in Michael Bailey, a British-born catering executive whom Food Management magazine calls a food service “contract legend.” Working in operations, then sales for Bailey, the former CEO and President at Trusthouse Forte, a rapidly growing food services corporation, gave Lindsay the opportunity to help forge the company’s future – acquiring new clients and developing a new vision. While there, Lindsay landed 25 new accounts in a three-year span.
During the following three decades, Lindsay continued to be successful in attracting and managing new accounts for some of the leading food service corporations in the United States. He reconnected with Bailey in January 2008 when he was named director of business development at Fitz Vogt and Associates in Walpole, N.H., a food service management company owned by his former mentor.
Lindsay’s advice to aspiring food service industry executives: stir the pot. “I really encourage young people to challenge themselves and explore what else is out there. There are always opportunities to find within a field – you just have to look hard enough to find them.”
Posted Spring 2010