Troy Kalla, who has worked in St. Cloud State University’s Garvey Commons dining hall for 30 years, recently earned a national award as a difference maker.
Kalla was awarded the Chartwells Higher Education’s Frontline Culinary Difference Maker Award during the 2023 Compass Group’s (parent of Chartwells) Night of Stars annual event.
The award honors associates who achieve excellence, provide great results every day and go above and beyond. It stands as one of the most prestigious recognitions that associates can receive, and Kalla accepted the award in Orlando, Florida in October.
Kalla started as a utility employee unloading trucks, eventually moving up to be the head grill cook where he works today.
“His ability to connect with guests and mentor student staff is unmatched,” said Michelle Jacobson, Director of Residential and Retail Dining. “Troy’s kindness, dedication and demeanor creates an excellent environment to work in, and we couldn’t be prouder to have him on our team.”
Kalla and his wife are also foster parents, having a total of four children in their care since they began five years ago. They’ve officially adopted two of those children and plan to continue fostering in the future.
“Providing a safe, loving, and consistent family dynamic for the children brings such joy to Heather and myself,” Kall said. “Whatever we can do to give each child a loving home is our main goal.”