Mar 20, 2008
Recipe for Success
The support of former FVTC employee Ione Berg helped initiate big changes to the college's Culinary Arts and Hotel & Restaurant Management programs.
It was the perfect job for Ione Berg. Raising seven children, she spent much of her time in the kitchen—planning menus, preparing meals, and feeding her growing family. It was only natural then when she decided to look for a part-time job in 1988, she would find what she wanted in the kitchen at FVTC.
“I started as a dishwasher and did all kinds of things, including serving, cooking, running the deli, and putting together setups for meetings,” Berg says. “I was a multitasker. We worked hard, but we had fun.”
In 2002, 14 years after taking that job, Berg sold some property near the College and decided to retire. “When I sold it, it didn’t make sense to work anymore,” she says. “When the College needed help redoing the dining room, I said I’d be interested in helping.”
She wasn’t kidding. Berg committed to donating $50,000 toward the project ($10,000 a year for five years), and the College raised another $60,000 to establish a student-run restaurant called, not surprisingly, Ione’s Dining Room. Ione’s gift was in addition to four annual Ione Berg scholarships for Culinary Arts and Hotel & Restaurant Management students.
“The gift laid the cornerstone of private funding for the dining room remodeling project,” says Chef Jeff Igel, FVTC’s department chair of Culinary, Hotel and Restaurant Management. “Given that we are a public institution, it was difficult to secure the type of funding we needed to do the dining room the way we wanted. We embarked on a private fundraising campaign that netted us in excess of $110,000 to take our project to the next level. Restaurant Operations, the course that is housed in Ione’s Dining Room, is the capstone course of the College’s Culinary Arts program. Students are expected to bring all their skills together there, including all the cooking components, as well as management and leadership.”
“Ione’s gift provided immeasurable support to the FVTC Foundation and our partnership with the College,” says Deb Woodworth, FVTC’s development manager. “The gift started the restaurant upgrade project without impacting the College budget. Ione is very proud of her affiliation with FVTC and enjoys giving back to the institution that provided benefits and income to her family.”
Thanks to Ione Berg’s gift, those students, as well as staff, faculty, and members of the community have the opportunity to enjoy delightful meals in the new dining room. Ione’s features an appealing and ever-changing menu, from casual brunches to classical tableside French cuisine. “I’m spoiled eating there,” Berg says. “I’m German and I love the German food.”
Invest in Someone’s Future
When you contribute to the FVTC Foundation, you invest in tomorrow’s workforce. Ways to give include:
Gifts of cash, stocks, annuities
Gifts to support programs or departments
Your gift can support scholarships, student projects, or the purchase of cutting-edge equipment or supplies. Consider a gift today!
The FVTC Foundation is a 501 (c)(3) organization and charitable donations are fully tax deductible.