About Us

Get to know the Staff!

We are a qualified and proficient Management Team, dedicated to providing our customers with a variety of delicious, quality and nutritional food at a fair value. We take pride in our mission to provide friendly, creative, and attentive service to everyone who dines with us.


Rick Balfour

Richard A. Balfour - Director of Dining Services

Rick Balfour has been the Director of Dining Service Operations for Calvin College since 2002. He is dedicated to providing an excellent dining experience to Calvin students and the Calvin community by offering well-balanced meals with a variety of fresh nutritious food. Key to Calvin's food service success is important items such as health and wellness, sustainability and social responsibility.

Mr. Balfour has a vast amount of experience in the areas of food service, restaurants, hotels, sales and procurement. He received a Bachelor's of Science Degree in Hospitality and Tourism Management from Grand Valley State University in 1985. He began his career in 1986 with Elias Brothers Restaurants as an Operations Manager. A few years later he accepted a position with the Amway Grand Plaza as a Food and Beverage Director. In 1988 he was hired by Seiler's Corporation at Hope College. Several years later, Creative Dining Services was formed and took over the operations for Hope College and Calvin College.

Mr. Balfour currently serves on the Advisory Board for the Kent County Health Department. He is married, has two children, and resides in Lowell, MI. He loves being outdoors: hunting, hiking, or walking his dogs, Remy and Chaz.


Steve McBride

Steve McBride - Catering Manager

Steve is an alumni of the flying Dutch - don't hold it against him! He has worked for Calvin Dining Services for 11 years, filling many roles from Service Manager to his current position, Catering/Conference Manager for the last 3 years. Steve lives in Holland, MI with his wife, Beth and son, Conner.

 


Tom Goyette

Tom Goyette - Commons Chef Manager

Tom is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America. He has 35 years of food service experience as an Executive Chef and Manager.

 

 


Lindsey (Gilbert) Cato

Lindsey Cato - Commons Service Manager

Lindsey is originally from Hartland, MI, a small town on the east side of the state. She moved to Grand Rapids in the fall of 2009 after graduating from Central Michigan University with an Interpersonal Communications major and an Event Management minor. She has worked for Creative Dining Services for 3 years, starting as a Banquet Supervisor at the Prince Conference Center, before moving to Commons Dining Hall. Lindsey was recently married in October of 2013 and lives with her husband, Matt, in Walker, MI.


Don Hershey

Don Hershey - Knollcrest Chef Manager

Don has been with Creative Dining Service for the past 22 plus years. He's a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America and has worked in the food service industry for the last 49 years. He has been happily married for 27 years with two grown children. When he retires, he plans to pursue his other dream job: working in a book store!

 


Ian Ramirez

Ian Ramirez - Executive Chef

Chef Ian Ramirez has been cooking in the food industry since he was 15 years old and hasn't looked back since. He gained experience with hands-on learning by apprenticing under some very talented chefs. Ian was still in High School when he was granted his first Head Chef Title at Butch's Drydock in Holland, MI. He has won major awards in competitive cooking and ice carving. He went on to work at several upscale restaurants and large corporations in the West Michigan area. He has studied at the CIA Greystone in Napa Valley Ca. and Kendall College Downtown Chicago.


Ian Ramirez

Mike Kingma - Retail Manager

Mike graduated from Calvin College with a Bachelor's degree in 2007. While attending Calvin he worked for four years in Knollcrest Dining Hall as a Student Manager. After graduating from Calvin College, he continued working with Calvin Dining Services for a year before moving to Chicago and working as the manager of both Trinity Christian College's retail and dining hall. After almost four years at Trinity he returned to Calvin College to work as the retail manager.