Meet Our Team


Manager II



Major(s) and School(s):   Iowa State University, B.S.  Family and Consumer Science Education, B.S. Family Resource Management

Previous Employment:  Catering Manager Hickory Park Restaurant Company, Manager ISU Catering at the Iowa State Center, Interim Manager II ISU Catering

My work with ISU Catering:   As the Manager II for catering, I oversee all aspects of the catering operation.  I work with customers to reserve their events and determine their event details.  I help customers with custom menu and special event requests and coordinate their requests with the culinary team. 

Hometown:  Zearing, Iowa

Favorite Food:  BLT’s with garden fresh tomatoes and lettuce on homemade bread  

Favorite Item on the ISU Catering menu:  Just one? We have awesome food! If I had to choose I would go with the grilled chicken breast with herb jus or the creamy kale slaw. 

In my spare time, I like to: Spend as much time as I can with my nieces and nephews, work in my garden, go on long hikes with my dog, attend as many Cyclone volleyball and basketball games as I can, relax and read a great book. 

Favorite ISU tradition:   Hilton Magic!  

Favorite thing about working for ISU Catering:  The Adventure! Each day is new and different. You never stop learning in this job. I get to meet new people and help them with their event needs.  I get to see new spaces and create events based on the space and the needs of the group. I am constantly learning about new foods and trying new things. I absolutely love the challenge of taking a customer’s idea and turning it into a reality. Most importantly, I enjoy working with our students—both our employees and our student customers. They teach me something new every day!

Something unique about me:  My Mom and I have been going to the theater together at CY Stephens and the Civic Center since I was six years old.  We have seen so many amazing shows, artists and performers.   I look forward to each new experience!

Daniel Washburn Photo






Major and school: Bachelor of Liberal Studies from Iowa State University

Previous employment: Aramark – Boise State Catering; ISU Dining – Scheman Catering

My work with ISU Catering: I am responsible for managing operations at ISU Catering. This covers Off-Premise, the Memorial Union, and the overall experience of the guests from start to finish.

Hometown: Rochester, New York

Favorite wood: Pizza!

Favorite item on the ISU Catering menu: Tie between Vegetarian Alfredo Lasagna and the Vegetable Napoleon

In my spare time, I like to: I am an avid reader, I like tinkering (cars and computers are both in danger of my attention)

Favorite ISU tradition: The Football tailgating season. Fall in the air, cold winter days, and good food and family/friends.

Favorite thing about working for ISU Catering: It gives me the opportunity to make a marked impact on someone’s day. My attention to detail, willingness to work with my guests, and overall attitude allows me to shape an experience that my guests can cherish and remember. If I come out swinging for the fences with a smile on my face, I can really give someone a good day, where they might have been having a rough one before.

Something unique about me: I have two adopted siblings from Kazakhstan.

Jess Sheldahl Picture


Assistant Manager



Major and school: I attended Iowa State University and graduated with a B.A. in Journalism and Mass Communication, B.S. in Psychology and a minor in Spanish.

Previous employment: Food Production Manager – Perkins Restaurant and Bakery

My work with ISU Catering: Mainly, I take care of the behind-the-scenes work such as scheduling, ordering, inventory and hiring.  Sometimes, you’ll also find me me helping out with events.

Hometown: Polk City, IA

Favorite food: Tacos

Favorite Item on the ISU Catering menu: Macaroni and Cheese Bar

In my spare time, I like to: Read, watch movies, go for walks and spend time with family, friends and my cat, Larry

Favorite ISU tradition: Campaniling

Favorite thing about working for ISU Catering: Watching our student employees grow and change…and the all of the good food!

Something unique about me: I grew up right next to the town of Sheldahl, which was named after my great-great-great grandfather.


Assistant Manager



Major and school: I attended the University of Northern Iowa and graduated with a B.A. in General Studies with a minor in Leisure, Youth, and Human Services.

Previous employment: Assistant Manager and Event Coordinator for Park Place Event Centre in Cedar Falls, Assistant Manger for Ferrari’s Ristorante in Cedar Falls 

My work with ISU Catering: My primary role involves sales and contract building for any “off premise events” (any events that take place outside of the Memorial Union). I also hold the responsibility of building contracts and implementing all of the wedding receptions that ISU Catering services both on campus and throughout the Ames community.  I often help out with operations as well, so if you see me on-site, managing an event, please say hello! 

Hometown: Libertyville, Illinois

Favorite food: Iced Chai Lattes

Favorite Item on the ISU Catering menu: Goat cheese and butternut squash bruschetta and roasted airline chicken with herb chicken jus

In my spare time, I like to: Explore the Ames and Des Moines area, checking out new restaurants with my friends. I love live music, so if there is a concert or show in the area, and I have the night off, you can probably find me there! 

Favorite ISU tradition: Having only been at ISU for a little over a year,  I’m still learning about all of Iowa State’s traditions… I think I’d have to choose finally getting to see that “Hilton Magic” firsthand. I love the general excitement, energy, and support the students and the community show for ISU athletics

Favorite thing about working for ISU Catering: I love that everyday is different, and that, through catering, I get sneak peeks into so many of the events taking place on campus. I also love the satisfaction of helping customers pull off a great event. 

Something unique about me: I thrive on the challenge of trying new things. I have dabbled in a LOT of hobbies and activities over the years- ranging from things like rockclimbing and aerial yoga, to photography and starting my own garden. I’m currently teaching myself to knit! 


Assistant Manager