A Conversation with Jessica Lively, Dining Services Director 

By | September 13, 2022
Daemen University Director of Dining Jessica Lively

Jessica Lively

Jessica Lively is Daemen University’s new director of dining services.  

Lively has an experienced background in dining services management and operations. For the past decade, she served as the director of dining services at Hilbert College. 

Lively has an associate degree in culinary arts from Niagara County Community College and is currently completing her bachelor’s degree in human resource management from SUNY Empire State College.

We spoke with Lively to learn more about her role at Daemen and what motivates her.

What made you want to come to Daemen?

Throughout my time with Hallmark Management Service, I have worked at various institutions – including Daemen as the lead baker in 2007. 

Since then, I have worked at Sisters of Mercy-Mercy Center, Hilbert, and other places. I am happy to return my services to Daemen – this time as a director. 

Daemen is a bigger school than Hilbert, and I see this as the next step in my career.

I am ready for a new challenge, more students, and a larger campus.  

What is something that really motivates you?

My parents worked very hard their entire lives. They always encouraged me to go after whatever I wanted in life. 

I try to be that same inspiration for my kids. I know my example is going to make them hard workers and good citizens, as well. 

Why did you choose to enter your field of work?

Daemen University Dining Room

At Wick Dining Room, students, faculty, and staff members enjoy a campus picnic-inspired meal during Graduation Week.

I always wanted to work in food service, and I love working with people and being a good manager. 

I love to cook and bake, but I prefer to be on the management side. 

I enjoy knowing how the operation works and finding ways to make changes that result in better results. 

What do you look forward to the most at Daemen?

I look forward to getting to know the campus community. I like to be present in the dining halls and ask questions to make sure we are hitting all the marks. 

This year, I have a lot of different ideas for food options. I look forward to seeing how all of those are going to be received by students.

What is something people may not know about you?

For the past 6 years, I have organized a team for Ride for Roswell. We have raised over $20,000.

My mother was a patient at Roswell, and they were very committed to her. Since then, I wanted to raise as much money as I possibly could for them.  

What do you enjoy doing outside of work?

I enjoy spending time with my kids and our new mini Goldendoodle puppy. We like to go for walks, hikes, and enjoy the outdoors.