News + Events

FHU Dining Services Team Grows, Refines Meal Offerings for Students and Community Guests

Henderson, TN - Dec 13, 2022

Freed-Hardeman University Dining Services welcomed three new leadership team members to continue the school’s commitment to provide a food service program that innovates and offers new menu options including made-to-order fresh foods and action stations.

FHU President David R. Shannon met with the food service team to share his appreciation for their leadership at the start of the academic year. “What you do is so important and vital,” Shannon said to the team members. “A strong team will always outperform a strong individual, and I’m excited about what has already happened this semester.”

The new team members include Tim Tenon, executive director of hospitality; Michele Little, general manager and Melissa Rivers, assistant manager of residential dining. Tenon has 35 years of experience in food service and has worked for higher education institutions and private clubs. His primary focus will be guest satisfaction, retail and services. “Students' palates are very sophisticated, and they have more knowledge about nutritional value, international cuisines and allergens. We’ll make sure we’re responsive to their feedback.”

Little has worked for nearly 15 years in food service in higher education including other universities. Her previous experience includes Disney World, also. “I truly enjoy serving people whether they are students, faculty and staff or the community,” said Little. She will supervise the university’s new dining hall, which will include a commercial kitchen, dining room, outdoor seating and Chick-fil-A®, scheduled to open in January 2024. The dining hall facility will be a 21,148-square-foot new building located between Brown-Kopel Business Center and the Gardner Center. 

Rivers credits her diverse experiences in food service from her years in the U.S. Navy and has traveled and enjoyed the cuisine in South Korea, Japan, Italy, Colombia and Guam. She also worked as a contractor in Iraq, Iran, Qatar and Afghanistan where she was the operation manager responsible for feeding thousands of soldiers. 

“I am hoping my experience and knowledge will be a great asset to the team,” Rivers said. 

The new leaders join current team members Jose Jimenez, executive chef; Denise Abrahams, assistant manager of retail; Robin Hearnshaw, assistant manager of catering; and Antony Raine, assistant manager of operations. Jimenez has been in his role for four years and is always working to come up with new meal ideas. “I enjoy making the students happy.” 

Abrahams oversees marketplace retail on campus, including the cafeteria and the Academic Resource Center, where Starbucks coffee and other baked goods are sold. “Our priority is to always respond to the wants and needs of our students,” she said. 

Hearnshaw’s love of food service brought her to the team in August 2020. “I like to serve people with food and make them smile,” said Hearnshaw, adding that student weddings and on-campus catering jobs keep the team busy. 

Raine, a seasoned manager and leader with more than 20 years of banking, retail, management and leadership experience, is responsible for scheduling, recruiting and onboarding new employees. “My focus is to create a smooth onboarding experience for new team members and support the staff, so they can focus on what they need to do,” Raine said. 

The dining services team consists of several dozen individuals who work collectively to provide 10,000 meals a week (breakfast, lunch and dinner) and 250,000 meals a semester for students, faculty and staff as well as community guests. 

Chester County Sheriff Blair Weaver and his deputies visit FHU’s dining hall regularly. 

“It’s good food,” he said. “It’s clean and you can eat all you want for a good price.” 

FHU student Daniel Arnhold also enjoys the options in the dining hall. 

“I’ve enjoyed the cohesiveness of the meals,” he said.  


Additional information

Wallace-Gano Dining Hall will continue in operation while the construction of the new dining hall is underway. 


Brunch: 11:00 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.

Dinner: 5:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.

Monday - Thursday

Breakfast: 7:00 a.m. -  9:00 a.m.

Lunch: 10:45 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.

Dinner: 5:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.


Breakfast: 7:00 a.m. - 9:00 a.m.

Lunch: 10:45 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.

Dinner: 5:00 p.m. -  6:30 p.m.


Brunch: 11:00 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.

Dinner: 5:00 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.