Students in field

Pittillo recognized for customer service at Keweenaw Spark Plug Awards

February 17, 2017

Finlandia University Director of Dining Services Mark Pittillo received the Customer Service Award during the fifth annual Keweenaw Sparkplug Award on Thursday night at Bonfire Steakhouse and Grill in Houghton.

Mark Pittillo’s Customer Service Excellence

Mark Pittillo Spark Plug Awards

Mark Pittillo poses with the customer service award at the 2017 Spark Plug Awards dinner with members of the Michigan Tech hockey team, who he caters for on a weekly basis and presented him with the award.

Pittillo was nominated for the award by Karin Van Dyke, Vice President for University Relations at the university.

“Mark, along with our partner A’viands, a corporate food services provider to Higher Education, have made a remarkable difference in raising the bar in serving spectacular, high quality food to our students, faculty and staff, and the community,” Van Dyke said on the nomination form.

It’s been a trying time for Pittillo since being welcomed into the university’s family in 2015. Just a couple months into his new role his wife Michele became seriously ill. She was hospitalized outside of the area, and in May 2016 she passed away.

“While his time and attention was necessarily focused on caring for his wife, Mark never missed a beat at work – designing new menu items, laughing with students and sharing their days,” Van Dyke said. “His attention to detail brought refreshing presentations, new flavors and concepts to our students, joy to area brides, and dozens of hearty team meals to athletic teams across the community.”

The trying times Pittillo was going through were also felt at FinnU.

“During the increasingly stressful days as his wife’s health declined, those around Mark shared his grief, as Finlandia mourned the loss of two dining services employees due to tragic accidents,” Van Dyke said. “We’re all extremely grateful for his guidance, leadership and comradery. Mark brings the term ‘customer service’ to life.”

More about Mark Pittillo and the Spark Plug Awards


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