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Cardwell Named Sodexo Catering Services Director at A-State


JONESBORO – Arkansas State University announced Thursday that Kathy Cardwell has been named catering services director for Sodexo Dining Services.  Cardwell joins Sodexo, which maintains an exclusive food and beverage contract with A-State, after owning and operating a premier catering and special events planning company in Northeast Arkansas for many years.

A Jonesboro native and part of four generations of A-State alumna, Cardwell founded Loretta’s Catering To Your Needs with her mother, Loretta Kelly, in 1992 and for the next 26 years, built the business into one of the most respected and well-known catering and special events planning companies in the area.  After fulfilling the current commitments of Loretta’s Catering To Your Needs, Cardwell will retire the Loretta’s brand and focus full-time on A-State and Sodexo.

“We are extremely pleased to have Kathy as our new catering services director,” said Adam Simmons, General Manager of Sodexo at Arkansas State.  “She brings a wealth of experience and expertise to the position that is unmatched by anyone in our area.  She has won numerous awards for her work, and has built an extensive customer base that includes both local and international clients.  Her reputation for excellent customer service is well-known and we are excited that she is part of Sodexo’s team at Arkansas State.”

Cardwell said that she takes great pride in her ability to interact with customers and in the relationships she has developed with clients, and plans to bring the same level of excellent customer service to her position with Sodexo. 

“I am thrilled to be joining the staff at Sodexo and excited to bring my passion for catering and event planning to Arkansas State,” said Cardwell.  “We will have a focus on quality and customer service that will result in the best catering and event planning possible for functions such as weddings, award banquets, sporting events, rehearsal dinners, marketing lunches, theme parties, corporate events and any other function that requires food and beverage.”

Cardwell is active in the Jonesboro community, serving in numerous volunteer capacities.  She has been a member of the Jonesboro Regional Chamber of Commerce for over 20 years and will continue to serve as a Chamber Goodwill Ambassador as a representative of Sodexo.  She is also a member of the Junior Auxiliary, Arkansas Hotel & Restaurant Association, the International Caterers Association and the Nationwide Event Planning Association.  She earned her Bachelor of Science degree in economics and finance from Arkansas Tech, and is a 1924 member of the A-State Alumni Association.


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Kathy Cardwell