Kansas Wesleyan University (KWU) in the US has named JRI Hospitality as its new food services partner.

The collaboration is set to commence in the summer of 2024. JRI Hospitality has appointed Kevin O’Brien to head the initiative at KWU.

O’Brien has previously held key roles such as lead chef at the Renaissance Café and Barolo Grille, and former food and beverage director at the Salina Country Club.

KWU president Dr. Matt Thompson said: “We’re excited for this next chapter in the story of building the student experience. The food we serve our students is critical [and] as we explored how best to serve students, we looked for an unparalleled partner who prioritised … source, quality and variety.

“JRI Hospitality is an excellent community partner, a well-known representative of the region and a true friend of Kansas Wesleyan.”

JRI Hospitality president and CEO Jason Ingermanson said: “JRI continues to find ways to be involved in supporting the Salina community and this is another example.

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“We’re thrilled with our partnership to support and facilitate the elevation of Kansas Wesleyan student dining and look forward to the impact of healthy, hearty meals for all student dining and KWU campus activities as well as providing specially designated nutrition for each of the sports programmes at KWU.”

In 2022, JRI Hospitality secured the naming rights for JRI Stadium, the home of KWU’s football, soccer and track and field teams.

Established in 2011, the company operates a portfolio of more than 90 restaurants across 15 states in the US. Its collection of brands includes Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers, Mokas Coffee & Eatery, Chompie’s Restaurants & Deli, Ingermanson Farms and the Salina Country Club.