WMU News

Steak 'n Shake named Employer of the Year

Sept. 8, 2000

KALAMAZOO -- The Michigan Division of Steak 'n Shake has been named Western Michigan University's Employer of the Year for 1999-2000.

Career and Student Employment Services, part of the Division of Student Affairs, chooses an Employer of the Year each academic year. Recipients of the honor are selected based on their year-long contributions and commitment to furthering WMU students' career development and professional growth.

The award has been presented on nearly an annual basis since 1993. Previously, five employers have been honored: Uarco, 1993; State Farm Insurance, 1994; Comerica Bank, 1995; Enterprise Rent-A-Car, 1997; and the Kalamazoo Public Schools, 1998-99.

"Steak 'n Shake has attended every event designed to introduce students to professional employment opportunities, including our Etiquette Dinner, career fairs and on-campus interviewing sessions," says Linda Ickes, CSES associate director of employer development. "Additionally, Denise Wilson, Steak 'n Shake's human resources manager, persistently seeks out opportunities where her company can partner with WMU in providing educational events that promote student learning and professional development."

One such event is this year's Etiquette Dinner, which will take place Oct. 26 at WMU. Wilson will lead a seminar for WMU seniors that helps them learn about professional networking and dinner etiquette skills. Following the seminar, more than 100 students will have a chance to practice their newly learned skills while they dine with employer representatives from Steak 'n Shake and the event's two dozen other co-sponsoring organizations.

"The company's commitment to student development activities at WMU has been sincere," Ickes says. "We're proud to partner with organizations that focus on student learning and professional development while seeking to offer fulfilling careers to our graduates."

According to the company's Web site, Steak 'n Shake was founded in 1934 and encompasses about 350 restaurants in 16 states, primarily in the Midwest and Southeast. It is listed by Forbes Magazine as one of the 200 best small companies in America and is in the midst of extraordinary growth that will almost double the company's size to more than 600 restaurants within five years.

"A career with Steak n Shake is built upon the tradition and stability of over 60 years of success in the industry, and the opportunity for accelerated personal growth and development," the company says. "At Steak n Shake, we believe in making talented people successful. That means we build careers with an eye toward the future, where each step is crafted to develop the people who will lead the company for years to come."

Media contact: Jeanne Baron, 616 387-8400, jeanne.baron@wmich.edu

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