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New director of dining services brings broad experience to new role

You could say that Charles Singleton was born to be a chef.

He grew up on Okinawa Island, where he often sat in the corner of one of his mother’s restaurants, observing her cooking or serving her customers. His father, who was stationed in Japan during his tenure in the Marines, went on to become a food and beverage director for Hilton.

In October, Charles started a new position as Cura Hospitality director of dining services at Salina Presbyterian Manor. It’s a new chapter in his own food career, which includes 15 years in restaurant management and positions at Salina Regional Health Center and the Blue Valley School District.

“The environment here is very different from everywhere else I’ve worked, but (this job) takes a little from everything I’ve learned and combines it into one package,” Charles said.

He brings his restaurant experience to managing the dining room and menu planning, and his work for other institutions informs the nutrition oversight that is another aspect of his role.

At Presbyterian Manor, Charles supervises a dining services staff of around 20 people. One of his primary goals is to increase staffing and provide more support and guidance to his current team.

Outside of work, Charles enjoys going to the movie theater, where he always catches the newest Marvel offering. He swims regularly, an activity he’s enjoyed since his childhood as an island kid.

“I used to go to the beach every day, but right now a pool will do it,” he said. “I just need to be around the water at some point — it recharges me.”

Charles also enjoys cooking and grilling for his family, who all gather for a weekly meal. Asian food is one of his go-tos, of course, but lately he has also been enjoying preparing Mediterranean dishes.

“I can’t cook everything, but I can make most things,” he said. “I like to have options.”

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