GRCC alumna Dayanny De La Cruz featured on Forbes cover

GRCC alumna Dayanny De La Cruz on the cover of Forbes Magazine, smiling.

GRCC alumna Dayanny De La Cruz is on the cover of the Latin American edition of Forbes magazine, celebrating her leadership and trail-blazing role as executive chef for the Miami Dolphins and Hard Rock Stadium.

De La Cruz supervised meals for the February 2020 Super Bowl. She guided 100 chefs and 2,400 culinary staff members in preparing a menu that included 2,700 Maine lobster tails, 6,000 servings of short ribs and 10,000 hot dogs.

But the Super Bowl experience was just the latest in a series of “firsts” in De La Cruz’s career.

“I’m the first Latina, the first female heading up a Super Bowl,” she said. “Besides that, I’m the first female to head an NFL stadium. The NFL has trusted me to give me an amazing stage, an amazing platform to make changes, to be able to touch the community.”

De La Cruz credits what she learned as a student at GRCC’s Secchia Institute for Culinary Education with giving her skills — and confidence.

“This was my safe haven,” she said. “This was my place for me to grow, but at the same time, develop the best thing I have today, which is my career. And, also, the love that I have for food and everything I learned through the process from my mentors.”

De La Cruz, a native of the Dominican Republic, attended GRCC for a semester in 2003, then needed time to help her husband through a health issue and care for her young children.

Professors kept in touch, encouraging her to come back and complete her degree. When she returned in 2005, faculty understood the challenges she was facing. She used to support her family by working overnight making empanadas to sell at the farmers market for $1 each, starting at 6 a.m. before heading to class.

“They made me who I am today,” she said of the GRCC faculty. “They saw something in me I didn’t know I had. That’s something I can still be thankful for. I couldn’t have finished school without them – without each and every one of them. Each one of them played a special part in my life.”

De La Cruz graduated with honors: She was the first Latina and second woman to receive the Secchia Institute for Culinary Education’s Director’s Award.

She worked as executive chef at Doubletree Hotels in the Chicago area before becoming interested in the sports and entertainment industry, overseeing food preparation for large events. That led to working in Miami and American Airlines Arena and the Heat basketball team, which awarded her a championship ring.

De La Cruz has been with Centerplate, the company providing meals at Hard Rock Stadium, since 2017.

“I’m very driven,” she said. “For me, it’s about challenging myself on a daily basis. I call it the magic of game day. You realize that for all the things to work, all the things you planned for, for days and days come to fruition. You look down and say somehow, I touched each and every one of those 57,000 people sitting in those seats. It’s great.”

GRCC In the News 12/16/2021

Kent County Veterans Services teams up with Grand Rapids Community College vet center

12/15/21 eightWest

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) – Kent County Veterans Services is our Veterans Expert and their mission is to bring quality resources to local veterans, including a variety of virtual services.

Rachel joins us today and joining her is Patrick from Grand Rapids Community College to explain a special partnership between the vet center and GRCC.

FACULTY FOCUS: Peter Murr teaches advanced manufacturing and welding technology at Montcalm Community College

12/16/21 The Daily News (Greenville)

Peter Murr is a full-time advanced manufacturing and welding technology instructor at Montcalm Community College.  

He earned an associate degree from Grand Rapids Community College in welding technology, is certified as a welding inspector and welding educator through the American Welding Society and is trained in ArcTool programming and maintenance through FANUC. 

How to get your department webpages ready for 2022

As we’re wrapping up our fall 2021 semester, take a look at your department’s webpages to make sure everything is up-to-date for our return in 2022! 

  • Are there any deadlines or date-oriented information on your webpages that have passed or need to be updated?
  • Is your bio/contact information still correct? If you want to make changes to your bio, simply log in at, navigate to your bio and submit the form for changes.
  • Are there any outdated events that need to be hidden or new events that need to be promoted?
  • Are your department’s office hours and contact information updated for holiday break and beyond?

If you need help with any of these updates, contact your department web editor, or email and we’ll be happy to assist you.

Thank you for helping us keep up to date for students and our community.