Pavel Matustik, a pioneering figure in developing cooperative purchasing and processing ventures in the school foodservice segment, has announced his retirement, reports the Santa Clarita Valley Signal.

Matustik took over the helm of the then-recently-formed Santa Clarita Valley School Food Services Agency (SCVSFSA) in 1993 and was charged with developing a consolidated food procurement and meal preparation operation for several elementary school districts in the Santa Clarita Valley in Southern California's Los Angeles County. Matustik proceeded to not only fine-tune the cooperative venture but to expand operations into an innovative commodity processing coop that dealt with over 150 districts across the state.

His achievements landed him the 2006 FAME (Foodservice Achievement Management Excellence) Golden School Foodservice Director of the Year Award and the 2007 IFMA Silver Plate Award in the K-12 Schools category.

Matustik had fled from then Communist Czechoslovakia in 1983 and settled in Southern California, initially taking a job with the Los Angeles USD. A decade later he took over direction of the SCVSFSA at a time the agency was losing approximately $200,000 annually, and was able to turn a profit within 18 months.