Alumnus Grows His Career in Healthcare Food Service After Start at York College of Pennsylvania
Tim Bentzel ’85 was an Architectural Engineer major before realizing he was better suited for growing his budding career at WellSpan York Hospital.
Tim Bentzel ’85 believes a meal can make a world of difference, whether it’s for a patient who needs important nutrients to heal or a visitor seeking comfort while they wait for a loved one.
As the Senior Director of Food and Nutrition Services at WellSpan Health, Bentzel oversees 400 employees across eight hospitals, primarily making sure the right systems are in place to meet the nutritional needs of a diverse healthcare population.
While he’s been in that role for nearly a decade, his career started 40 years ago. As a student at York College of Pennsylvania, Bentzel worked part-time at WellSpan York Hospital as a food service employee. While he also took advantage of the tuition reimbursement program, the job had a much larger impact on him beyond financial assistance.
Bentzel was inspired by his role, although it was just one component in a large hospital system, to make an impact on a patient’s day. Choosing what they want to eat, and enjoying that meal, is a small pleasure he believed he could provide.
After graduation and a job with another health system, Bentzel returned to WellSpan York Hospital in 1992. It was a homecoming in many ways.
Through the years, he was promoted and given opportunities to grow. He met his wife at WellSpan, and the two would build their careers and grow their family under the healthcare umbrella.
“My responsibilities have grown over the years, but the blessings have been magnified,” Bentzel says. “I’m fortunate to get to work with some of the most dedicated employees you’ll ever find who are doing jobs that aren’t always appreciated by the outside world. It’s my job to make sure they know how important they are to this system and their community.”
Bentzel landed at York College after knowing many friends and relatives who went there. He wanted to be able to commute and work during his college experience, and he knew he could find that at York College.
He was so intrigued by his work at WellSpan York Hospital that he decided to change his career path. After about two years into his education, he switched majors to Business Administration—and was still able to graduate within four years.
“I worked with several professors and career counselors who really helped me make that change,” he says. “A couple of semesters I did have to take 18 credits to catch up, but it all worked out.”
‘The person I am today’
Today, Bentzel knows his courses aided him in his early career. From management theory to leadership, accounting, and strategic planning, Bentzel says, those classes were instrumental in his career launch.
He now manages a budget of about $30 million, and he believes his early finance courses gave him a solid foundation to grow into a role that supports that knowledge. “I know there are things [from] then that [have] influenced me,” he says. “It helped me become the person I am today.”
Bentzel remembers the hours he spent washing dishes early in his career. Now, he tries to open the doors for others who want to grow. He knows it’s his job to help the next generation of leaders find their place in WellSpan Health, and he sees York College as a natural feeder to the variety of career opportunities in healthcare.
“It’s a win-win for both entities,” Bentzel says. “It’s one community relationship I’m proud to say goes way back.”