Claire O’Boyle Downey Named Director of Catering

Syracuse University Food Services announced today that Claire O’Boyle Downey has joined the hospitality team as the department’s new Director of Catering. She began her tenure at the University on February 16, 2023. Claire brings advanced education and years of experience from all areas of the hospitality industry. She studied at the Dublin College of Catering in Dublin, Ireland and relocated to the United States in 1988. Locally, Claire owned and operated her own catering business, “The Secret Ingredient,” serving the greater Syracuse area from 2005-2015. Additionally, Claire has served as the Director of Advancement at Bishop Grimes Jr./Sr. High School, the Director of Development at Most Holy Rosary School, and was most recently the Director of Catering for the Sherwood Inn in Skaneateles.

“I am ecstatic that Claire has chosen to lead the Syracuse University catering department,” says Eamon Lee, Executive Director of Hospitality. “Her dedication to grow and develop the team, oversee the onboarding of new catering and customer relationship management software, and refine operational processes — all while bringing her ‘hospitality first’ philosophy to each campus partner relationship — will help her to elevate catering services to new heights in the years ahead.”

Claire will spend this semester familiarizing herself with catering stakeholders, facilities, events, operations, and production. Long term, Claire’s focus will be on building strong campus relationships while aligning every aspect of campus catering with Food Services’ goals for hospitality excellence.

Claire will report to Executive Director of Hospitality, Eamon Lee, and will be based at the Campus Catering office at 201 Ainsley Drive.