January 01, 2013
What a pleasure it’s been to read the profiles of our six 2013 FER Management Excellence Award winners. Not only did our reporters, Mike Sherer and Allison Rezendes, thank me for the assignments—they enjoyed the interviews that much—but several of the portrait photographers we hired got in touch after the photo sessions to tell us what fun they had with these groups. That just doesn’t happen that often and it tells you something: These organizations really are special.
But we knew that from the start of this awards process, the details of which our Publisher Robin Ashton shares in the introduction on page 50. We work in a unique industry; hospitality really is part of our genetic makeup, and we know many, many great organizations that excel at taking care of customers. More than 35 companies were nominated by a broad spectrum of industry representatives and they submitted multiple candidates in every category (larger and smaller dealer, larger and smaller chain operator, onsite operator and consulting firm). When our “special teams” judges, (we had 28!) split into three panels to choose the winners, the final selections were unanimous.
Congratulations to our dealers, the Ellingsons and their “family” at Bargreen Ellingson, and to Mobile Fixture’s Walne Donald and the wonderful folks taking care of customers at HQ and all five regional facilities. Hats off to Mary Angela Miller and Julie Jones; they and their support team at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center personify grace under pressure as they navigate a billion-dollar renovation. Here’s to Rick Payne and company at Cheddar’s Casual Cafe, whose restaurants deliver such great value and service that the chain doesn’t have to advertise. We’re so glad to honor Ed Degnan, Brad Davis and their team members in Milford, Conn., and Miami, who oversee and enhance Subway’s equipment and design all over the world. And FER sends a heartfelt congratulations to Webb Design. Their way of doing business sets a standard and honors Jim every single day.
Thank you as well to all of our industry friends who were eager to recognize excellence and who gave us so many wonderful candidates and helped us develop the judging criteria. And to our exceptional judges, whom we list on page 74, thank you. Hope you’re all available fall 2014…