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Publisher's Viewpoint - Robin Ashton

Publisher's Viewpoint - Robin AshtonFounding partner Robin Ashton, president and publisher, is a true industry veteran in spite of is boyish appearance, he's covered foodservice since 1978, and E&S exclusively since 1982, as an editor and publisher at several magazines.

See all of Robin's blogs and comments

Honoring The Young And Creative

January 01, 2012

We’re very proud that way back in 1984, when we were at what was then known as Foodservice Equipment Specialist, we created the Young Lion Awards. We were younger then. And it’s been fun over the years to bump into our early winners and laugh about how we’ve all grown up in the industry together.

I was in New York last month for the Int’l. Hotel, Motel + Restaurant Show and ran into Lex Poulos, now head of sales and marketing at Jade Range/Middleby, and his significant other, Kathleen Moccia Poulos. She’s now East Coast Regional Manager for Victory Refrigeration, part of the Ali Group. Lex and his brother Athan were among our first Young Lions in the rep category. Kathleen’s brother Bob was another. We all know it’s a big business, but a small town.

And we’re equally proud that we’ve been able to revive the Young Lions Award. We strongly urge that you read our profiles of the six talented, motivated, creative individuals to receive the 2013 FER Young Lion Award. They are impressive group of professionals.

Having read the stories, I’m struck by a couple of constants. All six stress the importance of their mentors. Almost everyone who is successful at anything learns from his or her elders. Sometimes it’s a family member. Other times it’s a boss or even a colleague.

A very interesting theme in the profiles is the balance between new technology and people skills. Dealer Brad Pierce at Restaurant Equipment World stresses personal contact even as he pushes the electronic envelope. Rep Chris Folz talks about how important technology has become, but also mentions the need to get back to everyone “before sundown.” Servicer Dan Farmer is selling technology solutions, but mentions the importance of face-to-face meetings. Chain E&S specialist Ryan DeSimone zeros in on the importance of relationships with colleagues at Bloomin’ Brands and suppliers. Healthcare foodservice operator Steve Cerullo counts on the support of his team and his administrators. Consultant Eric Norman emphasizes the value of networking.

It goes without saying that technology is changing—and improving—what we do. But foodservice E&S remains very much a people business. We know you’ll enjoy meeting these people.

We will honor the winners Friday night, Feb. 8, at the Peabody Hotel in Orlando during The NAFEM Show. Information on attending can be found on our website at Or you can write or call Christine at cpalmer(at) and 847/336-2049.

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