Foodservice Equipment Reports

The Young (Old) Guard, And Thanks

Something that really struck me at last month’s Foodservice Equipment Distributors Association Annual Convention was how many young people were not only in attendance, but also how the young guard have stepped up and taken over the association. Maybe I perceive this because I’m the old guard now—my first FEDA convention was in 1983—but that’s not all of it.

It’s simply that another generation of dealer execs are clearly driving the industry. Many, but by no means all, are the third or fourth or even fifth generation of their family businesses. All one need do is look at the current FEDA officers’ corps: Brad Wasserstrom, president; Brad Pierce, v.p.; Joe Schmitt, treasurer; Mason Greene, secretary. Joe’s probably the senior among the team and I’m not sure he’s north of 50. Mason still looks like he’s in his 20s! And there is plenty of youth on the board, too.

Dealers aren’t the only equipment and supplies function undergoing a youth revolution. Danny Collis, current president of the Manufacturers’ Agents Association for the Foodservice Industry is in his early 40s. The biennial meeting of the Foodservice Consultants Society Int’l-The Americas Div., which we attended last weekend, had a number of younger consultants in attendance.

This is healthy renewal, of course. This new, more mature and rapidly changing E&S market needs energy and creativity, along with insight and expertise. I’m happy to see it and look forward to this generation’s achievements.

I want to end with a note of thanks to all those who participated in our annual FER Top Dealer Survey. We had a significant increase in those verifying this year, including dealers larger and smaller. We’ll put it all together for the June issue of the magazine.



Robin Ashton