Foodservice Equipment Reports

FEDA Marks Its 80th Anniversary With Stimulating Annual Convention

It wasn’t quite business as usual as the Foodservice Equipment Distributors Association celebrated its 80th anniversary during the group’s annual convention April 3-7 at the JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country Resort in Texas. From FEDA and Wasserstrom Co. Pres. Brad Wasserstrom’s dramatic entrance on a longhorn steer at the opening reception to a heart-felt tribute to FEDA’s Executive V.P. Ray Herrick, the association’s annual meeting combined fun, intense discussion and serious insight into the many issues facing dealers and the foodservice equipment and supplies business.

The program, speakers and workshops were stimulating and provocative. Peter Diamandis, chairman and CEO of the X-Prize Foundation, kicked off the program with insights into how the intense technological changes of the present are disruptive but have the potential to bring all of humanity immense benefits. Mike Workman, distribution professor emeritus from Texas A&M University and a long-time contributor to FEDA programs and initiatives, led two provocative workshops on issues facing dealers, their suppliers and the distribution function.

Sales expert Sam Richter led two sessions on how to use search and social media to manage and enhance one’s professional online reputation. And perhaps the highlight of the convention was a moving and very thoughtful closing presentation by Congressional Medal of Honor recipient Staff Sgt. Sal Giunta, the first living service member awarded the honor since the Vietnam War.

FEDA conducted some official business as well. The association re-elected its executive committee for a second term: Pres. Brad Wasserstrom (The Wasserstrom Co.); V.P. Brad Pierce (Restaurant Equipment World); Treasurer Joe Schmitt (Rapids Foodservice Contract); Secretary Mason Greene (Hotel & Restaurant Supply); and Board Chair Jim Hanson (Best Restaurant & Design).

Three board members were nominated to second terms: Carl Gustafson (Ace Mart Restaurant Supply); Marty Monnat (Strategic Equipment & Supply); and Jay Ringelheim (Globe Equipment).

Six FEDA members have joined the FEDA board for a first two-year term:

  • Brock Bodart, Dykes Restaurant Supply
  • Fred Cypress, Dixie Store Fixtures
  • Scott Gerharz, Gerharz Equipment
  • Chad Johnstun, Dick’s Restaurant Supply
  • Keith Kidwell, Central Restaurant Products
  • Eric Margulies, United Restaurant Equipment

Five retiring board members—Jim Bedard (Buffalo Hotel Supply), Brent Gulbas (National Restaurant Supply), Jerry Hyman (TriMark USA), Jack Lewis (Mission Restaurant Supply), and Paul Parr (Hockenbergs)—were thanked for their contributions to FEDA.

In the closing session, Wasserstrom also honored FEDA’s own Herrick, who is celebrating his 30th year as executive director of the association. (See related article below.)

Recordings of the convention speakers are available from FEDA at its website. FEDA will host its 81st Annual Convention at the Renaissance Esmeralda Resort in Indian Wells, Calif., March 26-30, 2014.

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