Foodservice Equipment Reports

Playing With My Friends

I got up very early today to write my FER Dealer Report editorial, because I have to catch a plane this morning from Chicago to Birmingham, Ala., on my way to West Point, Miss. I fully intended to discuss the slow revival of the publicly funded spec-market segments. But after lining up all the research, I decided “nah.” It’s all too serious. This is one of my fun weeks.

When we started this company 17 years ago with the help of the Gill family, my friend and future partner Ken Gill asked me what our goals were in creating this enterprise we called Foodservice Equipment Reports. I said I wanted to make enough money to live in France three months a year (haven’t quite reached that one yet!) and spend the rest of my career with my friends. That is one goal I am getting to achieve and this week is but one example.

I’m spending the week playing golf at Old Waverly Golf Club with 32 of my closest friends. It’s our annual Foodservice Equipment Ryder Cup, renamed last year as the Rosati Cup. Ron Rosati, who many of you know as a past equipment-company executive and now a leading business broker in our industry, helped start this outing in 2007 with Ken; Lew Burns, former head of Dover Corp.’s foodservice equipment group; operator Mike Stack; and many other dealers, manufacturers and various hangers-on. They were kind enough to invite me along, in spite of the fact I am usually the worst golfer in the group. (I’ve painfully earned every stroke of my current 25.8 handicap index). Of course, they had an ulterior motive. I do an E&S market forecast update, which pleases everyone’s accountants.

I’ll be playing this week with many dealers and former dealers including Paul Gustafson from Ace Mart; Fred Clark from Clark & Associates; Jerry Greene, Jim Moran and Bill Wolfe from Hotel & Restaurant Supply (Old Waverly is their club); Dave Stafford Sr. from Stafford Smith; Scott Hunter, who runs NISSCO; and my long-term former dealer friends Harold Gernsbacher and Bobby Watson. Bobby, now a prominent Texas rep, is my co-captain this year. John McDonough, CEO at Heritage Foodservice Group, is the other co-captain.

We’ll have a great time, win or lose. I write about this, not to rub it in that we’re having fun while you are hard at work, but to remind you that you have to do fun things to maintain your balance. Life is short. Really short. Have as much fun as you can (and do as much good as you can) every day. Have a great week.


Robin Ashton


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