Foodservice Equipment Reports

Well Played, FEDA

My only regret about last week’s FEDA Annual Convention, other than that Jan couldn’t make it, was that I had to leave early to head to Shanghai and Singapore. (I’m writing this from Singapore.) I thought the two days I spent at the convention in Indian Wells, Calif., was among the best FEDA meetings I’ve attended. And I’ve attended a lot since 1983.

I was glad to see such a great turnout. Nearly all the big companies were well-represented. I was happy to see new members, including Tracy and Ryan Smith from Horizon Foodservice Equipment in Eagan, Minn. I thought what I saw of the program Thursday was really top notch.

But mostly, I was impressed to see how open and honest everyone was about the challenges facing the distribution community in this age of rapid technological change. Program Chairman Jack Lewis made a brave opening address where he warned of the dangers of dealers depending too much on back-end rebates and urged manufacturers and dealers alike to maintain transparency in pricing. Dealers must sell the value of the many services they provide, he said. It’s not just about the lowest price for a product.

Outgoing Pres. Brad Wasserstrom unveiled FEDA’s new program recognizing “Manufacturers That Best Support Dealer-Based Distribution.” Using a five-step criteria, the FEDA Executive Committee and board extensively vetted  scores of manufacturers. On this first cut, they named 17 manufacturers for exceptional support and another 26 for honorable mention. (See the list in this issue.) As Wasserstrom mentioned during his address, the idea is not to punish those who don’t meet the criteria, but to honor those who do. It’s a great idea and we applaud the board for initiating the program.

I’m sorry I missed Brad Pierce’s address on taking over as new FEDA president. Brad, with his very successful sorties into the international market, is a great example of a traditional dealer finding a unique niche. He will represent FEDA well during the next two year, I know.

Once again, great job everyone. Especially by Ray Herrick and the FEDA staff.


Robin Ashton



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