Foodservice Equipment Reports

FER Announces Recipients Of 2015 Industry Excellence Awards

In case you missed the news last week, Foodservice Equipment Reports magazine has announced the recipients of its 2015 Industry Excellence Awards. Seventeen awards are given: six to organizations for Management Excellence; six to individuals near or under the age of 40 selected as Young Lions; and five to Industry Service Award winners. The honors are awarded biennially to coincide with The NAFEM Show.

Management Excellence Awards recognize excellence in the management of unit and facilities development, design, equipment and supplies purchasing and maintenance functions in commercial and noncommercial foodservice operations; in the delivery and performance of equipment and supplies functions and services by E&S dealers and distributors; and in the delivery of services by foodservice consulting firms.

Industry Service Awards recognize individuals who have made significant, career-long contributions to the equipment and supplies industry, not only in terms of their own organizations and function, but across Equipment and Supplies (E&S) industry channels and functions.

Young Lion Awards recognize younger, rising stars who already have had a meaningful impact on the industry.

The 2015 award recipients are:

Management Excellence Awards

Chain & Commercial Operator (more than 250 units):
Chick-fil-A, Atlanta

Chain & Commercial Operator (fewer than 250 units):
Smashburger, Denver

Noncommercial Operator:
Miami-Dade County Public Schools, Miami

Dealer (more than $40 million in sales):
Hockenbergs Foodservice Equipment and Supply, Omaha, Neb.

Dealer (less than $40 million in sales):
Rapids Wholesale Equipment, Marion, Iowa

Consulting Firm:
Reitano Design Group, Indianapolis

Industry Service Awards

Paul Gustafson, President, Ace Mart Restaurant Supply, San Antonio

Manufacturers' Rep:
Michael Turetzky, Vice President, Chernoff Sales, Pompano Beach, Fla.

James Camacho, President, Camacho Associates, Atlanta

Service Agent:
Joe Pierce, Owner, Pierce Parts & Service, Macon, Ga.

Philip Atkinson, Food Service/Laundry Programs Manager, Hennepin County Sheriff's Office, Minneapolis

Young Lion Awards

Mason Greene, Director of Operations, Hotel & Restaurant Supply, Meridian, Miss.

Manufacturers' Rep:
Kevin Eaton, President, Eaton Marketing & Associates, Clearwater, Fla.

A.J. Barker, Director of Operations/Chef, Think Tank Hospitality Group, Lynnwood, Wash.

Service Agent:
Mike Via, Sales/Accounts Manager, Refrigerated Specialist, Mesquite, Texas

Commercial Operator:
Catherine Helwig, Project Manager, Equipment R&D, Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, Lebanon, Tenn.

Noncommercial Operator:
Zia Ahmed, Senior Director of Dining Services, University Residences and Dining Services, The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio.

While sponsored by FER, these are juried awards. Management Excellence Award candidates are nominated and selected by several Awards Selection Advisory Boards made up primarily of leading equipment and supplies manufacturers chosen because of their wide experience and knowledge of the industry and its leading players. The Boards use a specific and detailed set of criteria in naming and evaluating nominees and choosing award winners. The criteria are different for each segment, but all include the following:

  • Honesty, transparency and integrity in dealing with employees, suppliers and customers
  • Deeply knowledgeable management and personnel
  • Consistency and excellence in execution
  • Creativity and innovation
  • A significant contribution to the industry

For the Young Lion and Industry Service Awards, FER solicits candidates from Industry association boards including the Foodservice Equipment Distributors Association (FEDA), the Manufacturers’ Agents Association for the Foodservice Industry (MAFSI), the Commercial Food Equipment Service Association (CFESA), and the Foodservice Consultants Society International (FCSI). The editorial staff of FER, with input from industry peers, selects the commercial and noncommercial operator award recipients.

Recipients of the FER 2015 Industry Excellence Award will be honored at FER's Industry Awards Gala, Friday, February 20, 2015, at the Anaheim Marriott, Anaheim, Calif., during The NAFEM Show. Current sponsors of the program include Advance Tabco, Henny Penny, Heritage Food Service Group, ITW Food Equipment Group and Structural Concepts.

For more information on the awards program, the criteria and judging process and/or the Industry Awards Gala during The NAFEM Show, contact Robin Ashton at 847/910-5163 or

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