Foodservice Equipment Reports

FEDA Changes The Guard At Annual Convention

It was a very busy Annual Convention for the members and supporters of the Foodservice Equipment Distributors Association March 29-April 2 at the J.W. Marriott Starr Pass Resort in Tucson, Ariz. 

The group installed new officers and board members, including Pres. Joe Schmitt. and honored outgoing ones, and ran a great program that featured Tom Peters and Sugar Ray Leonard. FEDA also announced that former ITW Food Equipment Group executive Tom Szfranski has signed on to help the group assess its strategies, services and processes, and honored Adela Ramos for her 30 years helping the association and Exec. V.P. Ray Herrick. And it was also noted, as many knew, that Herrick will retire, as he’s long planned, in 2018 after 35 years of running the organization. The Convention program was chaired by Jay Ringelheim, Globe Equipment, Bridgeport, Conn., with assistance from Paul Parr, Hockenbergs, Omaha, Neb.

Outgoing FEDA Pres. Brad Pierce of Restaurant Equipment World, Orlando, Fla., detailed a long list of achievements that he, the executive committee and the FEDA board have accomplished during his two-year tenure. The list includes the start-up and growth of the FEDA Data Interchange, which now has 31% of FEDA dealers,104 manufacturers, and many rep firms participating daily in the online system which resides on the AutoQuotes platform. Pierce thanked AutoQuotes for its commitment to the project and all those participating for helping get the Interchange off the ground.

He praised incoming Pres. Schmitt, Rapids Wholesale Equipment, Marion, Iowa, for his role in helping end years of litigation and legislation that sought to restrict the ability of dealers to offer interior design services with the signing of an agreement with the International Interior Design Association and on-going talks with the American Society of Interior Designers.

Pierce also noted FEDA’s active participation in increased cooperation with other foodservice equipment associations, the program that took 25 dealers to the HOST trade show in Milan last October, and increased recognition of the FEDA Exceptional Manufacturers program and Diamond Donors to the FEDA Educational Foundation

In his initial address to the association as president, Schmitt committed to pushing these initiatives forward, as well as to helping the association prepare for the retirement of Exec. V.P. Herrick. Schmitt noted the association has hired former ITW FEG executive Thomas Szfranski to help the board “look at all of its services, processes and practices” as it prepares for that transition.

In addition to installing Schmitt as president, the group said that Mason Greene, Hotel & Restaurant Supply, Jackson, Miss., will serve as vice president; Ringelheim as treasurer; and Parr as secretary.

The group also announced the election of board members. Elected to new two-years terms were Andrew McQuinn, Thompson & Little, Fayetteville, N.C; Gawain Guy, C&T Design and Equipment; Indianapolis; Andy Wueste, Mission Restaurant Supply, San Antonio, Texas; and Tim Schrack, Hockenbergs, Omaha, Neb.

Those re-elected to second two-year terms were Gene Clark, Clark Foodservice Equipment, Lancaster, Pa.; David Ellingson, Bargreen & Ellingson, Tacoma, Wash.; and Tom Wienclaw, TriMark/S.S. Kemp, Cleveland.

Next year’s FEDA Annual Convention will be held April 5-9, 2017 at the J.W. Marriott Hill Country Resort, San Antonio.

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