IFMA Celebrates Gold Plate Award

Regynald Washington, who got his start as a busboy at age 13 and who rose to president of a Paradies Lagardere’s travel-focused dining division, was named as the nation’s top foodservice operator by the International Foodservice Manufacturers Association.

Washington accepted IFMA’s Gold Plate Award at the group’s banquet during the NRA Show. Prior winners have included Wolfgang Puck, Ruth Fertel, Joe Baum, Rich Melman, Ralph Brennan, Ted Balestreri and Charlie Trotter.

Washington was selected from among the 10 winners of IFMA’s Silver Plate award, an honor recognizing the top operator in various industry segments. He won the Silver Plate in the retail and specialty foodservice category. His career spans more than 50 years, much of it at The Walt Disney Co., including foodservice leadership posts at Walt Disney World and the company’s chain of sport bars, ESPN Zone. He has also served as chairman of the National Restaurant Association.

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