Mixing it Up: FER Redefines Industry Awards Celebration


More than 250 professionals from every segment of the foodservice equipment-and-supplies industry came together for the Foodservice Equipment Reports Industry Excellence Awards Mixer on Sun., May 19. The special event, filled with great food, music and cheer, honored and celebrated the 18 winners of the FER 2019 Industry Excellence Awards as well as 25 recipients of the National Restaurant Association’s Kitchen Innovations Awards.

Instead of a long sit-down ceremony, the mixer featured an exciting new format, comprising a brief awards presentation and plenty of opportunities for the impressive mix of attendees to mingle and make connections. Previously held biennially during The NAFEM Show, the now-annual event took place at a new location, Chicago’s Hyatt Regency McCormick Place, following the close of the day’s NRA Show.

“The goal here is to have some fun and get a chance to talk to as many different people as possible,” summed up Kelly Killian, FER editor-in-chief and chief content officer, during the awards presentation.

The FER Industry Awards include the Young Lion Awards, recognizing young, rising stars who’ve already had a meaningful impact on the industry, and the Industry Service Awards, honoring individuals who have made substantial, career-long contributions to the industry. The program also includes the Management Excellence Awards, acknowledging excellence in the management of unit and facilities development, design, equipment-and-supplies purchasing and maintenance functions in foodservice operations, among other qualities.

FER extends a special thank you to ITW Food Equipment Group and Welbilt, the event’s platinum sponsors, and to all our sponsors listed below. Their support makes this event possible. Be sure to mark the calendar for the 2020 Industry Awards Mixer, set for Sun., May 17.

FER Industry Awards Mixer Sponsors


  • ITW Food Equipment Group

  • Welbilt


  • Ali Group


  • Advance Tabco
  • Continental Refrigerator
  • Heritage Parts
  • Jackson Warewashing Systems
  • Vollrath Co.




The 2019 FER Industry Award Honorees are as follows:

Young Lion Awards:

  • Commercial Operator: Brian Gill, Five Guys Enterprises
  • Noncommercial Operator: Maya Vincelli, University of Richmond
  • Dealer: L. Gene Clark, Clark Food Service Equipment
  • Manufacturers’ Rep: Mike Klosterman, Apex Commercial Kitchen Co.
  • Consultant: Joseph Schumaker, FCSI, SCG FoodSpace
  • Service Agent: Dan Dibeler, K&D Factory Service

Industry Service Awards:

  • Dealer: Brad Pierce, Restaurant Equipment World
  • Consultant: Eric Norman, FCSI, Clevenger Associates
  • Manufacturers’ Rep: Mike McGuire, Zink Foodservice Group
  • Service Agent: Wayne Stoutner, Duffy’s-AIS
  • Operator: Jeff Cook, McDonald’s Corp.

Management Excellence Awards:

  • Large Commercial Chain (more than 250 units): Bloomin’ Brands
  • Small Commercial Chain (fewer than 250 units): Shake Shack
  • Noncommercial Operator: University of California San Francisco Medical Center
  • Large Dealer (more than $40 million in revenue): TriMark USA
  • Small Dealer (less than $40 million in revenue): Burkett Restaurant Equipment & Supplies
  • Consultancy: SSA Foodservice Design + Consulting
  • Service Agency: Hawkins Commercial Appliance Service



3 Takeaways From the Restaurant Show

FER editors point to products that save time, offer sustainable advantages or unlock one-of-a-kind solutions.

- Advertisement -

- Advertisement -

- Advertisement -


- Advertisement -

- Advertisement -

- Advertisement -