This was a special year for the Dealer of the Year and Industry Awards Gala for several reasons. I hope that you will take a few moments to review the pictures and video. For those who were there, I hope that the pictures provide a happy reminder of a memorable evening in Chicago. For the vast majority who were unable to attend, I hope that you will recognize some industry friends and perhaps a few larger-than-life characters who have left an indelible mark on the equipment and supplies industry.
We had some terrific honorees this year. We wrote about Bill Eaton, our 2016 Hall of Fame recipient, in the April issue and we shared the story of Ace Mart Restaurant Supply in our May issue. In addition, this year we went farther afield, both figuratively and longitudinally, by recognizing the lifetime achievements of Jim and Tedde Reid with a special award presentation by Selim Bassoul, followed by the touching acceptance speech of our first-ever Industry Icon award winner Luciano Berti. If you haven’t done so already, I urge you to watch the acceptance speeches of all the award winners. It is impossible not to be moved by their inspiring words of passion, dedication, appreciation and achievement. And, as always, the speeches were tinged with the kind of self-deprecating humor that is a hallmark of the people-centered hospitality industry.
Currently we’re finalizing the details for the Foodservice Equipment and Design Global Thought Leadership Summit. I know, it’s a mouthful. “FED Summit” is our shorthand. This is a joint venture of sorts that brings together the audiences from our two publications, restaurant development + design and Foodservice Equipment and Supplies. The two-day program will bring together thought leaders from every channel of the foodservice market — operators, designers, architects, dealers and more — for two days of learning, discussion and networking at the iconic Chicago Athletic
Association beginning on September 20.