May is a big month here at FE&S and naturally we have a big issue, chock-full of terrific stories.

May, of course, also means the National Restaurant Association Show is coming to Chicago’s McCormick Place. The event runs May 20-23. Naturally, we will once again host FE&SDealer of the Year and Industry Awards Gala the evening of Sat., May 20, at the Four Seasons Hotel Chicago. It promises to be a memorable evening for those new to the event as well as those who have attended many times over the years.

We have a wonderful roster of award winners in 2017, ranging from household names in the industry to up-and-comers new to the FE&S stage. And, to keep you on your toes, we’ve even sprinkled in a few surprises. Our choice for 2017 Dealer of the Year, Johnson-Lancaster and Associates, falls into the second category as it’s been flying a bit under the radar. Many readers will learn about this company for the first time in this issue. Joe Carbonara tells their outstanding story in the May issue.

Mark Freeman of Microsoft Global Dining will become the second operator to receive FE&S’ Hall of Fame Award. (Read about Mark in the April issue of ) David Ellingson of Bargreen-Ellingson will be honored as a Top Achiever — Dealer for his emergence as the latest leader of a family company that has twice earned recognition as FE&S’ Dealer of the Year. Other foodservice professionals that will receive Top Achiever Awards include consultant Beth Kuczera of Equipment Dynamics Inc., earning recognition as our Top Achiever — Consultant, manufacturers’ representative Stacey Stahl from Ritten Associates, our Top Achiever — Manufacturers' Representative and  Paul Toukatly of Duffy’s Equipment Services, our Top Achiever — Service Agent.

Representatives from Ricca Design and Ohio University will accept the Facility Design Project of the Year Award for their leading-edge work on The District on West Green in Boyd Hall at Ohio University. One of the biggest surprises of the night will be when we announce the 2017 DSR of the Year, chosen from among a very impressive group of 12 DSRs of the Month from 2016. You can also read about a contender for 2017’s DSR of the Year in this issue: Cliff Macbeth of CMA  Restaurant Supply and Design.

It should be a great night! For those of you who can’t be with us in person, we promise to bring you full coverage on social media, in print and at to make you feel as if you were.