During a recent conversation with one of the funnier and more irreverent members of the manufacturing community, I was asked where one might go to visit the Foodservice Equipment & Supplies' Dealer Hall of Fame? Canton, Ohio? St Louis? Chicago?

No — those cities host halls of fame for football, bowling and long serving mayors, respectively.

OK, there is no getting around it: our FE&S Hall of Fame isn't housed in any physical location. There are no early bills of lading to pour over or showroom replicas from the 1940s to wander through. But I will tell you that this designation occupies an important place in the foodservice equipment and supplies world. In fact, I think it's one of the most significant awards that we here at FE&S have the honor to bestow. That's why we do not automatically give the Hall of Fame Award every year.

We only choose a Hall of Fame recipient in years when a worthy candidate makes their selection a clear and widely accepted decision. In naming Hall of Fame recipients, we attempt to identify no less than the founding fathers of this industry; people who have contributed mightily in shaping the very foundation of the foodservice equipment and supplies community as we know it today.

It is easy to tell when you have made a good choice: the response from the industry is universal approval. Such is the case with the selection of Tom Schrack Sr. of Hockenbergs Food Service Equipment & Supply Co. as our Hall of Famer for 2011. Please enjoy Tom's storied history in this issue of FE&S and check out many more great videos and photographs from this year's Dealer of the Year Gala at www.fesmag.com.

All of the best ideas here at FE&S don't necessarily originate with us. Many come from you, the reading audience. If you have an idea for a story or project that you think deserves coverage, please don't be shy about sending that suggestion our way. Joe and his editorial staff are always interested in your input.

Along the same lines, please be on the lookout for FE&S' Best in Class surveys coming soon to an email inbox near you. As always, your opinion counts here. Your participation is vital to our efforts to provide meaningful research data about the industry to the industry. Thank you in advance for taking the time out of your busy schedules to fill out the surveys.