I will let you in on a little secret that many of us who have been around the foodservice industry for some time already know... this is a great industry to be involved with.

Why, you may ask, because of the enormous profit potential and unlimited growth opportunity that it offers in good times and bad? No, this is a mature industry where margins are tough and, by most accounts, getting tougher up and down the line.

The reason that the foodservice industry remains a great one to be involved with is the people that it attracts. People people, if you catch my meaning. Hospitality attracts people who like to be around other people, to be associated with others, to help others, to work cooperatively for goals that are defined as greater than their own interests.

So, you'd like an example? I offer you, Exhibit A: the 2012 FE&S Dealer of the Year, Mission Restaurant Supply of San Antonio. There is much to learn from this month's feature story on Mission, and the lesson begins not with what they decided to tell us about themselves but rather by what they chose to leave out, namely, a mission statement. This is a company that would rather be defined by what its employees have to say about their culture than a pronouncement about what their corporate vision is supposed to be.

For me the Mission story offers real insights applicable to every small business with designs on growing larger. From perseverance in the face of disappointment, the nimbleness to shift goals when circumstances dictate, and ultimately, the shared trust required to weather the difficult times, the Mission story provides meaningful lessons for us all. It's a great story, and I hope that you enjoy it as much as we at FE&S enjoyed bringing it to you.

If you were unable to attend this year's FE&S Dealer of the Year and Industry Awards Gala, please check back here for coverage. In July, we will offer a complete recap in print with lots of photos to highlight all of our deserving award winners this year.