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ifec newsletter
june 2017

President's Letter
from Patty Fitzgerald
Editor, School Nutrition

"Chicago, Chicago, that toddlin’ town. Chicago, Chicago, I’ll show you around…”

And so we floated away from Chicago last month, buoyed by bubbles, besties and a bounty of good news. IFEC’s annual National Restaurant Association reception—now known as the Bubble Party—was a sparkling success! More than 185 IFEC members and friends attended the event, made possible with the generous support of several sponsors and the hard work of staff and volunteers. To be completely inclusive, it would mean citing a very long list (making a long message longer), but I must give a special shout-out to Coordinators-in-Chief Katie Ayoub and Bill Schreiber, the Hotel Palomar, and, of course, Carol and Jen.

The Bubble Party was also extra special for the IFEC family as it was our chance to fete soon-to-be-relishing-emeritus-status Carol Lally, in her last official event as Executive Director, and thank her for all that she’s done for this organization these last 25 years. Central to this celebration was a delightful slideshow of Carol through the ages, as compiled by John Lawn.  Take a look at it on YouTube.

On behalf of the membership, I was pleased to present Carol with an all-expenses-paid trip to IFEC 2018 in Raleigh (so bookmark October 24-27, 2018, in your planners now), a promissory of a framed vintage magazine cover for her beautiful home and a fruit tree for her backyard. You will also remember that early in May I encouraged everyone to send a card, note or letter to be included in a memory box that Carol could turn to on a gray day when her "not-retirement” needs a boost. If you, like me, are still struggling to come up with the "right” words to express your gratitude for her friendship and leadership, just send it along whenever you are struck by inspiration! In the meantime, I was remiss in providing Carol with ample opportunity to offer her thoughts and reflections with those gathered amid the bubbles in Chicago—but knowing that these deserve to be shared with the entire IFEC family, I will be ceding my column to her next month.

I know what made Carol happiest and most relieved about this last official event before her "not-retirement” was the unanimous decision by the Board of Directors earlier that morning to select Jen Mac Kay as IFEC’s new Executive Director! As of this writing, we are fine-tuning a contract agreement set to go into effect on August 1.

As chair of the Search Committee, I can assure you that this decision was the result of a long, thoughtful vetting process. We received nine submissions to our Request for Qualifications; we narrowed that list to four top candidates; we conducted interviews with those candidates and checked references. Just prior to NRA, we submitted a 9-page report to the Board, summarizing the process, our assessments and our own unanimous recommendation. I’m very proud of the process—and very excited about the result! The passing of the torch to Jen, with her institutional knowledge, acumen and expertise, provides IFEC with a great combination of continuity and opportunity.

I want to take advantage of this message to thank my fellow Committee members for their time and generous attention and reflection to our charge: Megan Bykowski, Vice President; Katie Ayoub, Secretary; Don Odiorne, Betty Winner; and Alexei Rudolf, Betty Winner. I also want to thank IFEC members who threw their own hats into the ring, forwarded the RFQ to potential candidates and/or offered glowing references for Jen and, indeed, all our top candidates. It is precisely this example of passionate engagement by IFECers that made this position so attractive to individuals and association management firms alike.

One more decision—well, technically two—made by the Board at its May 22 meeting was to select Madison, Wisconsin, as the host city for IFEC 2019 and Santa Barbara, California, as the host city for IFEC 2020. (What did I say at the top about a bounty of good news?!)

[clicks dial on iPod…]

"It’s a Colorado Rocky Mountain high. I’ve seen it rainin’ fire in the sky. I know he’d be a poorer man if he never saw an eagle fly…”

Now, it’s time to start planning in earnest to GO BOLD in Boulder! Editors and publicists alike have been receiving email ticklers about making plans for Office Hours and Product Presentations. Volunteer committees are zeroing in on some really exciting speakers, food tours and chef showcase participants. Jen and I expect to get a sneak peek with a Boulder site visit later this summer, and I look forward to reporting back to you afterward with more details about what to expect.

In the meantime, I wish you cool breezes, a revitalizing vacation (or two) and many delicious eats all summer long!

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News Release Archives

Nominations are being accepted through August 31st
2017's Food For Good Award, Co-sponsored by Smucker Away From Home
Posted 7.31.17

IFEC, in partnership with Smucker Away From Home, is pleased to announce that nominations are open for the second annual Food for Good award, which honors non-profit organizations in IFEC's conference cities whose work with food is making significant contributions to improving lives in the communities they serve. The award will be presented in Boulder during IFEC’s conference there, October 25th - 28th.
" IFEC’s core values have always emphasized what we, as editors and public relations professionals, can do to elevate the foodservice community, by networking together to share industry best practices, offer professional development to our respective audiences and provide scholarships to students interested in foodservice communications. The Food for Good Award is a natural extension of that passion and priority,” says IFEC President Patty Fitzgerald, who is Editor of School Nutrition magazine and Senior Director of Digital and Print Communications for the School Nutrition Association. "There are so many terrific non-profit organizations that, while not necessarily in the foodservice business, are finding ways to make lives better through programs that involve food. It is especially meaningful for IFEC, in partnership with our friends at Smucker Away From Home, to recognize such worthy organizations making a real difference in the host city of our annual conference.”

Recipients of the inaugural award in 2016
Three non-profit organizations in Minneapolis-St. Paul were honored with the inaugural award; they are are:  Cookie Cart  (www.cookiecart.org), which is a unique earn-as-you-learn program that offers teens from low-income communities of color the chance to gain employment experience, job-readiness skills, and proficiency certification, while earning a modest wage;  Dream of Wild Health (www.dreamofwildhealth.org), whose mission is to help indigenous American populations reclaim physical, spiritual and mental health through programs that teach ancestral ways of growing food and living healthier lives; and The Minnesota Food Association (www.mnfoodassociation.org), which endeavors to provide immigrant and minority populations who have a desire to farm with the necessary resources, and in doing so, helps produce more organic, sustainable local foods for the Twin Cities community.

Nominations & Qualifications
Members and friends of IFEC are invited to nominate candidates for the 2017 Food for Good award using the official nominations form available here (open it as a Word Doc). August 31st is the last day for nominations.
IFEC Appoints Jen Mac Kay Executive Director as Carol Lally Steps Down
Posted 8.1.17

The Board of Directors of the International Foodservice Editorial Council (IFEC) has announced the appointment of Jen Mac Kay as Executive Director, effective August 1st.  Jen’s firm, JH Ampersand Co., will provide association management services as well as executive director leadership. Jen had been Member Services Director. She succeeds Carol Lally, who is stepping down after 26 years at the helm.
"Carol Lally has been an extraordinary leader for IFEC,” says IFEC President Patty Fitzgerald, who is Editor/Senior Director Digital & Print Communications for School Nutrition magazine/School Nutrition Association. "Her passion and dedication to the organization go far beyond the scope of the services she’s been contracted to provide. It’s not easy to follow a legacy leader, but the IFEC Board is enthusiastic about our choice to contract with Jen Mac Kay to begin a new and exciting era for our organization. Jen’s long tenure working side by side with Carol, as well as her management background and association credentials, makes her well-positioned to meet this challenge. I know I speak for the rest of the Board and our membership at large in expressing our commitment as volunteers to support Jen, working together to provide for a smooth management and leadership transition.”

Before becoming Member Services Director, Jen provided freelance administrative services to IFEC. Prior to that, she served as Director of Development for Winnakee Land Trust in Rhinebeck, NY. Earlier, she managed a large multi-vendor antique market and held positions as a real estate sales associate and hotel sales manager. Jen earned a Master of Science in Public Administration from Marist College in Poughkeepsie, NY, and a Bachelor of Arts in Urban Studies from Vassar College, also in Poughkeepsie. A member of the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE), she holds the prestigious Certified Association Executive (CAE) credential from that organization.

An active volunteer for non-profit organizations in her community, Jen has served as a president, vice president and secretary for the Lourdes Rowing Association and as a coordinator for a variety of fund-raising events. She lives in Pleasant Valley, NY, with her four children – a son, Jack, who is starting his freshman year in college; twin daughters, Charlotte and Libby, who will be high school juniors, and Allie, who is going into second grade.

ITEM 3    
IFEC Awards $10,000 in Foodservice Communications Scholarships in 2017

Posted 7.17.17

Hyde Park, NY – The International Foodservice Editorial Council (IFEC) announces the awarding of $10,000 in scholarships to three university students who intend to pursue careers in journalism, public relations or marketing communications within the foodservice industry.
        Christa Beck received a $4,000 scholarship to help finance her studies in a Master of Arts program in Global Communications at The American University of Paris. Christa earned a bachelor’s degree in Mass Communications from the University of South Florida.  As a teenager she held restaurant jobs. After graduating from college, she took a post with an ad agency writing copy for food accounts. Christa dreams of combining her international experience and passion for the food industry to develop a career in strategic global ad campaigns for food and beverage brands, specifically brands that are socially responsible and value environmentally sustainable practices.
        Diana Evans, a graduate student pursuing a Master of Business Administration in Marketing at Stern School of Business, NYU, was awarded $4,000. Diana earned a bachelor’s degree in Latin American Studies from Smith College. Her work experience includes stints in restaurant kitchens and in marketing and communications for universities and food companies. She is currently a marketing consultant for a global provider of culinary/hospitality events services. Diana says her ideal job is one that combines her passion for marketing and food in a creative role that celebrates the importance of food in our culture.
        A $2,000 scholarship was awarded to Hajra Arbab, who is working towards a Master of Arts in Broadcasting and Electronic Media at San Francisco State University. Hajra earned her undergraduate degree, with honors, from The National College of Arts in her native Pakistan. Prior to enrolling at SFSU, she worked in Pakistan doing social media for a food delivery service and as a line producer for a film company. Hajra hopes to use her skills and passion for the food industry to join a marketing department in a multinational food company.
     Since the scholarship program began in 1981, IFEC has provided financial assistance to nearly 150 students enrolled in post-secondary, degree-granting programs in communications, the culinary arts and related fields, many of whom have gone on to work as food journalists in the B2B and consumer media and in communications, marketing and public relations positions involved in the food business. The scholarships are funded by an annual auction and private donations.
     Eligibility requirements and scholarship applications are available on the IFEC website, www.ifeconline.com.
     Founded in 1956, IFEC is a non-profit professional association made up of 250 journalists and communications professionals working within and with the food and foodservice business press. IFEC aims to encourage high professional standards and the entry of well-qualified individuals into the field. 


In the news in 2016

1. New officers elected

President Patty Fitzgerald, School Nutrition magazine
Vice President Megan Bykowski, Stephan & Brady
Secretary Katie Ayoub, Flavor & The Menu magazine
Treasurer Kathleen Stoehr, Catersource magazine

2. New board members elected

Amber Hensley, The Alchemedia Project
Michael Holleman, InHarvest
Tom O'Brien, Foodservice Equipment & Supplies magazine
Doug Peckenpaugh, BNP media

3. IFEC’s highest honors awarded
The Betty
Abbie Westra of CSP Media, received The 2016 Betty Bastion Outstanding Service Award, aka The Betty, for her many contributions to IFEC during her years as a member.

The TerrIFECer
QSR Editor Sam Oches took home The TerrIFECer for making a positive impact during a relatively short time as a member.