President's Letter

from Patty Fitzgerald
Editor, School Nutrition

High on Boulder

I’ve been to Denver and through parts of Colorado on a few occasions, but my first opportunity to visit Boulder was only this month. In the delightful company of new IFEC Executive Director Jen Mac Kay, welcomed by the staff at the Hotel Boulderado and hosted by local Coloradoans and longtime members Mary Humann, Amy Shipley and Jami Yanoski, I was in the best hands for a sneak peek of what we can expect in late October when we gather 5,430 feet above sea level in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. Let me share three impressions from my trip.

The Hotel:  The Boulderado is full of charm and a little bit quirky—just like IFEC! The five stories of the historic part of the hotel are accessed via stairs or one tiny staff-operated elevator. The rooms in this wing have all the amenities, albeit with some Victorian décor and—rumor has it—a ghost or two. Some of you will love this unique blend of history and comfort, but others may prefer to request rooms in the modern wing. Our meeting with the hotel team was excellent; they are ready and eager to work closely with Jen and her staff to ensure that all our programs and events are seamless. (Attention sponsors: The sooner you can get your recipes and other details to Jen so she can get them to Chefs John and Pete, the better!) Many of our spaces won’t be conventional but they will be memorable. In particular, I can’t wait for our Thursday evening Cocktail Party at "License 1,” an atmospheric space that hearkens back to the speakeasies of Prohibition.

The Food Tours:  Perhaps the single-best perk of being IFEC president is the opportunity to preview many of our Food Tour destinations. I sure don’t envy your agonizing task of selecting one route. The dining halls at University of Colorado-Boulder have me longing to be a college student again. A veteran of past distillery tours, I didn’t expect to learn much at Vapor Distillery, but was genuinely riveted by the expertise and singular personality of Ted Palmer, owner and master distiller. (You gotta try their Pumpkin King Cordial!) Both Ozo Coffee and Skratch Labs seem to be quintessential Boulder businesses, prioritizing innovation and entrepreneurship. And I can’t speak highly enough (pun intended) about our visit to Wana Brands and the opportunity to explore the fascinating details of the rise of a brand-new food segment, with truly unique challenges. Plus, there are a number of stops that we simply couldn’t fit into our agenda! These tours truly epitomize our "Go Bold” conference theme.

Boulder: From the breathtaking backdrop of the five "flatiron” rock formations to the vibrant Pearl Street Mall to the serene Chautauqua Park to the funky Rayback Collective Food Truck Park and Beer Garden, Boulder is a destination that mirrors the original, creative sensibility of IFEC itself. If you haven’t booked your flight reservations yet, I highly encourage you to come early or stay later (or both!) and maximize your opportunity to take in the local sites and sights.

I’ll be making all my travel arrangements this week—how about you? Let’s Go Bold, together!

Patty Fitzgerald
IFEC President

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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  (, 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 (, 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 (, 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).

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.