Current Newsletter

ifec newsletter
february 2014

Message from the President
Sam Oches
Editor, QSR magazine

Hello IFECers,

Hope everyone has managed to survive this crazy winter! It's 70 and sunny in North Carolina as I write this, and yet I would not at all be surprised to wake up tomorrow with sub-zero temperatures and snow on the ground. It's been that kind of season, at least for us East Coasters.

The wild winter threw me for something of a loop two weeks ago, as the ice rink that was the South turned a short two-day business trip to Chicago into a four-day adventure in finding my way home. Of course, there are far worse things in this world than being stranded in the Windy City-I did a little "research," eating and drinking my way around the city while I pieced together the details of my trip home from my phone-but you know that feeling when your plans fall through and you aren't where you're supposed to be: it's stressful.

That first night stranded, though, I was able to forget about all of that stress with a little help from IFEC. My travel woes, I learned from Bill Schreiber in the nick of time, happened to coincide with a potluck event thrown together by Chicago-area IFECers to welcome Pat Cobe to the city. So on a night that I could have been commiserating my ill-timed business trip watching Olympic figure skating alone at the hotel bar, I instead got to spend a few hours with 20 or so folks from IFEC, most of whom I knew, some I didn't, sharing bottles of wine and conversation.

Pat's welcome event in Chicago reminded me that IFEC is so much more than editors and public relations professionals getting together to talk food and clients. Sure, we talked some business that night, and ideas were thrown around for the upcoming NRA reception and the conference in Dallas later on this year. But mostly we talked as friends do, joining together not just as a professional organization but also as a community.

With that in mind, let me put on your radar another upcoming IFEC event in Chicago that will be a great opportunity to plug into that community. On March 13, we'll be hosting a get-together at 6:00 p.m. at Quartino, where you'll be able to meet up with other IFEC folks and talk about... well, whatever you want to talk about. Think of it more as a social hour than a networking event where you have professional obligations. We'll be sending an invite out to the whole membership, so even if you're not based in Chicago, feel free to pass along to someone there who you think might be interested in checking IFEC out!

Finally, many of you know that, in an effort to build up this IFEC community, Carol has been investing more of her time into our social media channels and engaging folks on Twitter (follow us at @IFECorg!). Because it's never too early to talk about the annual conference or all of the great things we plan to do in our host city, we're launching the hashtag #IFECinDallas, where you can join the conversation and recommend Dallas restaurants or swap food tour ideas (or maybe just coordinate cowboy boots and ten-gallon hats).

We've got plenty of other initiatives in the works that I'll be excited to share with you. But for now, remember that you'll get out of IFEC whatever you put into it-even if it's just some friendly conversation.


News from and about members

It's the new cookbook heard 'round the world! Kendall College's "Sharing Our Global Passion: Recipes from 22 World Class Chefs" features the efforts of two IFEC members.  Dean of Kendall's School of Culinary Arts, Chef Chris Koetke, produced a delicious recipe for an Ecuadorian soup called Lucro, while Instructor Tom O'Brien contributed as recipe editor. Tom also writes about equipment for Restaurant Business and is principal of O'Brien Culinary Communications.

Jamie Estes, Estes Public Relations, was the lucky winner of a variety sampler box of fresh mangos in the National Mango Board's IFEC drawing among members who placed bids for a mango delivery in last year's Bidding for Good scholarship auction. Thanks, NMB, and Jamie, for your support.

Juice It Up!, the nation's largest raw juice bar and hand-crafted smoothie franchise, has named Melinda Morgan Kartsonis' Morgan Marketing and Public Relations its public relations agency of record.

Congratulations to Gail Bellamy of Restaurant Hospitality on the publication of "Cleveland Summertime Memories."  As with her other two Cleveland-centric  books, this one is full of food. For an entertaining interview with Gail about her favorite food memories, see Also, you can read one of her poems about a favorite restaurant breakfast in "Alimentum: The Literature of Food." Click on the image of the synchronized swimmers to find the poem.

So far so good for the Georgia Peach!! When she left the deep south for her new position with U.S. Apple Association in the D.C. area, Wendy Brannen was prepared for climate change but maybe not for a deep deep freeze. "I went to Minneapolis and LaCrosse, WI, the week of the Polar Vortex!," she says.  "Needless to say, I didn't spend much time tarrying in the snow."

bigInk's Mallory Jensen says she will do her part to keep Austin weird. She's heading up public relations and marketing services for bigInk's new Austin office and recently signed on Chef Mark Schmidt's new restaurant, Blackbird and Henry, opening mid-February. Joining bigInk's real estate team is Ziggy Marrow who will manage real estate services. If you know of anyone that Mallory or Ziggy needs to meet, mingle or grab happy hour with, feel free to shoot her an email:

Congrats and good wishes to former member/board member Winston "Dub" Riley on his new position as Director of Business Development and Senior Account Manager on restaurant concept business for United Source One, an exporter of prime beef and other high-quality US food products. ( )


The General Assembly of the United Nations has voted to declare 2016 as the "International Year of Pulses,"  according to Mackenzie Femreite of USA Dry Pea & Lentil Council.  Pulses, the edible seeds of several leguminous plants, such as dry beans, dry peas, lentils and chickpeas, are high in protein content and contain significant amounts of other essential nutrients like calcium, iron and lysine.

Happy 75th anniversary to The Institute of Food Technologists, publisher of Food Technology. Executive Editor Mary Ellen Kuhn says that they are making a documentary film about the future of food as part of their anniversary observances.

Mann Packing is also marking three-quarters of a century in business. Congratulations to Gina Nucci and her family on their great and long-lived success.

Hooray for veteran IFEC member/past board member Kevin Ryan, who is celebrating the 25th anniversary of his company, Marketing A La Carte.  Kevin manages the International Corporate Chefs Association (ICCA) along with representing F&B clients.

Nancy Parrott, public relations director for Cincinnati, Ohio-based Tavern Restaurant Group, is proud to announce the opening of the 11th  Pub location in Cleveland, Ohio. Work is in progress on the Atlanta location scheduled to open this summer.

Professional Development Award applications due April 15th
If you're a member in good standing of three years or more who's thinking about taking a continuing education/professional development class that your employer doesn't cover, consider applying for a Professional Development Award. It's a member service which provides tuition reimbursements for a variety of activities - from courses in writing to food-and-wine pairing, seminars in online marketing to culinary boot camp—almost anything that contributes to your knowledge base. To check the requirements and fill out an application, log in to your member page on

March 15th is cutoff for student scholarship applications
Many of you have donated to the scholarship auction and now you're invited to help put those dollars to work by referring students for scholarships. To qualify, students must be enrolled in post-secondary, degree-granting programs and be preparing for careers in foodservice communications. Send promising candidates to the scholarship page on and write a recommendation today. Applications must be postmarked by March 15th.

Q & A with new members
This is the second in a series designed to help you get to know new members. Sixty-one individuals have joined IFEC since January 2013, and we're grateful to have them. Why not reach out and introduce yourself if you find you have something in common with any of these new IFECers.

What were your career plans in college?  How did you land in foodservice communications?

Jaclyn Glatzer, Summit Group, Atlanta --
I was a television news major who found myself looking for a job in Atlanta right when CNN discontinued its entry level program.I wanted to find a job that was similar to TV news-something new every day, lots of interaction with people, the ability to be creative and the need to think on my feet. I applied for an agency job and never looked back. Fourteen years later I'm with the same company and have the fortune of working with fantastic clients and brands. And when I work weekends now, it isn't because something terrible is happening in the world-usually it's to eat great food with great people! 

Nancy Parrott, Tavern Restaurant Group, Cincinnati --
I started as a communications  major but landed on English because I didn't want to take statistics or math.  At the time, I wanted to be a news anchor or writer.

Jennifer Velazquez, Golden Sun Marketing, Tampa --
I studied Corporate Communications and Public Affairs (CCPA) at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas. My plan was to either work in-house at one of the many large companies headquartered in Dallas, or to work for a PR agency. I ended up going the PR agency route, first promoting Spanish wines for a local PR/marketing firm, then moving back to my hometown of Tampa, Florida and working with companies that had clients in the fresh produce industry. I am still doing that and can't really imagine doing anything else.

Kelly Ronna, Trevelino/Keller Communications, Atlanta --
My college major was Communications - Public Relations. I originally started my college career in Engineering at NC State University, but quickly found an elective, Intro to PR, to be my favorite class. I switched majors immediately and started interning at various local PR opportunities, which led me to my move to Atlanta.  I have always enjoyed working at PR agencies, and I have worked at Trevelino/Keller since I moved to Atlanta six years ago. I landed in foodservice by chance. Our agency has several different practice areas, but I was fortunate to work with some great foodservice and franchise companies as my first clients and my interest in foodservice communications has grown and developed over the years.  I work with other companies outside of foodservice, but love my food, beverage and franchise clients.

Welcome new members
IFEC extends a warm welcome to our newest members:

Alison Ilg
PR consultant
Wetherhead Communications, Marietta, Georgia
Alison represents The Coca-Cola Company

Tamara Omazic

Associate Editor
QSR magazine, Chapel Hill, North Carolina


Chicago Regional Networking Fest - March 13
NRA Reception, Chicago - May 19
Annual Conference, Dallas, Texas - November 3-5

Have news?
New clients/new services/new editorial features?
Send me a note for the newsletter and also log in to your profile to add/delete your new information.  PR members -- don't miss this easy way to let editors know about your new resources.  Editors -- let us help you get your news out, too.  Having access to a network of communications resources is a prime benefit of belonging to IFEC.  Get the most from your membership!

Send your news to

Executive Director & Newsletter Editor Carol Lally
845-229-6973 / /