Current Newsletter

ifec newsletter

june 2016


president's letter

Cathy Holley
Editor, Flavor & The Menu

In media and PR, we know deadlines all too well. It just so happens that as I'm writing this, the printer is holding the presses while I have yet to write my letter from the editor (even my mother has texted wondering when it'll materialize). 

We all have little quirks under the pressures of a deadline. Chocolate, caffeine, fresh air, procrastination - you name it. During publishing deadlines, I have a habit of following a news story as a distraction (I should clarify, it has to be mildly compelling, but not to the point where I become distracted by devastating events. Celebrity feuds are a perfect fit here.) This production cycle was sponsored by the Led Zeppelin copyright lawsuit. For those of you not following this newsworthy event, Led Zeppelin was accused of copying the guitar solo from musical group Spirit for their iconic "Stairway to Heaven" lead-in. I've been tracking the story, from the anticipation as to whether Jimmy Page would actually strum the tune in court, to this story lead: "The 10 Weirdest Things in Trial." Just now, when I checked in on the story amid my final, dark hours of deadline and in need of a quick distraction, I discover Led Zeppelin has prevailed. While I myself am pleased by the outcome, now that it's a closed case and my companion news item is over before the last great task of my deadline, I'm a bit stumped as to how to proceed.

Hence, the June President's letter! The timing of this memo is serving as a necessary distraction to the intensity of my deadline. As you likely know, I normally wouldn't get around to the monthly IFEC memo until the last week of the month, but dire straits call for dire actions.

While I've been toiling away on this issue, fellow IFECers have been busy prepping for a fantastic Minneapolis conference in "The Land of 10,000 Tastes." Our pre-conference education programming is taking shape, so when you consider travel plans, keep in mind a Wednesday morning start for bonus content customized to IFECers' interests. As well, the Food Tours and "Food for Good" programs are developing quickly, thanks to enthusiastic committee-member support.  You may have noticed a link from IFEC for hotel reservations; get in touch if you haven't received it. And conference sponsorships are now open, with an early bird discount before July 15th. In summary, Minneapolis 2016 is coming together! Make sure it's on your calendar (Oct. 26-28).

Well, now that I've delivered you a bit of news, it's back to my to-do list. Oh look, Michael Strahan is throwing shade on Kelly Ripa! Just one moment...


 four foodservice communications scholarships awarded

IFEC has awarded a total of $15,000 in scholarships split among four excellent students who are preparing for careers in food/foodservice communications. The 2016 Scholarship Committee, co-chaired by Tara Fitzpatrick, Food Management, and Bret Thorn, NRN, with members Gail Bellamy, Restaurant Hospitality; Mary Humann, The Humann Factor and Doug Peckenpaugh, BNP Media, selected the four from a field of eight semi-finalists. Here's Tara's report on the winners:

Ryan Thick (highest score), $5,000
Ryan is attending Oakland University in Michigan majoring in a combination of PR, journalism and communications. He's earned a GPA of 3.76 and has put in serious time as a line cook at Big Boy, a host at TGIFridays and more. He's interested in both the culinary and the marketing sides of the restaurant business. Ryan dreams of both running and promoting a bar or restaurant and also of being a contributor to a food publication.  His letter of recommendation from a magazine editor praised Ryan's professional attitude and his writing as well.

Andrea Acosta, $5,000
Andrea is attending Mission College in California, earning a GPA of 3.8 while working in a local bakery as a cake decorator. Her passion lies in art and design, whether she's working with fondant or glassblowing. She's pursuing culinary skills to further her dream of becoming an established food photographer. She would like to take photos for a cookbook or food memoir one day.  Andrea's boss at the cake shop wrote in the letter of recommendation that she surprised the bakery with a special photography collection for the bakery's anniversary. 

Allison Lyon, $2,500
Allison is pursuing an associate degree in the culinary arts at the CIA in Hyde Park.  She earned a bachelor's at Oklahoma State, where she worked as a line cook then student-manager at some of the onsite cafes there. She earned a 3.9 GPA at OSU. She dreams of one day becoming a traveling food photographer with a focus on anthropology. In Allison's letter of recommendation, her former boss recounted how Allison took all the food photos for new menu boards at the campus eateries.

Riley Peterson $2,500
Riley is attending Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, working toward a degree in nutrition earning a GPA of 3.43. She's worked for the Vitamin D Council and Healthy Dining Finder as an intern. Her letter of recommendation described her as someone who loves to research and turn that into creative expression. Riley hopes to one day work as a dietitian who communicates with others, sharing her healthy food knowledge with the world.

In his thank you note, Ryan let us know that he feels very honored, that he was still in shock a day after learning the news from Bret Thorn and that he is interested in finding a remote internship opportunity using his editorial and marketing skills. If anyone out there knows of something suitable, please let us know.

Allison Lyons wrote that she's grateful for our generosity and decision to invest in her education and her future in this industry. "I have a strong interest in food photography and food blogging, and I have come to the CIA to investigate this as a career and follow a genuine passion for food and hospitality," she says. "It has been a longtime dream of mine to come to the CIA, and I created a blog about my journey."  Allison's blog is called "A.Lyon's Den -- My culinary adventures in life's kitchen." ( ). Not only is it a good read but it will make you feel happy about giving her a scholarship. As you know, the annual auction funds the scholarships, so pat yourselves on the back if you've participated as a donor and/or bidder (and start thinking about what you'll donate this year!)

news from and about people

Congratulations to Sam Oches on his promotion to Editorial Director of Food News Media. In this position, Sam will maintain his responsibilities as QSR's editor while also overseeing both QSR's and FSR's editorial strategies, as well as Food News Media's online properties.

A tip of the hat to Tom O'Brien, O'Brien Culinary Communications/Foodservice Equipment & Supplies magazine, who was selected to be one of the eight judges on the Technical Jury for the Americas East competition of the Gelato World Tour, held at Millennium Park in Chicago, May 29th. Sixteen gelato artisans presented their signature creations to us and the public, and four winners were chosen to represent the Americas East at the Grand Finale of the Gelato World Tour in Rimini, Italy, in 2017.

new members

We're delighted to introduce the four fine folks who've joined us this month. Welcome, all!

Andrea Assouad 
Vice President   
Seattle, Washington

Richard Clarke 
Fifteen Degrees   
New York, New York

Kelsey Duke PR
Washington, D.C.
The Dolce Kitchen
Logan Sausage
Gold Crust Bakery
Drift on 7th
Red White and Basil
Grupo 7
Madison Investments

Angela Hong
Communications Manager
Morrison Healthcare
Sandy Springs, Georgia

media briefings

No need to wait til Meet the Press at the conference to bone up on the publications represented in IFEC. Watch this space for briefings from editors all year ‘round. This month, Convenience Store News Editorial Director Don Longo shares what publicists need to know about his magazine and website.

"Convenience Store News ( is the leading media brand for the convenience store industry. Our monthly magazine and continuously updated website cover all aspects of profitably operating a convenience store business, including marketing, merchandising, operations, technology and category management. Foodservice is the fastest growing product category at convenience stores and therefore is a particular focus of attention in our editorial coverage. We report on consumer and product trends, case studies and success stories that will help convenience store retailers improve their foodservice operations. CSNews accepts case studies and product releases applicable for the convenience retail channel. We also accept expert guest columns/editorials. Contact us for submission guidelines."

networking 101

Sending news for the newsletter a good and easy way to network. Whether you have business news - a new client, new editorial content, a job change or job search - or personal news such as an engagement, wedding or baby - please share it with your IFEC colleagues. Seeing it in the newsletter just might spark a new idea, new connection or even new business.  Send your news to


July 15 - Early-bird deadline for conference sponsorships
August 31 - Final deadline for conference sponsorships
September 24 - Deadline for reservations at Radisson Blu Downtown Minneapolis
October 26-28  - Annual Conference, Minneapolis
2017 Annual Conference, Boulder, Colorado - Dates TBA
2018 Annual Conference, Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina - Dates TBA

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