Current Newsletter


ifec newsletter
november 2015

message from the president
Sam Oches

Hey there IFECers!

Not rid of me yet! OK, well, almost. But first I wanted to send one final missive to wrap up these two fun years in which I've had the honor of serving as president.

First, I want to congratulate everyone involved in making the recent Portland conference one of the most successful we've ever had. Not only were attendance and office hours tables at or near record highs, but the food was spectacular, the chefs were engaging, and the city of Portland proved to be the perfect culinary host (not to mention the weather was incredible!). It was a great blueprint for the upcoming conferences in Minneapolis, Boulder, and Raleigh-Durham.

Second, a big thanks to Carol and Jen in the IFEC office for all of their hard work in putting the annual conference-and all other IFEC activities-together. This organization really can be whatever the membership dreams up for it, but it's Carol and Jen who activate all of the good-and even some of the bad!-ideas we have. It's been a pleasure to serve with them the last couple of years.

Finally, I want to send a note of encouragement to all of you who are new members or just starting to get a feel for this whole IFEC thing. We're knee-deep in our five-year strategic plan, which we formally launched last year and which is helping us evolve the organization so that it meets all of our needs in this new-age foodservice media environment. The five-year plan will only be as successful as the time and effort we put into it, so I encourage all of you to get involved and voice your opinions. If you think this year was successful, just imagine how much better it can be with your input and hard work!

What I love so much about IFEC is the community it creates, a community that grows and gets more exciting the more we get new members involved. In the coming years, there will be plenty of opportunities to plug in, get your hands dirty, and meet tons of great people in the meantime. If you don't know where to start or how you might get involved, email me at and I'll give you some pointers.

I'm thrilled to pass the baton on to new president Cathy Holley, who was a huge force in making the Portland conference so spectacular. She's got a ton of great ideas and lots of energy, and I'm confident she'll help IFEC move in more exciting directions in the year to come.

Thanks again for tolerating me these last two years, and cheers to a Happy Thanksgiving and bright IFEC future.


News from and about people
Brent Frei, Frei & Associates, has announced a new client, The American Institute of Wine & Food (AIWF). A non-profit based in Louisville and founded by the late Robert Mondavi, the late Julia Child, the late Richard Graff and others, AIWF is dedicated to advancing the understanding, appreciation and quality of wine and food through fun educational experiences.  Brent is managing partnerships and publicity for the organization.

Tom O'Brien, O'Brien Culinary Communications/Foodservice Equipment & Supplies, won the Reser's "Stir It Up" Mashed Potato Contest at the IFEC conference, earning a $1,000 donation to the foodbank of his choice, Lakeview Pantry in Chicago. The contest invited editors to submit up to three ingredients to stir in to Reser's Creamy Deluxe mashed potatoes. Tom's trio of Manchego cheese, piquillo peppers and sweet smoked paprika won out over the combo of miso, edamame, and mushrooms submitted by his fellow finalist, Gail Bellamy of Restaurant Hospitality.

Welcome to new members

Although you may have met quite a few of our newest members at the conference, we're proud to introduce and welcome them here in print. 

Michael Brophy
Director of Media Relations
Brophy PR for Dinova
Flower Mound, TX

Jessica Bryant
Managing Editor
Fort Lauderdale, FL

Jessica Chacoff
Account Executive
Ink Link Marketing
Miami Lakes, FL
The Krystal Company
Church's Chicken
Tropical Smoothie Café
Ovation Brands
Logan's Roadhouse

Allyson Dailey
Group Manager
Weber Shandwick
Boston, MA
Client: Maine Lobster Marketing Collaborative

Christin Fernandez
Director of Media Relations and Public Affairs
National Restaurant Association
Washington, D.C.

Shannon Hartwig
Account Supervisor
O'Malley Hansen Communications
St. Louis, MO
Client: Tyson

Jessie Hunter
Director of Domestic Marketing
USA Dry Pea & Lentil Council
Moscow ID

Heather Jones
PR Consultant
Heather Jones Consulting
Beaverton, OR
Sante Nuts
Oregon Fruit Products

Jennifer Kaleba
Senior Communications Manager
No Kid Hungry
Washington, D.C.

Rachel Kalt
Senior Strategist
The Culinary Edge
San Francisco, CA

Jennifer Leggett
Account Executive
Seattle, WA

Turkish Hazelnut Promotion Group
French's Food Company

Max Martens (Max is a returning member)
Vice President
Los Angeles, CA
Hass Avocado Board
U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council

Ignacio Perez
Olives From Spain
Sevilla, Spain

Richard Pitman
VP Management Supervisor
Noble Communications
Chicago, IL

Auction proceeds still growing
A post-conference silent bid on ad space has added $2,700 to the auction total, bringing the count to $16,730. And there's still time to bid and ad space to bid on. Email for information. Thanks again to our generous auction sponsor, The Culinary Institute of America, and to the auction committee led by Amy Rosendahl, of Deep, and Tara Fitzpatrick, Food Management. Stay tuned for the final tally next month.

Happy Thanksgiving to all!


2016 Annual Reception at NRA Show, Chicago - May 23
2016 Annual Conference, Minneapolis, Minnesota - October 26 - 29
2017 Annual Conference, Boulder, Colorado - Dates TBA
2018 Annual Conference, Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina - Dates TBA

Have news? Please share it with your IFEC colleagues
Do you have a new client, new services, a new feature in your magazine? Are you changing jobs, looking for a new opportunity, seeking a new staff member? Maybe you're planning a wedding, expecting a baby or taking up fortune telling? Whatever you're up to, if it's important to you, we'd like to hear about it. Send your news to

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