Passing the Gavel
Q & A with 2013 President Jeffrey Yarbrough
Q. What were the conference highlights for you?
Seeing John Scroggins win the Betty and receive recognition from his peers for doing something he is passionate about was a real highlight. Others were seeing the excitement in new members' eyes at the New Member Orientation, strategizing for IFEC during my pre-tour to Portland with Carol and my wife, Tara, at Lardo, and of course seeing all the bearded, tattooed entrepreneurs...I'm becoming one of them!
Another thing that impressed me was how quickly and seamlessly the staff and a couple of our members worked together to avert disaster when one of the tours fell through. They created a new tour in a matter of hours...and grubbing at the food cart pad was awesome.
Q. Did you learn anything you didn't already know about IFEC?
IFECers are incredibly interconnected. I was sitting with Gail Bellamy during Office Hours and she reminded me she covered one of my first bars, the Art Bar, in her first book 20+ years ago...back when I was a young single bar owner. Time flies when you're having fun.
Q. Any surprises?
It is probably best not to consume 20 pieces of chocolate, six shots of bourbon and a bottle of wine and think the photos are going to look good at the beer joint at the end of the night. And being the first to win "The Jeffrey," awarded to the life of the party. Who's going for it next year?!
Q. What do you consider the most important accomplishments this year?
Having a profitable conference, welcoming five new editorial members, and starting a five-year plan. Knowing where we are going in this fast changing media world we are living in is crucial at this time. Having a five-year plan in place that is flexible to the changing landscape will allow IFEC leaders to have a target for our future. IFEC is a powerful tool for our industry and it needs to stay sharp and relevant.
Q. What are the challenges for IFEC?
Complacency and a "this is how we do it" mentality. But with the gavel passing to Sam Oches that won't be a problem. He is more than up to the challenge. I want to wish Sam and the new board good luck and good times ahead.
And I want to thank the 2013 officers, board, staff, and all of you wonderful IFECers for an amazing year. See you in Dallas for the next conference, November 3-6.
If there was anyone in Portland who didn't love the city, they kept it quiet. Its culinary scene was exhilarating, the weather was perfect, the people friendly. The conference hit all the high marks: 180 of you attended (six percent more than last year), including 31 editors from 26 publications (the most in recent memory) and sponsors participated in more presentations (83) than in the past two years. Plus, the tours drew rave reviews (thank you, tour committee headed by freelance writer Karen Weisberg) and many said the food was the best they could remember at a conference. For that, kudos to the sponsors who provided excellent recipes and to DoubleTree Chef Steven Ward, whose execution was practically perfect. In other news . . .
New officers: Sam Oches, of QSR magazine, is President. Vice President is Rachel Tracy, Olson Communications; Pat Cobe, Restaurant Business magazine, is Secretary, and Alexei Rudolf, Foodservice Connections, LLC, is Treasurer. Read their bios .
New board members: Four members were elected to the board of directors. They are Tara Fitzpatrick, associate editor of Food Management magazine; Cathy Holley, publisher/editor-in-chief, Flavor & The Menu magazine; Mallory Jensen, senior supervisor for bigInk, and public relations consultant Bill Schreiber. Don Odiorne, Idaho Potato Commission, was named Advisor to the Board. This is a non-voting, advisory position filled by a Betty recipient who is elected by Betty colleagues.
New Betty: IFEC's highest honor, the Betty Bastion Outstanding Service Award, went to John Scroggins in recognition of his long-running commitment to IFEC and the foodservice industry, his professionalism and all-around excellence as a communicator, public relations practitioner, colleague, mentor, volunteer and friend. Actively involved in IFEC for more than 10 years, John has served on numerous committees, including Chef Showcase, which he has co-chaired three times. For the past three years, he has been a member of the Board of Directors, serving two terms as Treasurer and Chairman of the Financial Planning & Investment Committee.
Don Odiorne, Idaho Potato Commission, was one of several who nominated John for the Betty. Don said "John finds a way to interact with all the IFEC members. He works tirelessly and tactfully behind the scenes to put his clients in a positive light, and seems to always be looking for ways to be of help to others." Public relations consultant Ann Segerstrom also nominated John. She called him the "enviably discreet figure in the background of his agency's and IFEC's most successful programs and events...who does his ‘moving and shaking' with a subtle hand."
As a vice president for Noble, John oversees media planning, public relations, event management, direct marketing and philanthropy for the agency's roster of blue-chip food companies. His brand responsibilities include Heinz, Folgers, JIF Peanut Butter, M&M Mars, the No Kid Hungry campaign, Smith & Wollensky Restaurant Group, Smucker's, Ventura Foods, and Wrigley.
John began his career with Noble in 1989, first managing corporate public relations and training, and then transferring to Chicago and serving as Editor-In-Chief for the company's award-winning Food Channel. Eventually he became Director of Public Relations, responsible for Noble corporate programs and clients including the Pillsbury Company, Keebler, Tyson Foods, Haagen-Dazs and Wal-Mart.
Among the first communications responders called to the city of Joplin following the 2011 tornado, John supported the city's media relations and community outreach efforts, as well as communications and fundraising for the Joplin School District. He is an active member of the American Advertising Federation and the International Food Futurists.
New TerrIFECer: Megan McKenna is the recipient of the second-ever TerrIFECer, which recognizes a member who is relatively new (from two to eight years of membership) for service and leadership that have made a significant impact on the organization.
In her first year in IFEC - 2007 -- Megan plunged into committee work and has been an enthusiastic contributor since then, chairing four committees, serving on the Board of Directors, as Vice President in 2011 and President in 2012.
As Director of Marketing for the National Mango Board, Megan has overseen the NMB's retail and foodservice marketing initiatives as well as trade media outreach, industry communications and website presence since 2012. She joined the NMB in the spring of 2007 and was promoted to Marketing Manager in 2008 primarily due to her management of the foodservice program. Prior to the NMB, Megan was a Marketing Coordinator for the Historical Society of Central Florida where she acquired strong marketing experience strategically planning, launching and promoting exhibitions. Megan received her Bachelor's Degree in Communications and is currently pursuing her Masters from the University of Central Florida.
A member of PMA's Fresh Summit Committee and Ambassador of the Produce for Better Health Foundation, Megan has been recognized by being named one of Produce Business 40 Under 40 in 2011, and The Packer's Women in Produce in 2013.
New cities: The 2014 annual conference is slated for Dallas(November 3 - 6). In 2015, we will meet in Portland, Maine. For 2016, the Board voted to consider Boise, Idaho; Memphis, Tennessee; and Minneapolis, Minnesota. Supporters of each city will make a pitch to the Board at its spring meeting in Chicago. Let us know if you'd like to join one of the city teams.
New dollars for scholarships: With proceeds of $19,070, the 2013 auction surpassed 2012's total by more than $2,000 and 2011's tally by $6,000. Congratulations to Chairperson Rachel Tracy and committee stalwarts Public Relations Susan Hughes, Kim Kurata and Ann Segerstrom for their fabulous work. Also many thanks to everyone who donated and placed bids, and to Idaho Potato Commission for sponsoring.
What a difference your dollars make
Ever wonder about the impact of your auction donations? Consider this note from Steve Coomes. Steve is a former chef, communications director for Food Service Associates, Editor-in-Chief of Pizza Today and PizzaMarketplace founder. He was an IFEC member from 1999 - 2001. Today, he is principal of Words to Chew On and a contributor to foodservice, food and travel magazines; a public relations consultant, and the author of the forth-coming book (in May), Hog. Salt. Smoke. A Southern Story of Country Ham. When he left chefing in 1991 to go back to school to prepare for a writing career, he applied for and received an IFEC scholarship.
Here's Steve: "A young woman (18) who lives down the street from me just got a $3,000 art scholarship, and it reminded me of when I got my IFEC scholarship in 1991 and what that meant at the time. Of course, it was all about me and being floored to receive the money. It was more, ‘Yay me!' than, ‘Hey, Steve, think about how this happened.'
"But now as a small business owner, it dawns on me that lots of somebodies like me took money out of their pockets to invest in someone else's future. They gave up something in order for me to have something. I'm buddies with the girl's mom, and I told her my IFEC story and asked her to share with her daughter that same sentiment: Someone cares enough to give so you can receive.
"I'm just humbled by all that at the moment. I didn't recognize that when I never saw the people who gave the dough or wrote the check, it was just 'a scholarship,' not a selfless thing. A voicemail from Betty Bastion, a check in the mail, and a call back to Betty to ask, 'Do I need to do anything in particular with this?' and her saying, 'Use it wisely.' Really kind of detatched and surreal, you know? Now the impact is REALLY heartfelt.
"Oh, and 22 years later, I'm still writing about the business. IFEC made a good investment!"
News from and about members
Marti DeMoss is moving on to a new chapter in her life, after eight years at ConAgra Foods. An award-winning communications pro who has created strategic external and internal public relations and marketing communications initiatives for some of the world's leading including Toyota, Lexus, Yamaha, PepsiCo, Anheuser-Busch, ConAgra Foods, AT&T, Lucent Technologies, Cerner Corp. and Occidental Chemical, Marti is looking to work with people and companies who do good things in and for the world, and for each other. She can be reached at email@example.com
Hooray for the Nucci family! The Packer magazine presented Mann Packing's CEO Lorri Koster with its coveted 2013 Marketer of the Year award at PMA's Fresh Summit in October, 29 years after her father won the award. Gina Nucci is Lorri's younger sister.
Welcome to our newest IFECers
We are pleased to introduce the fine people who have joined us since September, many of whom attended the Portland conference.
Cristie-Lucie Alvarado (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Padilla CRT, New York, NY
Clients: Duda Farm Fresh Foods, North Carolina Sweet Potato Commission
Peter Baughman (email@example.com)
Foodmix, Elmhurst, IL
Clients: Farmland, Lactalis, Taylor, Broaster, Kellogg's, Dianne's Desserts, Martinson
Inez Be firstname.lastname@example.org
Evans, Hardy & Young, Inc., Santa Barbara, CA
Clients: National Honey Board
Bethany Bell (email@example.com)
deep group, Springfield, MO
Clients: Nestle Professional, Lamb Weston, Kerry Group, Mission Foodservice, Tyson Foodservice K-12, Otis Spunkmeyer Fundraising, Borden Foodservice
Antoinette Bruno (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Rising Stars / StarChefs.com, Brooklyn, NY
Jason Chin (email@example.com)
Reser's Fine Foods, Beaverton, OR
Kyle Cone (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Harvest PR, Portland, OR
Jennifer Delker (email@example.com)
MSL Group, Seattle, WA
Clients: United Soybean Board, QUALISOY
Mackenzie Femreite (firstname.lastname@example.org)
USA Dry Pea & Lentil Council, Moscow, MD
Kelly Fordham (Kelly@biginkpr.com)
bigInk, Dallas, TX
Clients: Bone Daddy's House of Smoke, Cook Hall, Driftwood, Del Sur Restaurant Group - Hook Line & Sinker and Urban Taco, W Dallas - Victory Hotel, VerTerra
Shana Frahm (email@example.com)
Evans Hardy & Young, Santa Barbara, CA
Clients: California Walnut Board + Commission, National Honey Board
Lisa Friedrich (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Golden Sun Marketing, Minneapolis, MN
Clients: Tasteful Selections, LoBue Citrus, FirstFruits Marketing, Tozer Seeds, Seedway, WP Rawl
Spring Harris (Spring.Harris@edelman.com)
Edelman, Los Angeles, CA
Clients: Sunkist Growers
Elena Hernandez (email@example.com)
Duda Farm Fresh Foods, Salinas, CA
Kirsten Jaeckle (Kirsten.firstname.lastname@example.org)
Emmi Roth USA, Inc., Verona, WI
Louise Kramer (email@example.com)
Specialty Food Association, New York, NY
Mary Ellen Kuhn (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Food Technology magazine, Chicago, IL
Tim McGreevy (email@example.com)
USA Dry Pea & Lentil Council, Moscow, ID
Katie Niebaum (firstname.lastname@example.org)
National Restaurant Association, Washington, DC
Tyffani Peters (email@example.com)
The Culinary Institute of America, St. Helena, CA
Lori Renzi (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Charlie Baggs Culinary Innovations, Chicago, IL
Nicole Rife (email@example.com)
Kitchindex, Downingtown, PA
Wendy Saari (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Texas Restaurant Association, Austin, TX)
Becky Schilling (email@example.com)
FoodService Director magazine, Oakbrook Terrace, IL
Laura Slavec firstname.lastname@example.org
Avocados from Mexico, Denver, CO
Brianna Stansel (email@example.com)
Evans, Hardy & Young, Inc., Santa Barbara, CA
Clients: California Walnut Board, Idaho Potato Commission, National Honey Board
Taylor Swift (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Porter Novelli, New York, NY
Clients: Almond Board of California
Amanda Triest (email@example.com)
Stephan & Brady, Madison, WI
Clients: Emmi Roth USA, Inc.
Don Trouba (firstname.lastname@example.org)
ConAgra Mills, Omaha, NE
Jennifer Velasquez (email@example.com)
Golden Sun Marketing, Tampa, FL
Clients: WP Rawl
Joan Wickham (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Sunkist, Sherman Oaks, CA
IFEC 2014 CALENDAR
NRA Reception, Chicago, May 19
Annual Conference, Dallas, November 3-6
Have news? Please share it with your ifec colleagues
Send it to email@example.com
Executive Director & Newsletter Editor Carol Lally
845-229-6973 / firstname.lastname@example.org / www.ifeconline.com
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