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Chef's Selection
As part of NAFEM's long-term partnership with the Culinary Institute of America (CIA), Brad Barnes, CMC, director, CIA consulting and industry programs, holds the NAFEM professorship in Culinary Arts. The partnership is dedicated to specialized research in foodservice equipment and supplies, product development and industry education. Chef Brad's quarterly column in NAFEM online highlights a current trend or issue he's facing in the kitchen. In this column, Chef Brad discusses the emergence of food halls in urban settings.

Reminder: Business Planning Study Closes April 29
NAFEM's Business Planning Study examines everything operational - management practices, manufacturing trends, supply chain considerations and compensation packages - and presents the combined metrics to help benchmark performance and set future strategies. An invitation to contribute to the study was sent to all NAFEM primary contacts April 1. Participation earns five (5) priority points toward booth selection at The NAFEM Show in 2017 and beyond - the most priority points awarded at one time for any activity! Note: If you have logged in to the survey and haven't started answering the questionnaire, or submitted your answers ("Save, I will return"), remember to complete the submission process by April 29 to earn priority points. If you have questions regarding the NAFEM Business Planning Study, contact The MPI Group at NAFEMsupport@mpi-group.net.

2016 Annual Meeting & Management Workshop Announced
Join us February 19-22, 2016, at the InterContinental San Juan Resort & Casino, San Juan, Puerto Rico, for the 2016 Annual Meeting & Management Workshop. Watch future issues of NAFEM online for program details.

Priority Point-Earning Opportunities for 2015
Your company's priority point total determines the order in which you select exhibit space in The NAFEM Show. All priority points earned in 2015 count towards space selection in The NAFEM Show in 2017 and beyond. Login to the Members-Only section of the NAFEM website to see all of this year's point-earning opportunities!

Advocacy Update: CCSB
NAFEM continues to monitor activities and decisions by the National Motor Freight Traffic Association's (NMFTA) Commodity Classification Standards Board (CCSB). On April 18, the National Motor Freight Classification (NMFC) guidelines introduced a major change to the concealed damage claim rule. Currently, concealed damages may be reported up to 15 days after delivery for consideration of a valid claim. According to the new guidelines, which carriers use for their rules tariffs, the time period for reporting concealed damages has been reduced to five days. To review all changes being implemented, login to the NAFEM website and click on the "Advocacy" tab. NAFEM members also may direct questions to Charlie Souhrada, CFSP, +1.312.821.0212; csouhrada@nafem.org.

Whitfield Questions EPA Over Refrigerant Rule
Energy and Power Subcommittee Chairman Ed Whitfield (R-KY) wrote to the EPA in early April requesting information related to the legality, cost and feasibility of the agency's proposed rule banning certain refrigerants. EPA has proposed to prohibit several substances commonly used in commercial refrigeration. Hundreds of manufacturers have warned of the near-impossibility of meeting the proposed deadlines, as well as the high costs and potential risks of using alternative compounds, many of which are flammable. Read Whitfield's letter. NAFEM members may direct questions to Charlie Souhrada, CFSP, +1.312.821.0212; csouhrada@nafem.org.

NAFEM Showplace Desktop Version Is Available
During the show in Anaheim, NAFEM Showplace was available as the show program guide via mobile devices and tablets to assist show attendees. Now, NAFEM Showplace is a desktop product directory. If you participated in The NAFEM Show, all the information you provided for the mobile app also is also available in NAFEM Showplace. If you didn't participate in The NAFEM Show, your company contact information is included in NAFEM Showplace and you now have the ability to add marketing materials to your listing. NAFEM Showplace is the resource operators turn to for gathering NAFEM-member product information. Watch your email inbox for an announcement and instructions soon!

Get Your CFSP Designation
If you've been meaning to get certified, consider participating in the annual overview seminar at NAFEM headquarters in Chicago. The overview takes place Wednesday, August 12, 2015, from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Participants are welcome to return Thursday, August 13, 2015, to take the exam. The overview & exam are no longer offered during The NAFEM Show or NRA Show.

Can't make it in August? You can always purchase one of NAFEM's CFSP packages to streamline the certification process. The CFSP Online Course Package is $775/person and includes the application fee, a .pdf copy of the review questions and glossary of terms from the textbook, the online module and exam. The CFSP In-Person Course Package is $550/person and includes the application fee, the 20-chapter textbook, An Introduction to the Foodservice Industry, the one-day, in-person overview and exam. Login to learn more, sign up for the 2015 overview or to purchase a package.

NAFEM's 2014 Size & Shape of the Industry Study
The results are in! Member companies that contributed data received a free copy of NAFEM's 2014 Size & Shape of the Industry study in September. The study reports 2013 sales in: Food Preparation; Primary Cooking Equipment; Refrigeration and ice Machines; Serving Equipment; Smallwares, Cookware & Kitchen Tools; Storage & Handling Equipment; Tabletop & Servingware; Warewashing, Janitorial & Safety Equipment; and Furnishings, Decor & Custom Fabrication.

New feature -- participants also received a companion piece to the study, created by Technomic, "2014 State of the Industry Report - an interpretive analysis of the NAFEM Size & Shape of the Industry Study." Non-reporting NAFEM member companies and channel partners received access to the study earlier this month. To order, contact Vonceil Roberts +1.312.821.0216.

Member Company Non-Participants: $995

Allied Industry Organization Members (incl. channel partners - CFESA, FCSI/FCSI TA, FEDA & MAFSI - and all other end-user association members allied to NAFEM): $3,395.

Public (incl. research houses, government agencies, investment firms, banks, suppliers, etc.): $6,500. This group gains access to the study immediately after The NAFEM Show, beginning Monday, February 23, 2015.

NAFEM Associate Member Directory
Take a moment to visit NAFEM's directory of associate members. Remember to count them as resources for your service needs in education and training, employment recruitment, export management, food safety product needs, marketing and communications services, systems and technology, product design, development and engineering, third-party certification, utility organizations and trade publishing.

Populate Our Calendar!
NAFEM's industry calendar needs your input. It includes a feature that allows you to download events into your personal calendar. Once you have visited the site to add an event, please allow 48 hours for NAFEM staff to review the submissions and make them live.

"Like" Us on Facebook!
NAFEM's official Facebook page is up and running! If you are a Facebook user, we encourage you to "like" our page. We'll bring you the latest news from NAFEM, complete with glimpses into our future and blasts from our past. The easiest way to find us is to use Facebook's search function and type in "North American Association of Food Equipment Manufacturers." See you on social media!

Vet2Tech Helps Manufacturers Find Skilled Talent
Vet2Tech helps transitioning veterans find employment in advanced manufacturing and technical service careers. Are you looking to hire HVAC and hot-side technicians, CNC programmers/operators, mechanical, electrical or industrial engineers, tool and die makers, technical support, customer service, supply chain, sales, logistics, information technology, assemblers, fabricators, quality control experts, maintenance technicians, welders or cutters? Vet2Tech can help you. For more information, visit www.vet2tech.org or contact Carol at carol@vet2tech.org.

Producer Price Index (PPI) News Release
The Bureau of Labor Statistics released the March PPI Index on April 14.