President’s message – winter 2016/2017

January 10, 2017

Always Looking Forward!

The key to looking forward is to understand where you’ve been.

As the year draws to a close, we all naturally look back to reflect on our experiences, celebrate our successes and learn from our mistakes. It’s also a time to plan how we will grow, learn, share and prosper in the new year. In short, how will we resolve to be better?

What an exciting time to be a part of NAFEM, and the industry. All of our 2016 planning – regular and show – is leading us to what promises to be the kick-off of the year, The NAFEM Show, Feb 9-11, in Orlando. It is the largest show in NAFEM history, with our members and non-member exhibitors encompassing 370,000+ square feet of exhibit space. Hats off to everyone for dedicating their time, talent and resources to making The NAFEM Show such a spectacular showplace for our industry.

The show is only the start of our 2017 marathon. Following the Orlando exhibition, we’re hitting the road and coming to a town near you following the deployment of our Member Needs Assessment survey. Through the survey, we’ll ask you to evaluate what NAFEM currently provides as member programs and services, and to ask what else we should be doing to make NAFEM that valued resource and partner for you. Then, we’re hitting the road to give you the results in a series of Town Hall meetings and asking you to work with us (the board and headquarters team) to plan our future. We look forward to that dialogue.

Running parallel to our own planning will be the continued growth and collaboration with our industry partners domestically and globally. The All-Industry Leadership group – CFESA, FCSI, FEDA, MAFSI and NAFEM – is embarking on some great industry-wide education programs for 2017 and beyond. Our Global Summit group, which incorporates foodservice equipment and supplies manufacturing organizations from 13+ countries and regions around the globe, continues to collaborate, as applicable, on global standards, research, education and technology.

I look forward to seeing everyone at the show and the Annual Business Meeting, Wednesday, Feb. 8, at 5 p.m. in the convention center. In addition to the presentation of the President’s and William W. Carpenter awards, the associations highest honors, it’s a terrific opportunity to get the cliff notes version of what and how we’re doing as an association, and, how you can get engaged. You might not realize it, but at any given time, we have 300+ representatives from NAFEM-member companies working on projects, programs and providing strategic guidance to the board. It’s your engagement that makes NAFEM great.

As 2016 draws to a close, thank you – NAFEM is nothing without its members – 550 of the most innovative hospitality businesses in the world, collectively working to make the food-away-from-home industry interesting, delicious and fun.

My best wishes for a peaceful holiday, some rest and relaxation with family and friends, and to a rock star 2017. See you in Orlando!

Kevin Fink, CFSP

Categorized in: Notes from the Board