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5 December 2003

Fred Tibbitts’ Twelfth Annual
“An Autumn Evening in New York with Very Special Friends”

New York, NY – In typical “who’s who,” New York City tradition, the Twelfth Annual Fred Tibbitts & Associates “An Autumn Evening in New York with Very Special Friends” at the fashionable Union League Club on 11 November wowed the 190 fortunate few admitted to the FTA spectacular finale celebration of Excellence Awards that signaled the finish of the 2003 New York International Hotel & Restaurant Show.

The guests (Including the following: Owners, c.e.o.’s and operational directors of world-renowned hotel and restaurant chains; industry press; and FTA wine, beer, spirits and industry partners) were boldly announced in style by an English gentleman complete with morning suit, silk top hat and ceremonial mace as they were received in the historic Main Lounge. After the guests were led to dinner in the Main Dining Room and warmly welcomed by host Fred Tibbitts, Master of Ceremonies John Mauk Hilliard summoned everyone to their feet for the presentation of the colors and a fife and drum presentation by the Veteran Corps of Artillery. This was followed by a spectacular, traditional Thai dance performance.

After prayers by Reformed, Episcopal, Jewish and Buddhist priests and scholars, the evening proceeded with 35 often jovial Loyalty Toasts, given by the many distinguished Ambassadors, Consul Generals, Society President and dignitaries in attendance.

Then it was onward for the presentation of the Tibbitts Hospitality Awards for Excellence. Fred Tibbitts recognized William Grant & Sons with the 2003 FTA Supplier Award, which was accepted by Vice President, Global Accounts, Jeffrey Bartfield. The 2003 FTA Literary Award was presented to Mary Gostelow, President, Gostelow Travel, Hottest Hospitality News Worldwide, for The Gostelow Report - presentation by Fred Mayo, Past President of CHRIE International.

The 2003 FTA Operator Award was presented to Peter Wyss, Vice President of Operations, Restaurant Associates. By Steven Anderson, President & CEO, National Restaurant Association. Prior to the presentation, Wyss was feted by His Excellency Ambassador Raymond Loretan, Consul General of Switzerland and a letter of congratulations from Nick Valenti, Chairman and CEO, Restaurant Associates.

All FTA Award recipients were presented a scholarship in their name in the amount of $5,000.00 at Johnson & Wales University for deserving students studying the Culinary Arts by Rick Tarrantino, Executive Director of Advancement & Annual Giving. Tanya Wyss, daughter of honoree Peter Wyss, is a third year student at Johnson & Wales University, and she is thus the recipient of the first Peter Wyss Scholarship.

Kevin Garvin, Vice President of Corporate Food Service, Neiman Marcus, personally autographed a complimentary copy of his new Neiman Marcus Cook Book for every guest. The books were very graciously sponsored by Raymond Vineyard & Cellar, who’s Raymond Vineyard Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve 2000, was served with the meal. Dudson USA very generously created a special, cobalt blue cover plate to commemorate the event and they provided one for every guest.

The meal was skillfully prepared by the Neiman Marcus team of Kevin Garvin, Anita Hirsch, Corporate Executive Chef and Frank Zack, Corporate Chef as well as The Union League Club Executive Chef, Jacques Thiebeutt. Harriet Lembeck, New York senior wine educator, skillfully paired the wines.

Once the colors were retired, the guests bid fond farewells until next year.

Fred Tibbitts & Associates, founded by its President and CEO Fred Tibbitts Jr, is the pre-eminent global wine and spirits consulting agency to some of the world’s leading hotel and restaurant groups.

The Company is based in New York.