Media Contact: Lori LaDu
+1 (518) 426-0262
18 November 2007
“An Autumn Evening in New York with Very Special Friends”
New York, NY – In typical “who’s who, “ New York City
tradition, the Sixteenth Annual Fred Tibbitts & Associates “An Autumn Evening in
New York with Very Special Friends” at the Helmsley Park Lane Hotel on Central
Park South on 13 November wowed the 175 fortunate few admitted to the FTA
spectacular Excellence Awards and Scholarship dinner.
The guests (Including the following: Owners, C.E.O.’s and
operational directors of world renowned hotel and restaurant chains; industry
VIP’s and press; and FTA beer, wine, spirits and related industry partners) were
boldly announced in style by an English gentleman in proper morning suit with
silk top hat.
The guests were summoned to dinner at 7:15pm sharp at the
Helmsley Park Lane Hotel and warmly welcomed by Fred Tibbitts, Jr., President &
CEO. The evening’s festivities commenced with a virtuoso violin performance by
one of the most world renowned classical violinists from The People’s Republic
of China, Siqing Lu. After an incredible encore demanded by a standing
audience, bouquets of red roses were then presented to Siqing Lu by Simone
Bassous, Executive Director, PATA–NY and to Joanna Chen, the wife of Siqing Lu
by Benoit Gateau-Cumin, President, The Boutique Search Firm.
Fred next called for the Ecumenical Graces by the clergy
attending the FTA event: They were in order of appearance Dominie Rett Zabriskie
of the Reformed Church in America and The Holland Society of New York; Cantor
Zachary Mondrow of the Jewish Theological Seminary of New York (Introduced by
Reverend Alexandra Honigsberg) and The Venerable Lama Pema Wangduk, Director,
Palden Sakya Tibetan Buddhist Center.
The FTA traditional Loyalty Toasts then followed by several
of the assembled VIP’s, including Michael Kaufman, Co-Chairman of the National
Restaurant Association; Alice Elliot, Chief Executive Officer, The Elliot Group;
Diego Rivera, Consul of Chile in New York, Consulate General of Chile; Walton
Van Winkle III, Past President, The Holland Society of New York; Hugh Williamson
Noble of Prudential Douglas Elliman; John Blake of the Saint Nicholas Society of
New York with the famed “Knickerbocker Toast” and finally George Korchowsky,
Captain, United States Naval Reserve with the Veteran’s Day Toast.
A presentation was made by Fred to Ganden Thurman,
Executive Director, Tibet House U.S. for the benefit of the Vikramasila
Foundation, created by The Venerable Lama Pema Wangduk to benefit Tibetan
refugee youths in India. After Thurman thanked FTA and the dinner sponsors for
their continued support of Tibet House U.S. and Lama Pema’s humanitarian
project, Lama Pema gratefully acknowledged the contribution.
Fred then made a series of remarks on the higher purposes
of our coming together, including the advice that “…we are free to dwell in as
beautiful a place as our hearts are open to loving all others without
qualification and our willingness to serve all others without concern, simply
because it is the right thing to do.” He continued “The quality of our life is
but a reflection of the quality of our contribution to the peace and happiness
The presentation of the 2007 FTA Hospitality Awards for
Excellence and scholarships immediately followed. Nick Hadgis, Immediate Past
President, I-CHRIE introduced the FTA Award for Literary Excellence to Donna
Hood Crecca, Editor, Cheers, which was accepted on her behalf by Charlie
Forman, Senior Vice President & Group Publisher of The Beverage Information
Group. Nelli Teplinsky, Assistant Vice President, Premier Relationship Manager,
HSBC Bank USA N.A. then presented the FTA check to fund the $5,000.00
scholarship in the name of Cheers to Vincent Saele, Senior Vice President
Advancement, Johnson & Wales University. Saele then presented the scholarship
certificate for a deserving student in the Culinary Arts at Johnson & Wales
University to Charlie Forman.
Jerry Leeman, Marketing Manager, IBM Retail Store Solutions
then introduced the FTA Award for Excellence as an IT Innovator to Bob Bailey,
Executive Vice President, Agilysys, Inc. Nelli Teplinsky presented the check
funding the $5,000.00 scholarship in the name of Agilysys, Inc. at The Culinary
Institute of America to James Heisey, Interim Vice President at The Culinary
Institute of America. Heisey then presented the scholarship certificate for a
deserving student in the Culinary Arts at The Culinary Institute of America to
Wes Ardis, Executive Vice President, American Hotel &
Lodging Association introduced the FTA Award for Excellence as an Operator to
Jean-Marc Jalbert, Senior Corporate Director of Food & Beverage, Accor N.A.
Nelli Teplinsky presented the check funding the $5,000.00 scholarship in
Jalbert’s name to Vincent Saele of Johnson & Wales University. Saele then
presented the scholarship certificate for a deserving student in the Culinary
Arts at Johnson & Wales University to Jean-Marc Jalbert.
Dawn Sweeney, President & CEO, National Restaurant
Association followed by John Metz, Chairman & CEO, The Metz Group both made
personal remarks about Dick Rivera. Rick Berman, President, Berman & Company,
whose extemporaneous, stand-up comic lines brought the audience to unrivaled
laughter numerous times, then introduced the FTA Award for Lifetime Excellence
to Dick Rivera, Chairman of the National Restaurant Association. Nelli
Teplinsky presented the check funding the $5,000.00 scholarship in Rivera’s name
at the University of Delaware to Tim Barnekov, Dean, College of Human Services,
Education and Public Policy. Dean Barnekov then presented the scholarship
certificate for a deserving student in the Hotel, Restaurant and Institutional
Management program to Rivera.
Harriet Lembeck, C.E.O., Wine & Spirits Program NYC and
world renowned wine educator, who artfully paired the wines and foods for the
evening, commented on each wine and described in detail the reasoning for each
pairing to the great appreciation of all those assembled.
As the evening was drawing to a close, Fred summoned the
Brigade, which included the kitchen as well as the service staff and he
acknowledged the leadership for the event of Gladys Di Stefano, Director of Food
& Beverage & Catering at The Helmsley Park Lane Hotel. Lori LaDu, Director of
Customer Service at FTA was recognized by Fred for her tremendous organizational
skills in managing all the FTA Dinners.
Fred concluded the dinner by thanking everyone for
participating and he invited one and all to attend the FTA NYC Spring Dinner at
the Union League Club on Thursday 13 March at which time the 2008 FTA Award
recipients will be announced.
Fred Tibbitts & Associates, led by Fred Tibbitts, Jr.,
President & CEO and Founder, is the premier, on premise, global resource for
National Account beverage and related edge product and service providers,
serving some of the world’s leading hotel and restaurant groups as well as brand
FTA holds their “Spring, Summer and Autumn Evening” dinners
at New York City (spring and fall), Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Singapore,
Kuala Lumpur and Bangkok.
Fred writes on wine and also conducts interviews with
hospitality industry leaders for some of the top hotel, restaurant, bar and
entertainment publications in the United States and Asia Pacific, including
Cheers, Hotel F & B Executive, Nightclub & Bar, Hotel Asia
Pacific, Bistro and Bar Asia and LifeStyle (China).
The Company has offices at Menands, New York for the United
States and Bangkok, Thailand for Asia Pacific.