Media Contact: Michelle Plew
12 November 2009

“An Autumn Evening in New York with Very Special Friends”
The Union League Club, New York City, 10 November 2009

New York City – The Eighteenth Annual FTA “An Autumn Evening in New York with Very Special Friends” at The Union League Club proved to be another memorable event for the one hundred guests, who included FTA 2009 honorees, hotel and restaurant senior executives, presidents, vice presidents, managing directors,  industry VIP’s, industry press and sponsors.
The reception was trade show style, showcasing the products and services of the sponsors.  All guests were formally announced.
The four-course gala dinner brought Fred Tibbitts, Jr., President & CEO of Fred Tibbitts & Associates, Inc. to the podium, who welcomed the guests and within his opening remarks, urged one and all to “…serve others, simply because it is the right thing to do.”
Tibbitts then called Joe McInerney, President & CEO of the American Hotel & Lodging Association to the podium to deliver a eulogy and call for a Moment of Silence for Don Stanczak, a beloved member of the hotel community and long time attendee of the Tibbitts New York City spring and fall dinners.  The present members of the dinner’s ecumenical clergy (Episcopal, Reformed, Old Catholic, Jewish and Buddhist) all formed to the sides of McInerney to silently pray and mediate for Stanczak as McInerney spoke and observed the silence.
With the ecumenical clergy still in place at the sides of the podium, McInerney next called to the podium Maralyne Stanczak, Don’s widow, her two daughters, Ashleigh and Stacey as well as Stacey’s two young children, Graycee and Cassie.  Maralyne, Ashleigh and Stacey all commented on Don’s passing with great emotion and poignancy.
Tibbitts then called for the ecumenical prayers by some of the most renowned clergy in America.  The Reformed Grace by Rett Zabriskie, Domine, The Holland Society of New York was one of wit and substance; while a Jewish Funeral Grace was said and sung with moving elegance by Cantor Zachary Mondrow; the Old Catholic Church in America Grace by Reverend Alexandra Honigsberg asked for peace and brotherhood; the Buddhist Grace by Tenzin Robert Thurman, President, Tibet House NY and Jey Tsong Professor of Indo-Tibetan Buddhist Studies, Columbia University, offered a dramatic visualization on compassion and he concluded by chanting with deep abiding serenity in Tibetan.
The nine Loyalty Toasts by several of the dinner’s VIP’s, including Joe McInerney, President & CEO, American Hotel & Lodging Association; Kenneth Hill, President, Kenneth Hill & Associates; Burton “Skip” Sack, Chairman, Classic Restaurant Concepts challenged all Americans to work as one nation, undivided to overcome our unprecedented economic woes and that we must believe in a far better tomorrow: From some of New York’s most prestigious hereditary society leaders came challenges for us to rise to the occasion; and all culminating with the legendary “Knickerbocker Toast” by American poet laureate, John Blake.  Each toast was celebrated with Lucien Albrecht Brut Blanc de Blancs from Alsace, France.
Tibbitts called forward long-time, New Yorker friend, Hugh Williamson-Noble, who despite his even more recent grief, losing the second of four children, his eldest son, the week prior, delivered an eloquent eulogy to the young man, Andrew Edward Kirkley Williamson-Noble, “…and from whom I shall for evermore continue to learn…”
Fred Tibbitts announced that a portion of the dinner proceeds was being donated to Tibet House NY  to benefit the work of the Vikramasila Foundation, which serves refugee Tibetan youths in India.  Tibbitts presented the donation to Tenzin Thurman and the Venerable Lama Pema Wangdak, Director of the Vikramasila Foundation.
The 2009 FTA Hospitality Awards for Excellence were announced and presented as follows:

 2009 FTA Hospitality Award for Literary Excellence
Presented by Bill Samenfink
President, ICHRIE
Dean of Hospitality
Endicott College
HOTELS magazine
Accepted by Jeffrey Weinstein
Scholarship in the name of HOTELS magazine
University of Delaware
2009 FTA Hospitality Award for Excellence as an IT Innovator
Presented by Jerry Leeman
POS Strategies
Accepted by Alan Outlaw
Business Line Executive
Retail Store Solutions
Scholarship in the name of IBM
Johnson & Wales University
2009 FTA Hospitality Award for Excellence as an Operator – North America
Presented by Joe McInerney
President & CEO
American Hotel & Lodging Association
Accepted by Fernando Salazar (In absentia)
Vice President of Food & Beverage
Wyndham Hotels & Resorts
Scholarship in the name of Fernando Salazar
The Culinary Institute of America-San Antonio Campus
2009 FTA Hospitality Award for Excellence as an Operator – Asia Pacific
(Presented previously at the 2009 FTA Fall Dinner at Shanghai, P.R.C.)
Martin Jones
Managing Director – Food & Beverage
Starwood Asia Pacific Hotels & Resorts
Scholarship in the name of Martin Jones
The Chinese University of Hong Kong
2009 FTA Hospitality Award for Excellence as a Humanitarian
(Presented previously at the 2009 FTA Fall Dinner at Hong Kong)
Professor Poon Chung-kwong
President Emeritus
The Hong Kong Polytechnic University
Scholarship in the name of Professor Poon Chung-kwong
The Hong Kong Polytechnic University
2009 FTA Hospitality Award for Lifetime Excellence
Presented by Burton “Skip” Sack
Classic Restaurant Concepts
Accepted by Michael Kaufman
Scholarship in the name of Michael Kaufman
The Culinary Institute of America

Turning to the delicious food and beverage for the evening, Suzanne Strassburger, CEO, Strassburger Meats of New York City and her team served USDA Choice Fillet and Berkshire Pork from their banquet station at the Reception, while the Club staff passed hors d’oeuvres made with Phillips Crab.
The menu was superbly crafted by Executive Chef Jacques Thiebeutt; the wines from France, Italy, Chile and Napa, California, USA were artfully paired by famed New York wine educator, Harriet Lembeck.  Phillips Foods provided the crab for the First Course “Phillips Chesapeake Jumbo Crab Cakes” at Dinner.  The evening concluded with a “Bittersweet Chocolate Mousse & Vanilla Crème Brulée Chocolate Pyramid”, served with S & D’s finest roasted coffees.  The guests enjoyed FIJI Water throughout the evening.
Fred Tibbitts & Associates is the leading global wine, spirits, waters and related services consulting agency for National Account chain hotels, restaurants and event management, based at Menands, New York and Bangkok, Thailand.  Visit for more complete information.