Media Contact: Lori LaDu
25 November 2002

Fred Tibbitts’ Eleventh Annual

“An Autumn Evening in New York with Very Special Friends”

New York, NY – In typical “who’s who,” New York City tradition, the Eleventh Annual Fred Tibbitts & Associates “An Autumn Evening in New York with Very Special Friends” at the fashionable Union League Club wowed the 175 fortunate few admitted to the FTA spectacular finale celebration of Excellence Awards that signaled the finish of the 2002 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 and spirits 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 Library.  After the guests were led to dinner in the Lincoln 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.

After prayers by Reformed, Episcopal and Buddhist priests and scholars, the evening proceeded with 21 magnificent Loyalty Toasts, given by the many distinguished Ambassadors, Consul Generals, Society Presidents and dignitaries in attendance.

Then it was onward for the presentation of the Tibbitts Hospitality Awards for Excellence.  Fred Tibbitts recognized Future Brands with the 2002 FTA Supplier Award, which was accepted by Vice President of National Accounts Ken Ruff.  The 2002 FTA Literary Award was presented to J. Roger Friedman, President, Lebhar-Friedman by Claire Schmelzer, Chairman of the Board, International CHRIE, after memorable personal remarks by Roger’s long time friend, Tom Schwartz, former President & COO of Dunkin Donuts.

The 2002 FTA Operator Award was presented to Gerard van Grinsven, former Vice President of Food & Beverage, The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company and current General Manager, Ritz-Carlton, Dearborn by Joseph McInerney, President & C.E.O. of the America Hotel & Lodging Association.  Prior to the presentation, van Grinsven was feted by long-time industry friend, Nick Bellini, Vice President-North America, Hepp Germany and Ritz-Carlton Regional Vice President of Operations, Jean Cohen with a person letter of congratulations from Ritz-Carlton President & CEO, Simon Cooper.

The meal was prepared by the Ritz-Carlton Executive Chefs of Dearborn and New York, Battery Park, Alejandro Garza and Jacques Sorci as well as the Union League Club Executive Chef, Jacques Thiebeutt, plus the Pastry Chef of The Ritz-Carlton New York, Battery Park, Henry Masterov.  Harriet Lembeck, New York senior wine educator, skillfully paired the wines.

Once the colors were retired, the guests returned to the Library for fine cigars, Single Malt Scotch, good company and fond farewells.