Media Contact: Lori LaDu
26 March 2007 

“A Spring Evening in New York with very Special Friends”

Union League Club, New York City, 15 March 2007

New York City-The Eleventh Annual FTA “A Spring Evening in New York with very Special Friends” proved to be another memorable event for the one hundred guests, who included the FTA 2007 honorees, hotel and restaurant executives, managing directors, regional vice presidents, GMs, industry VIPs and 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 long time FTA NYC Dinners legendary Master of Ceremonies, John Mauk Hilliard back to the podium, who called for the ecumenical prayers by some of the most renowned clergy in America.  The Jewish grace was said with moving elegance by Rabbi David Honigsberg; the Reformed with great humor and simplicity by Dominie Rett Zabriskie; the Episcopal by one of our nation’s finest, Rev. Dr. Thomas Pike, whose words rung true across the room and lastly the Buddhist prayer, which was led by the famed Columbia University Indo-Tibetan Buddhist scholar, Professor Dr. Robert Thurman.

The twelve Loyalty Toasts included a wondrous variety of praises to the gods by Present as well as Past Presidents of some of New York’s most prestigious hereditary societies and several of the evening’s most important VIP’s, including the legendary “Knickerbocker Toast” by American poet laureate John Blake.

Fred Tibbitts announced that a portion of the proceeds from the FTA NYC Spring Dinner would be donated to Tibet House USA in New York City headed by Robert and Nena Thurman as well as the China Tibetan Health & Educational Fund in Hong Kong, championed by the international humanitarian, Madame Annie Wu.

The 2007 FTA Hospitality Awards for Excellence were announced as follows:

IT Innovator-InfoGenesis
Operator-Jean-Marc Jalbert
Lifetime Excellence-Dick Rivera

The IT Innovator Award was announced by Beverly DeLuise, Territory Channels, IBM and it was gratefully acknowledged by Perry Smith, Vice President of Development for InfoGenesis. 

The Literary Award was announced by Nicolas Hadgis, President, International CHRIE and it was acknowledged by Donna Hood Crecca, Editor, Cheers magazine.

The Operator Award was announced by Wes Ardis, Executive Vice President, American Hotel & Lodging Association and acknowledged by Jean-Marc Jalbert, Corporate Director of Food & Beverage-North America, Accor.

The Lifetime Excellence Award was announced my Michael Kaufman, Treasurer, National Restaurant Association and acknowledge in absentia via a hand written letter read aloud by Michael to the assembled guests.

The menu was superbly crafted by Union League Club Executive Chef Jacques Thiebeutt, while the wines were artfully paired by famed New York wine educator, Harriet Lembeck.  Phillips Seafood Restaurants provided the canapés at the Reception as well as their world famous “Phillips Seafood Colossal Crab Cocktail” for the First Course; all prepared personally by Phillips Seafood Executive Chefs John Degges and Paul Drew.

The 2007 FTA Hospitality Awards for Excellence will be presented with scholarships in the names of the recipients at some of the nation’s leading schools of hospitality management at the FTA New York City Fall Dinner at the Park Avenue Ballroom in the Met Life Building, operated by The Patina Restaurant Group on Tuesday 13 November during the New York International Hotel-Restaurant Show.

Fred Tibbitts & Associates is the leading, global wine, spirits and related services consulting agency for National Account chain hotels and restaurants, based at Menands, New York with Asia Pacific offices in Bangkok, Thailand.