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November 13, 2008


FTA Seventeenth Annual

“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 Union League Club on 11 November wowed the 100 plus 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, waters 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 Union League Club and warmly welcomed by Fred Tibbitts, Jr., President & CEO.  The evening’s festivities commenced with

 the Ecumenical Graces by the clergy attending the FTA event: They were in order of appearance The Reverend Dr. Thomas Pike, Retired Rector, Calvary/St. George’s Church; Cantor Zachary Mondrow,  the Jewish Theological Seminary of New York; the Reverend Alexandra Honigsberg, the Old Catholic Church in America and Robert Thurman, President, Tibet House U.S. and the Jey Tsong Khapa Professor of Indo-Tibetan Buddhist Studies, Columbia University.


The FTA traditional Loyalty Toasts then followed by several of the assembled VIP’s, including; Joe McInerney, President & CEO, American Hotel & Lodging Association; Dick Rivera, Immediate Past Chairman, National Restaurant Association; Tom Russo, President, RestaurantAVE; Humphry Rolleston, External Relations, Americas, McKinsey & Company; Gabrielle Keane, General Manager, The Williams Club; Walton Van Winkle III, Past President, The Holland Society of New York; Charles Melnyk, Assistant Vice President, New York Area, Ecolab; and finally John Blake of the Saint Nicholas Society of New York with the famed “Knickerbocker Toast”.


A charitable donation presentation was made by Eli S. Rabinowitz, Premier Relationship Manager, HSBC Bank USA NA to Robert Thurman, President, 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 via Tibet House U.S.


The presentation of the 2008 FTA Hospitality Awards for Excellence and scholarships next followed.  The 2008 FTA Hospitality Award for Literary Excellence was noted as already having been presented at the FTA Summer Dinner at Beijing to Ricky Xu, Editor-in-chief, LifeStyle (China) magazine with a $5,000.00 USD scholarship in the name of LifeStyle for worthy students at the Florida International University Hospitality Management Program at the Tianjin University of Commerce in China.


Fredrik Carlegren, Self-Service Marketing Manager, IBM Retail Store Solutions then presented the 2008 FTA Award for Excellence as an IT Innovator to Ingenico, accepted by Lisa Shipley, Senior Vice President, Ingenico North America.  Bob Nelson, Department Chair, Hotel, Restaurant & Institutional Management, University of Delaware then presented Shipley with a $5, 000.00 USD scholarship certificate in the name of Ingenico for a worthy student at the University of Delaware.


Dick Rivera, Immediate Past Chairman, National Restaurant Association then presented the 2008 FTA Hospitality Award for Excellence as an Operator to Kevin Garvin, Vice President of Corporate Food Services, Neiman Marcus, accepted by Michael Perricone, Director, Restaurants for Bergdorf Goodman.  Garvin had previously recorded an acceptance video, which was played for those present.  James Heisey, Executive Director of Development, The Culinary Institute of America then presented Perricone on behalf of Garvin a scholarship certificate in Garvin’s name in the amount of $5,000.00 USD for a worthy student at The Culinary Institute of America.


After personal remarks by Rivera on his association with Niki Leondakis at the National Restaurant Association, Joe McInerney, President & CEO, American Hotel & Lodging Association presented the 2008 FTA Hospitality Award for Lifetime Excellence to Niki Leondakis, Chief Operations Officer, Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants.  Steve Shipley, Director of Development & Alumni Relations, Johnson & Wales University then presented Leondakis with a $5,000.00 USD scholarship in her name for a worthy student at Johnson & Wales University.


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.


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 owners.


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, adding Tokyo in 2009 and Mumbai in 2010.


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, Nightclub & Bar and LifeStyle (China).


The Company has offices at Menands, New York for the United States and Bangkok, Thailand for Asia Pacific.