Media Contact: Melanie Ramsey

5 March 2010



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

The Union League Club, New York City, 2 March 2010


New York City – The Fourteenth Annual FTA “A Spring Evening in New York with Very Special Friends” at The Union League Club proved to be another memorable event for the one hundred-twenty guests, who included several of the FTA 2010 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 do more for those less fortunate.  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; Reverend Curate Jacob Smith of the Calvary/St. George’s Episcopal Church asked that we count our blessings;  while the Old Catholic Church in America Grace by Reverend Alexandra Honigsberg asked for peace and unity; the Tibetan Buddhist Grace by the Venerable Lama Pema Wangdak was said and then chanted with deep abiding serenity in Tibetan.


The twelve Loyalty Toasts by several of the dinner’s VIP’s, including Joe McInerney, President & CEO, American Hotel & Lodging Association; Dick Rivera, Past Chairman, National Restaurant Association; Bill Samenfink, President, ICHRIE; Eric Long, General Manager, The Waldorf=Astoria and Bob Warman, President & COO, The West Paces Hotel Group, as well as some of New York’s most prestigious hereditary society leaders, all culminating with the legendary “Knickerbocker Toast” by American poet laureate, John Blake.


Fred Tibbitts asked Desmond Docherty, Senior Business Leader, Cross Product Services, Visa, Inc., to come to the podium to present his person donation of $500.00 to Khenpo Lama Pema Wangdak, Director of the Vikramasila Foundation for the benefit of his work with Tibetan refugee youths in Nepal and India through Tibet House U.S.


The 2010 FTA Hospitality Awards for Excellence were announced as follows:


2010 FTA Hospitality Award for Literary Excellence

Announced by Bill Samenfink

President, ICHRIE

New Western Cuisine Magazine

To be accepted by Richard Xu



2010 FTA Hospitality Award for Excellence as an IT Innovator

Announced by Jerry Leeman

Vice President of Marketing, Perk Dynamics, Inc.

Visa, Inc.

To be accepted by Desmond Docherty

Senior Business Leader, Cross Product Services


2010 FTA Hospitality Award for Excellence as an Operator – North America

Announced by Joe McInerney

President & CEO, American Hotel & Restaurant Association

With letter of praise by Pete Sears, Senior Vice President of Operations,

Hyatt Hotels North America (in absentia)

Paul Daly, Vice President of Food & Beverage

Hyatt Hotels North America


2010 FTA Hospitality Award for Excellence as an Operator – Asia Pacific

Announced by Joe McInerney

Martin Rinck

President – Asia Pacific

Hilton Worldwide

Recognition Accepted by Eric Long, General Manager, The Waldorf=Astoria


2010 FTA Hospitality Award for Lifetime Excellence

Announced by Joe McInerney

Horst Schulze

Chairman & CEO, The West Paces Hotel Group

Personal Comments by Ed Staros, Vice President & Managing Director, The Ritz-Carlton Naples


2010 FTA Hospitality Award for Excellence as a Humanitarian

Announced by Fred Tibbitts, Jr.

Otto Weibel

Director of Kitchens, Swissotel The Stamford & Fairmont Singapore


Rudolf Muller

Executive Chef, Hong Kong Disneyland


The 2010 FTA Hospitality Awards for Excellence will be presented along with scholarships in the names of those whom we honor for those based in Asia Pacific at Hong Kong on 7 October and for those based in North America at New York City on 16 November.


The menu was superbly crafted by Executive Chef Jacques Thiebeutt; the wines were artfully paired by famed New York wine educator, Harriet Lembeck.  Phillips Foods provided the crab for many of the hors d’oeuvre at the Reception as well as the First Course Jumbo Chesapeake Crab Cakes.


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