CHICAGO, May 23, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Rafi Taherian, associate vice president, Yale Hospitality at Yale University, was named the 2016 Gold Plate Award winner by the International Foodservice Manufacturers Association (IFMA) on May 21 at Revel Fulton Market in Chicago. Mr. Taherian was nominated by Basic American Foods, JL&A Communications and Sysco and was one of nine outstanding operator executives who were eligible for the award this year after receiving the IFMA Silver Plate award in March. Mr. Taherian represented the Colleges and University Silver Plate Category.
"I love this industry and tonight this industry has loved me back," Mr. Taherian said, while accepting his award during the IFMA Gold & Silver Plate Celebration that took place in front of more than 600 foodservice professionals. "It is a tremendous honor to receive this award which brings such a rich tradition to the foodservice industry."
Mr. Taherian's work history encompasses more than 25 years of progressive expertise in hospitality leadership. Prior to joining Yale in 2008, he spent 13 years at Stanford University, where he served as executive director for Stanford Dining. At Yale, Mr. Taherian's responsibilities include building and developing high-performing teams through focused and benevolent leadership and directing the department's strategic planning and initiatives focused on ensuring operational excellence in the delivery of over 14,000 meals per day in 31 food service operations.
About the Silver Plate Class of 2016:
In addition to Mr. Taherian, the 2016 Silver Plate recipients (and the industry leading companies that nominated them) include:
- Independent Restaurants/Multi-Concept: Thom Sehnert, founder/owner & president, Annie Gunn's and The Smokehouse Market (nominated by Anheuser-Busch).
- Chain Full Service/Multi-Concept: Steve Carley, CEO, Red Robin Gourmet Burgers, (nominated by Dawn Food Products, Inc.).
- Chain Limited Service: Charlie Morrison, president and CEO, Wingstop, Inc. (nominated by Basic American Foods).
- Healthcare: Diane Imrie, director of Nutrition Services, University of Vermont Medical Center, (nominated by Basic American Foods).
- Elementary & Secondary Schools: Jeff Denton, director of Child Nutrition Programs, Ponca City Public Schools (nominated by Basic American Foods).
- Business & Industry/Foodservice Management: Mike Barclay, president, Southern Foodservice Management, Inc. (nominated by Basic American Foods).
- Specialty Foodservice: Rick Abramson, executive vice president & chief operating officer, Delaware North Companies (nominated by Anheuser-Busch, Ecolab and PepsiCo).
- Hotels & Lodging: Wolfgang Lindlbauer, chief discipline leader, Global Operations, Marriott International (nominated by Ecolab).
"I congratulate all of the 2016 Gold & Silver Plate winners, who have brought and continue to bring inspiring levels of excellence to every facet of the foodservice industry," said IFMA President and CEO Larry Oberkfell.
About the Gold Plate Selection Process
Celebrating its 62nd year, IFMA's Gold & Silver Plate Awards are considered the most coveted operator awards in the foodservice industry. The awards pay tribute to leading foodservice operators who have contributed to the advancement of their individual segments and the foodservice industry as a whole.
About the Gold Plate Selection Process
The Gold Plate Award recipient was determined through secret ballot by a jury of past Silver Plate winners, national trade press editors and foodservice experts. Overseeing the selection process was the chairperson of the International Gold & Silver Plate Society, Steve Hammel, program director at U.S. Navy. The Selection Jury was chaired by LeAnne Garoutte, industry agency expert. The ballot was tallied by BDO USA, LLP and kept confidential until the announcement at the Gold & Silver Plate Celebration on May 21.
About Past Gold Plate Winners
James Collins ('77), Ted Balestreri ('84), Richard Melman ('89), J.W. Marriott Jr. ('93), Joseph K. Fassler ('96), Ralph Brennan ('97), Sally Smith ('09), Timothy J. Dietzler ('10), George L. Miller ('11), Mary Molt ('12), John Metz, Jr. ('13), Jim Broadhurst ('14) and John Miller ('15) are among the renowned operators who have received IFMA Gold Plates over the years.
About International Foodservice Manufacturers Association (IFMA)
IFMA is the leading trade association comprised of the world's most prestigious food, equipment and supply manufacturers in the $600 billion foodservice industry, as well as related marketing service organizations, trade publications, distributors and brokers. IFMA's Vision is to provide our member community and industry partners the opportunity to enhance the consumer's enjoyment of the foodservice choice. For more information, visit ifmaworld.com. Follow IFMA on Twitter: @IFMAWORLD and Facebook or join our group on LinkedIn.
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