CHICAGO, MAY 19, 2015-John Miller, President and CEO, Denny's Corporation, was named the 2015 Gold Plate Award winner by the International Foodservice Manufacturers Association (IFMA) on May 18 at Chicago's historic Great Hall at Union Station. Mr. Miller was nominated by The Coca-Cola Company and Basic American Foods and was one of seven outstanding operator executives who were eligible for the award this year after receiving the IFMA Silver Plate award in March. Mr. Miller represented the Chain Full Service/Multi-Concept category.
"I [have] had the time of my life working for entrepreneurs that created an extraordinary American dream for so many people," Mr. Miller said. "I just feel so privileged and lucky to be here right now."
Mr. Miller began his career more than 30 years ago as a busser and then a cook before joining the corporate ranks of Casa Bonita Enterprises. Mr. Miller was then recruited by Norman Brinker of Brinker International where he held numerous management positions over 17 years, including president of Romano's Macaroni Grill and president of Brinker's Mexican concept brands that included On the Border and Cozymel's. Mr. Miller, who was accompanied by his wife Gracie at IFMA's Gold & Silver Plate ceremony, noted the foodservice industry has always been and always will be one that is filled with opportunities.
"I'm very, very proud of our industry…that pulls together vendors to manufacturers to sales people to all kinds of people that build up this great industry. And we give back more than anybody in the world. It's the place to be."
About the Gold Plate Selection Process
Celebrating its 61st 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.
In addition to Mr. Miller, the 2015 Silver Plate recipients (and their respective industry categories) include: Michael C. Gibbons, president and CEO, Mainstreet Ventures Inc. (Independent Restaurants/Multi-Concept); Kat Cole, group president, FOCUS Brands (Chain Limited Service); Julie Jones, director, Nutrition Services, The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center (Healthcare); Mary A. Hill, executive director of Food Services, Jackson Public Schools (Elementary & Secondary Schools); Nona Golledge, director, Kansas University Dining (Colleges & Universities) and Edward Sirhal, president, Restaurant Associates (Business & Industry/Foodservice Management).
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, Dean A. Wright, director of dining services, Brigham Young University. The Selection Jury was chaired by Nancy Kruse, President of The Kruse Company. The ballot was tallied by BDO USA, LLP and kept confidential until the announcement at the Gold & Silver Plate Celebration on May 18.
About Past Gold Plate Winners
James Collins ('77), Ted Balestreri ('84), Richard Melman ('89), Joseph K. Fassler ('96), Ralph Brennan ('97) and J.W. Marriott Jr. ('93), Timothy J. Dietzler ('10), George L. Miller ('11), Mary Molt ('12) and John Metz, Jr. ('13) are among the renowned operators who have received IFMA Gold and Silver Plates over the years. The May 18 Celebration, which drew a stellar crowd of over 600 industry leaders and legends, was hosted by the 2003 Gold Plate recipient Ted Fowler, former CEO of Golden Corral and current director at Investors Management Corp.
Learn more about John Miller and IFMA's Silver Plate Class of 2015.
For more information on the Gold & Silver Plate Awards or photos from the Celebration contact James Green, 312-253-4685.
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 www.ifmaworld.com. Follow IFMA on Twitter: @IFMAWORLD or join our group on LinkedIn.