2016 IFMA Silver Plate Winners Announced at IFMA COEX Conference

Posted by IFMA March 07, 2016

Tagged in Foodservice Operators Gold & Silver Plate Gold & Silver Plate Society IFMA Awards Leadership

LAS VEGAS, MARCH 7, 2016—IFMA announced the winners of its 2016 Silver Plate Awards today. Nine Silver Plate category winners were unveiled by 2015 Gold Plate Honoree John Miller, president and CEO of Denny’s, at the annual IFMA Chain Operators EXchange (COEX) in Las Vegas.

Silver Plate winners are nominated by IFMA members and industry leaders and then selected by a distinguished jury, including national trade press editors, foodservice experts and past award winners. From the Silver Plate winners, one is chosen by the jury to receive the foodservice industry's most prestigious recognition, IFMA’s 2016 Gold Plate Award.

"Much like all the accomplished honorees who have come before them, the Silver Plate Class of 2016 demonstrates the highest levels of foodservice excellence," said IFMA President and CEO Larry Oberkfell. “The foodservice industry congratulates this year’s honorees for their hard work, dedication and ongoing success.”

2016 Silver Plate Winners 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: Stephen 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).
  • Colleges & Universities: Rafi Taherian, associate vice president, Yale Hospitality, Yale University (nominated by Basic American Foods, JL&A Communications and Sysco).
  • 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)

New Day and Location for 2016 Awards Celebration:

The Gold Plate Award will be announced by way of secret ballot at the 62nd Annual Gold & Silver Plate Awards Celebration—taking place in Chicago on a new day, Saturday, May 21. The event will also be held at a new venue, Revel Fulton Market, in Chicago’s hot West Loop neighborhood, packed with nightlife that features all the best of the city in one location. 

About the Event and Sponsorships

Tickets are now available to attend the 62nd Annual Gold & Silver Plate Awards Celebration, where the winner of the prestigious IFMA Gold Plate for overall industry excellence will be announced. In addition, a new award will be unveiled by the National Restaurant Association that recognizes an operator for their distinguished career in foodservice.

2016 Gold & Silver Plate Celebration event sponsorship opportunities are also available. View a list of sponsorship opportunities.

Click here to view PDF of press release.

 2016 Silver Plate Winner Release Image



Login To Gain Access To This Content
May 19

Gold & Silver Plate Celebration

This Annual IFMA Gold & Silver Plate Awards event during NRA Week enables manufacturers to honor the nation's top operator talent. Annually, IFMA grants Silver Plate Awards in nine operator categories and honors one winner with the prestigious Gold Plate Award on the night of the celebration. This event affords the perfect opportunity to entertain operator customers. 

IFMA Gold & Silver Plate Tradition Represents “Pinnacle” of Foodservice Careers

Rafi Taherian, associate vice president of Yale Hospitality at Yale University, apologized as he stood before some 600 foodservice professionals at Revel Fulton Market in Chicago May 21. He had just been awarded the 62nd Annual IFMA Gold Plate for overall foodservice industry excellence and did not have a speech prepared. The reason why speaks to how much respect Mr. Taherian has for the industry he has served for more than 30 years.  

Rafi Taherian Receives Foodservice Industry's Top Honor

CHICAGO, May 23, 2016Rafi 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 Universities Silver Plate Category.

Celebrate Foodservice Excellence with Your Best Operator Customers

If you are looking for an exceptional way to entertain your most important operator customers during the 2015 National Restaurant Association Show, consider inviting them as your guest to IFMA's Gold & Silver Plate Celebration. Past winners and attendees will tell you that the event provides an incredible experience they will never forget. It is also a fantastic way to network with many of the most accomplished (and celebrated) professionals in the foodservice industry. Register to attend.

IFMA Members Explain Benefits of Nominating Customers for COEX Innovation Awards

Buffalo Wild Wings, Chili’s, Chipotlé, Fazoli’s, Maggiano’s Little Italy, Mellow Mushroom, Taco Bell and Whataburger were among the foodservice operators recently awarded with IFMA COEX Innovation Awards. Each was nominated by an IFMA member who was looking to “go a little further” to show how much they cared about their customers. The end result has proven to be a big hit with both the winners and the companies that nominated them.

White Castle CEO Lisa Ingram Explains Why Customers Love the Chain

White Castle’s customer loyalty is legendary. Customers have been known to tattoo the company’s logo on their arms and reproduce it on their urns. The fast-food chain’s Valentine’s Day celebrations are so popular that reservations are needed. During a keynote address at IFMA COEX 2016, White Castle CEO Lisa Ingram described the leadership strategies behind the values, practices and culture that have perpetuated customer loyalty. 

IFMA Members Build Special Bond with Chili’s, Buffalo Wild Wings and 2 Others

Foodservice operators don’t expect to receive fanfare from their suppliers after purchasing their hi-quality products, not even when those products drive increased amounts of repeat business. However, operators who have received an IFMA Innovation Award said the accolade does foster increased good will with their suppliers and builds morale with their colleagues who don’t always get to shine outside of their respective offices.  

Sally Smith Named Master of Ceremonies for IFMA 62nd Annual Gold and Silver Plate Celebration

Sally Smith, president and CEO of Buffalo Wild Wings, Inc. will take the stage as Master of Ceremonies for the 62nd Annual IFMA Gold & Silver Plate Celebration. Learn more about how Smith's career has earned her the title 'one of the most powerful people in foodservice'. 

Restaurant Technology: Order Up!

COEX delivers the insights leaders need to convert consumer demands into bona fide opportunities for growth. 

IFMA COEX 2016 is one place where foodservice leaders will obtain a wealth of outstanding content packed with the latest information on consumers and technology. The audience will also have the opportunity to interact with live polling, as Li engages real-time results to gauge the audience on technology-related issues.

Planning Committee Members Rave about IFMA COEX

COEX 2016 provides dozens of opportunities to connect with foodservice professionals who are also looking to advance their network and create new business leads. Hear from this year's COEX planning committee and make sure to mark your 2016 calendars. 

Meet Your IFMA COEX 2016 Co-Chairs

Driven by three dynamic operator co-chairs representing different functional areas and a planning committee of more than 40 high-profile chain accounts, this year’s program offers value for leaders throughout the foodservice industry. IFMA Chain Operator EXchange is the only industry conference that is truly created ‘by operators, for operators.’