CHICAGO, March 5, 2024— The International Foodservice Manufacturers Association (IFMA) announced winners of the 70th annual IFMA Silver Plate Award today. This year’s recipients represent eight food-away-from-home categories. 

Since 1954, IFMA has recognized extraordinary operator executives with the IFMA Silver Plate Award. Winners are chosen from a slate of industry nominees by a distinguished jury of trade press ditors and previous award winners. One Silver Plate honoree is selected by secret ballot to receive the industry's most coveted recognition—the IFMA Gold Plate. Presentation of the Awards and the announcement of the Gold Plate recipient will take place at the IFMA Gold & Silver Plate Awards Celebration on May 18, 2024. 
“This is the 70th year IFMA has presented Gold & Silver Plate Awards and it’s more important than ever that we celebrate the wide range of operations providing people with food-away-from-home. From schools and businesses to airports to retail to traditional restaurants, our industry is truly in every community in the nation,” said Phil Kafarakis, IFMA President and CEO.  
“The Gold & Silver Plate Awards celebrate that range of service and the very best in food-away-from-home leadership. This year’s winners exemplify service to their organizations, teams, and communities. It's going to be really exciting to see which of them will also bring home the annual Gold Plate Award at our celebration in May.”  

2024 Silver Plate Class 

Grocery, Convenience, & Specialty Retail:
Jen and Jon Corto, Owners and Founders, Buffalo Strive 
Nominated by Nestlé Professional

Travel & Leisure:
Roz Mallet, CEO & President, PhaseNext Hospitality
Nominated by Ecolab

Business & Industry/Foodservice Management:

Damian Monticello, Director, Enterprise Hospitality and Event Services, GuideWell
Nominated by PepsiCo

David Reeves, System Director, Food and Nutrition Services, Lee Health 
Nominated by PepsiCo

Independent Restaurant / Multi-Concept:
Melvin Rodrigue, President, Galatoire's Restaurant
Nominated by Ecolab

Colleges & Universities:
Kirk Rodriguez, Senior Director of Hospitality Services and the Student Union & Activities, Texas Tech
Nominated by Ecolab, Tyson, and US Foods

Elementary & Secondary Schools:
Aaron Smith, Director of Culinary Services, Seattle Public Schools
Nominated by Tyson

Chain Full Service:
Chris Tomasso, President & CEO, First Watch Restaurant Group
Nominated by Ecolab, Rich Products Corporation, and Royal Cup Coffee & Tea

The 70th Annual IFMA Gold & Silver Plate Awards Celebration will take place on Saturday night, May 18, 2024 in the Great Hall at Chicago's historic Union Station. The Awards recognize professionals who have demonstrated extraordinary foodservice leadership, making lasting contributions to the advancement of the industry. 

The winner of the industry’s most prestigious award—the coveted IFMA Gold Plate – will be revealed at the Celebration. The event is open to the industry. Early bird ticket pricing is available until March 15. 

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