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The International Foodservice Manufacturers Association (IFMA) hosted three days of activities in mid-May, culminating in the 68th annual IFMA Gold & Silver Plate Awards Gala on Saturday night, May 21. The events celebrated the work of the IFMA Educational Foundation and the revitalized Gold & Silver Plate Society.

The IFMA Gold & Silver Plate Awards is the longest-running and most respected awards program in foodservice. Winners receive a Silver Plate Award, and one is then chosen by secret ballot to receive the Gold Plate Award for the year. Winners are all inducted into the Gold & Silver Plate Society.

The weekend activities opened with an exclusive dinner at the University Club of Chicago for the 2022 Silver Plate Award recipients and their guests. It was the first opportunity for the winners to meet one another and to view the videos of their personal stories that were created for Saturday night’s Gala.

Friday, after a brief IFMA Educational Foundation board meeting, several Gold and Silver Plate Society members joined the 2022 winners and university academics from hospitality programs across the country for the inaugural IFMA Foodverse® Career Forum at the University Club.


IFMA Foodverse is an IFMA platform of career opportunities and resources designed to attract young talent to professional opportunities in the food manufacturing industry. The Career Forum served as the official re-launch of the program after the pandemic put plans on hold, and participants were very engaged - sharing their insights and ideas for promoting careers in the industry.

As Professor Karthikeyan Namasivayam of Michigan State said, “Our retention within the hospitality program is good – once they enter hospitality, they stay.... But recruitment is difficult. Now, after the pandemic, students don’t see the industry as viable. We need to let them know what's really going on.” IFMA plans to use Foodverse to connect young job-seekers, schools, and corporations to do just that.


Friday night, a banquet for about 200 foodservice professionals celebrated the induction of the 2022 Silver Plate winners into the Gold & Silver Plate Society.  IFMA CEO Phil Kafarakis handed out the Silver Plate pins and aprons – a long-standing tradition – with some help from Society members.


The ‘Big Event’ came on Saturday evening. Held at the beautiful Chicago Cultural Center, a gala reception and dinner for over 400 industry guests celebrated the Silver Plate winners. Lucky attendees were on hand for the announcement of the 2022 Gold Plate recipient. Past Gold Plate winners Mary Molt from Kansas State University and John C. Metz, CEO and Co-founder of Sterling Hospitality, hosted the evening.

When the big announcement was made, 2022 Gold Plate winner Lance Trenary, CEO of Golden Corral, was greeted by a standing ovation from the sold-out crowd.

Phil Kafarakis put the importance of the awards this way, “These amazing people allow us to stand on their shoulders and reach higher, bringing more leaders along with us. It's important that we preserve their legacies and continue to learn from their examples.”

Next year, the Gold & Silver Plate Awards Gala will be held on May 20 at Chicago’s Union Station.

Learn more about the 2022 Silver Plate Class >>


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You can view and download individual images or create your own gallery using "favorites" and the pin 7393 to download. When using any of the images from the Gold & Silver Plate Weekend, please credit them “Photos by Clare Britt, courtesy of IFMA” and use the hashtags #GoldSilverPlateAwards and #IFMAworld to share with our community.

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