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Establishing strong relationships with your customers is only possible if you have a thorough understanding of their business and needs. Staying in tune with the issues your customers are facing will better enable you to be in the position to provide solutions to their problems.

The IFMA Silver Plate Award nomination process can be an incredibly powerful tool. Conducting the interview and filling out the nomination form is a very effective way to gain a deeper understanding of your nominees' business. It is also a very effective means to recognize those individuals who have distinguished themselves through their outstanding performance in our industry.

For many past nominators, the experience taught them a lot about the power of recognizing excellence through award nominations. It provides a constructive format to deepen the understanding of a customer's business and helps to build and strengthen those important customer relationships.

All IFMA Manufacturer Members should take part in the award nomination process. Don't view the process as a hassle - view it as an opportunity. It's an opportunity to recognize and honor the great leaders in our industry while taking the time to learn more about their business and the challenges they are facing.



Here are some simple tips to follow when looking to nominate a candidate:

  • Make sure your candidate is a willing participant. First and foremost the candidate has to be willing to go through the nomination process, which involves being present for the Gold & Silver Plate Events taking place during NRA Week. Also, encourage your candidate to allocate resources within their organization to help gather important details that can be used on the nomination form.
  • Attention to detail is most important. The nomination form is space and font limited and sometimes there simply isn’t enough room to place everything you would like. A lot of “polish” has to be on the information that ends up on the form so as to call out the most important aspects of the candidate’s historical achievements.
  • Try to include some personal details about the candidate. Many executives are involved in philanthropic endeavors and some like those efforts to remain private. While respect must be given to their privacy, it’s also important to convince the candidate that their efforts have a direction reflection on their overall accomplishments and that of the organization. This overall positive “cultural effect” speaks volumes as to the achievements of the person.
  • Recognize the potential of your candidate. This means knowing your customer, knowing their business, knowing their staff at all levels. Make sure you conclude this individual is truly worthy of the award. Once you begin the nomination process, pour your heart into it, just as the candidate pours their heart into their business, the reflection of both will show through.

IFMA instituted the Gold and Silver Plate Awards in 1954 to pay tribute to the most outstanding and innovative talents in nine segments of foodservice operations. Learn more about the IFMA Gold and Silver Plate Awards and submit your nomination today. Mark your calendar; the deadline for 2018 Silver Plate Award nominations is December 1, 2017.