Presented in Chicago by the International Foodservice Manufacturers Association (IFMA), the annual Gold & Silver Plate Awards honors some of the most successful innovators and professionals in the industry. Celebrating its 65th year, the award ceremony is in many ways considered the Academy Awards for foodservice.
Typically, only up to nine foodservice operators are selected for an award, but industry experts chose 10 special winners for this year’s Silver Plate Class:
Beverly Lynch, Golden Corral for Chain Full Service
Bill Marks, Hennepin Healthcare for Health Care
Don Falgoust, RLJ Lodging Trust for Hotels & Lodging
Lorna Donatone, Sodexo for Business & Industry/Foodservice Management
Peter Cancro, Jersey Mike’s Franchise Systems for Chain Limited Service
Randy Montgomery Lait, North Carolina State University for Colleges & Universities
Regynald G. Washington, Paradies Lagardère for Retail & Specialty
Rodney Taylor, Fairfax County Public Schools Elementary & Secondary Schools
Sam Facchini & John Arena, Metro Pizza for Independent Restaurants/Multi-Concept
Winners Rodney Taylor and Regynald Washington both shared their commitment to bettering the lives of young people through education. As Washington noted, helping people become more educated about the industry is simply “part of [his] DNA.”
Other winners like Don Falgoust, Lorna Donatone, and Bill Marks emphasized the importance of keeping the team focused on giving customers the experience they are looking for. Bill Marks in particular wanted to overcome hospital food’s stereotypical bad reputation and set a goal with his team to simply “serve good food.”
One particularly excellent Silver Plate winner is awarded with the Gold Plate. This award is determined by a panel of highly regarded foodservice experts, past winners, and national press. Watch the above video to see some interview highlights and learn more about Regynald G. Washington, who took home the gold!