Wow! It is hard to believe that this issue of FE&S marks the halfway point of 2013. Joe Carbonara and the entire editorial team have managed to bring you stories from all over the United States, giving you our take on the people and projects making a difference in the foodservice equipment and supplies community.
At the same time, Carol McAdam, Kris Duvall, and Mike McCaffery, have been crisscrossing the country asking good questions and actively listening as they meet with the advertising partners who make this publication possible.
Personally, I have been to The NAFEM Show, FEDA's Convention, RestaurantPoint, the National Restaurant Association Show and several other stops, including a trip to Disneyland to meet with FE&S' 2013 Hall of Fame Award recipient Martin Cowley.
Reflecting back on my travels and all of the meetings from the first half of the year, I am struck by the level of optimism and forward thinking that permeates the foodservice industry. I'm not talking about the kind of blind optimism that ignores obvious challenges and potential dangers. I am talking about the individual members of the industry embracing the challenges they face, listening to their customers and realizing that the foodservice industry is slowly and steadily gaining momentum.
There is widespread recognition that it has taken unprecedented easing on the part of the Federal Reserve to get the general economy back to a 2 percent growth rate in GDP, which has led to what many describe as a reactive bull run on Wall Street. Regardless of how you interpret the events of the day, it's still plain to see that business leaders are looking for opportunities to grow in the changing economic landscape and that general forward momentum bodes well for the foodservice equipment and supplies industry.
Speaking of embracing change, that's something we here at FE&S continue to do. Since its inception, we saw the FE&S' Hall of Fame Award as an all-industry honor given to those individuals who really demand recognition by virtue of their long service and general level of contribution to the foodservice community. And we knew from the very beginning the Hall of Fame Award wouldn't be limited to dealers alone.
This year, for the first time, the Hall of Fame Award goes to a most deserving recipient from the operator community, someone who really embraces the best the foodservice industry has to offer. During his 40-plus years in the industry, Martin Cowley has helped develop customer-centric concepts that set the standards for efficiency and food safety. Further, he's carried himself in a manner that earns him the respect of colleagues and supply chain partners alike. And he's selflessly shared his time and expertise with various industry associations.
I know that you will enjoy reading all about Martin and his long run at Disney. His story provides a rare glimpse behind the scenes of a truly American success story.
Thank you all who were in attendance at this year's Dealer of the Year and All-Industry Awards Gala. Check out the great photos at fesmag.com.
All the best,