A gainst a backdrop of unprecedented dysfunction that includes the government shutdown and the novel threat of U.S. debt default playing out as bargaining strategies before a world of bewildered onlookers, it's good to know that at least in the business world people can still work together for the common good.

I'm referring to the alphabet soup of trade organizations that work to further the interests of the many facets of the foodservice and hospitality industries. NAFEM, FEDA, MAFSI, CFESA, NRA, NACUFS, FCSI, AHF, SHFM: taken together it begins to look like the remnants of a robust day of name shortening at Ellis Island from a century and a half ago.

Last month, I had the good fortune to be at CFESA's Fall Conference in New Orleans as the organization celebrated its 50th anniversary. This group of foodservice equipment service agents had a record conference turnout and took the opportunity to honor some of their best member contributors during a wonderful black-tie celebration. FE&S' own Joe Carbonara, editor in chief, was honored by CFESA for Outstanding Support from an Allied Association/Press/Industry Partner at the event.

While each of those associations serve different industry segments, they all represent groups of hardworking and focused people — often competitors — within the foodservice community who come together to address common business issues and solve basic problems within their fields of endeavor. What's so inspirational about the foodservice industry's various associations is the way the individual members take time away from their businesses to share their experiences, both good and bad, with their peers with the hope that someone can learn from their efforts. Sharing this type of experienced-based knowledge still has a prominent place within the foodservice industry and it is a concept we at FE&S try to embrace in each and every issue. Simply put, the stories on our pages are your stories.

As an original content generating company, our job is to help lead the discussion about the issues that foodservice professionals from all industry segments must address. From allergen management to best practices when designing efficient prep areas to showcasing chains ready to fly past the competition, each issue of FE&S looks to provide the information you need to remain ready to meet the next challenge.

Providing you with the information you need to be successful has been FE&S' objective for 65 years and we are not about to change that now. What has changed are the vehicles we use to deliver this information. You can now consume FE&S online, on your tablet through our apps or even live through our industry-leading webcasts. To us, how you consume the information is not important. We are just happy that you do.

P.S.: Be sure to check the site's calendar for upcoming events for the organizations that matter to you.