25 November 2002
Evening in New York with Very Special Friends”
New York, NY – In typical “who’s who,” New York City
tradition, the Eleventh Annual Fred Tibbitts & Associates “An Autumn Evening in
New York with Very Special Friends” at the fashionable Union League Club wowed
the 175 fortunate few admitted to the FTA spectacular finale celebration of
Excellence Awards that signaled the finish of the 2002 New York International
Hotel & Restaurant Show.
The guests (Including the following: Owners, c.e.o.’s and
operational directors of world-renowned hotel and restaurant chains; industry
press; and FTA wine, beer and spirits partners) were boldly announced in style
by an English gentleman complete with morning suit, silk top hat and ceremonial
mace as they were received in the historic Library. After the guests were led
to dinner in the Lincoln Room and warmly welcomed by host Fred Tibbitts, Master
of Ceremonies John Mauk Hilliard summoned everyone to their feet for the
presentation of the colors and a fife and drum presentation by the Veteran Corps
After prayers by Reformed, Episcopal and Buddhist priests
and scholars, the evening proceeded with 21 magnificent Loyalty Toasts, given by
the many distinguished Ambassadors, Consul Generals, Society Presidents and
dignitaries in attendance.
Then it was onward for the presentation of the Tibbitts
Hospitality Awards for Excellence. Fred Tibbitts recognized Future Brands with
the 2002 FTA Supplier Award, which was accepted by Vice President of National
Accounts Ken Ruff. The 2002 FTA Literary Award was presented to J. Roger
Friedman, President, Lebhar-Friedman by Claire Schmelzer, Chairman of the Board,
International CHRIE, after memorable personal remarks by Roger’s long time
friend, Tom Schwartz, former President & COO of Dunkin Donuts.
The 2002 FTA Operator Award was presented to Gerard van
Grinsven, former Vice President of Food & Beverage, The Ritz-Carlton Hotel
Company and current General Manager, Ritz-Carlton, Dearborn by Joseph McInerney,
President & C.E.O. of the America Hotel & Lodging Association. Prior to the
presentation, van Grinsven was feted by long-time industry friend, Nick Bellini,
Vice President-North America, Hepp Germany and Ritz-Carlton Regional Vice
President of Operations, Jean Cohen with a person letter of congratulations from
Ritz-Carlton President & CEO, Simon Cooper.
The meal was prepared by the Ritz-Carlton Executive Chefs
of Dearborn and New York, Battery Park, Alejandro Garza and Jacques Sorci as
well as the Union League Club Executive Chef, Jacques Thiebeutt, plus the Pastry
Chef of The Ritz-Carlton New York, Battery Park, Henry Masterov. Harriet
Lembeck, New York senior wine educator, skillfully paired the wines.
Once the colors were retired, the guests returned to the
Library for fine cigars, Single Malt Scotch, good company and fond farewells.