2012 IFMA SIlver Plate profiles

This year, for the first time, profiles of the 2012 non-commercial Silver Plate winners will appear online only.

This week FoodService Director celebrates the 2012 IFMA Silver Plate Award winners by profiling the five non-commercial winners—Mark Freeman, Mary Molt, Dan Henroid, Lyman Graham and Ricky Clark. Full profiles of each winner, including a first-person piece on why each one gives back to the industry, can be found in the People section of foodservicedirector.com. This is the first time that we have not run profiles of the Silver Plate winners in our magazine. Instead, we have only recapped some of their accomplishments in the April issue of the magazine.This was a very tough decision, and one that we agonized over for quite some time. It was not meant to be a slight at these honorees, some of whom I consider friends and all of whom are more than deserving of the accolades.

Two things factored into the decision. First was an issue of priorities. Our cover story this month in the magazine celebrates the winners of our second annual Goldies Awards, which we sponsor in cooperation with The Culinary Institute of America. Last year, after we announced our winners, even though we put all the videos of the winning entries online, we did nothing in print to recognize them. That, quite frankly, was a major gaffe that I was not going to repeat.

That brings us to the second factor: space. We have always held the Silver Plate winners in high regard, and full-blown profiles of them is one way we can demonstrate that. Over the years, most magazines have decreased in size, the space available to be given over to features such as the Silver Plate profiles has shrunk.

This year, if we were to give our own award winners their due, we could not sacrifice pages to properly honor the Silver Plate awardees. Because I am a print-first guy, that made me sad. I miss the “old days” when we could tell people’s life stories and glamorize them with a fun portrait shot. (Our photos of Kris Schroeder standing in a 100-gallon kettle at Swedish Medical Center, and Shawn LaPean posing barefoot in a fountain at Cal Berkeley are classic examples.)

But, after further reflection, I realized that this space issue actually has a silver lining. We are not “banishing” our Silver Platers to the nether regions of the Internet. Instead, we are giving them a glorious new platform, one that allows us to tell their histories in a more expansive way. Once I realized that, I actually began to look forward to writing my profiles, and I’m sure Becky Schilling and Lindsey Ramsey did too. We hope you enjoy reading them.

So, don’t think we’re treating the Silver Plate Class of 2012 with any less reverence than we did their predecessors. Instead, we hope you embrace the fact that both the Silver Plate and Goldies Awards winners are getting star treatment in two media. 

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