Texas Tech, Seattle Public Schools leaders among IFMA Silver Plate Award winners

The 70th annual awards from the International Foodservice Manufacturers Association recognize leaders who have made lasting contributions to advance the foodservice industry.
IFMA Gold and Silver Plate
IFMA on Tuesday announced the winners of its 2024 Silver Plate awards, recognizing game-changing foodservice industry leaders. | Image courtesy: IFMA

The International Foodservice Manufacturers Association (IFMA) on Tuesday unveiled the winners of the 70th annual Silver Plate Awards, recognizing best-in-class leaders in multiple foodservice categories.

Winners are chosen from a slate of industry nominees by a jury of trade press journalists and previous award winners.

A secret ballot will determine one Silver Plate honoree to receive the association’s highest honor, the IFMA Gold Plate. That award, along with the Silver Plate honors, will be presented on May 18 in the Great Hall at Chicago’s Union Station.

“This is the 70th year IFMA has presented Gold & Silver Plate Awards, and it’s more important than ever that we celebrate the wide range of operations providing people with food away from home,” IFMA President and CEO Phil Kafarakis said in a statement. “From schools and businesses to airports to retail to traditional restaurants, our industry is truly in every community in the nation … This year’s winners exemplify service to their organizations, teams and communities.”

Here are the 2024 IFMA Silver Plate winners:

Chain Full Service:
Chris Tomasso, President & CEO, First Watch Restaurant Group
Nominated by Ecolab, Rich Products Corporation, and Royal Cup Coffee & Tea

Independent Restaurant / Multi-Concept:
Melvin Rodrigue, President, Galatoire's Restaurant
Nominated by Ecolab

Business & Industry/Foodservice Management:
Damian Monticello, Director, Enterprise Hospitality and Event Services, GuideWell
Nominated by PepsiCo

David Reeves, System Director, Food and Nutrition Services, Lee Health 
Nominated by PepsiCo

Colleges & Universities:
Kirk Rodriguez, Senior Director of Hospitality Services and the Student Union & Activities, Texas Tech
Nominated by Ecolab, Tyson, and US Foods

Elementary & Secondary Schools:
Aaron Smith, Director of Culinary Services, Seattle Public Schools
Nominated by Tyson


Grocery, Convenience, & Specialty Retail:
Jen and Jon Corto, Owners and Founders, Buffalo Strive 
Nominated by Nestlé Professional

Travel & Leisure:
Roz Mallet, CEO & President, PhaseNext Hospitality
Nominated by Ecolab



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