A premier industry event, AJC’s Food Service & Hospitality Division Dinner draws nearly 400 industry professionals every year for an evening of celebration, camaraderie, and tribute. For many, it’s been a must-attend event for decades. This year’s November 15 tribute, at the New York Botanical Garden, will carry forward a tradition of publicly applauding highly respected industry leaders.
The 2022 AJC honorees are Fred Rasmussen, Bunzl R3 Metro Sales Vice President, North and South; Andrew Rigie, Executive Director, The New York City Hospitality Alliance; and Morgan Tucker, Vice President of Marketing, Singer Equipment. You can register your tax here: https://bit.ly/3RArVF0
Rick Maier, Senior VP, Bunzl Eastern Division, will present the AJC Innovative Leadership Award to Fred. Carolyn D. Richmond, Chair, Hospitality Group, Fox Rothschild LLP, will present the AJC Champion Award to Andrew. And Fred Singer, President and CEO of Singer Tools, will present the AJC Legacy Award to Morgan.
Anthony Meyer, Vice Chair of the AJC Board of Trustees and former Chair of the AJC Board of Governors, will deliver a special address. He will talk about the industry’s 60 years of generous partnership with the AJC. He will also provide an overview of the AJC’s outreach efforts. Among the world’s largest advocacy groups, with 22 offices in the United States and 13 overseas, AJC fights against xenophobia and hatred in all its forms and defends democratic values for all.
Among other roles in business and philanthropy, Meyer serves as President of Ocean Street Advisors, a private investment management firm. “The food service and hospitality industry has been very generous to AJC – a wonderful friend for many years,” Meyer said. “We can’t be more thankful.”
The honor will be hosted by AJC Section Chair Michael Posternak of the PBAC & Friends. “We are excited about this opportunity to publicly praise Fred, Andrew, and Morgan,” said Michael. “Each has built a solid track record of success, set the highest standards, and represents our industry in ways that make us proud. And each of them is deeply committed to AJC’s mission of helping build a brighter world for all.”
Speaking about his leadership at AJC, Michael explained: “Many of my mentors have been involved and respected. The quality of the annual tax, and the beauty of the AJC, brings people together. AJC’s broad humanitarian benefits are universal. As one example among many, AJC supported the independence of Ukraine and provided more than $2.5 million in aid to Ukrainian citizens and Ukrainian refugees. In June, Ukrainian President Zelensky addressed AJC leaders via video to express his gratitude and ask AJC to continue advocating on behalf of Ukraine.”
Honoree Fred Rasmussen entered the industry in 1984 with Marstan Industries, moving to Bunzl New Jersey in 1990. He became General Manager there in 1995 and won Bunzl’s General Manager of the Year Award in 2001. As now, Fred is in charge of redistributing the Bunzl R3. locations in Perth Amboy, NJ, and Orange, CT. This week, he was named among five candidates for the Bunzl Business Leadership Award.
Dedicated to the redistribution of food service, packaging, and hygiene products, Bunzl R3 facilities serve the New York metropolitan area and Southern New England. They are an integral part of Bunzl’s renowned global distribution network, the largest in the world.
Fred’s creative leadership inspired him and raised R3 Metro North and South to the highest level it had ever seen. A former member of the Rider Broncs basketball team, he is a leader who knows how to keep the ball rolling.
“I’ve attended the last five AJC Food Service & Rasmussen said. Every year, it’s a real pleasure. I’m happy to be able to help a group that does so much to promote mutual respect and understanding. The world could use more organizations like AJC.”
Eddie Toby, a longtime AJC Food Service & Vice President of Hospitality and Director of Marketing at KeyImpact Sales & Systems, described Fred as “one of the industry’s most accomplished professionals in the food service industry, with decades of experience in all aspects of marketing and
Honoree Andrew Rigie was born into the hospitality business, working at a third-generation bakery in Queens, NY. Later he “got dirty” by working a lot in the industry. In 2004 he joined the New York State Food Association, and eventually assumed leadership of the New York Association’s operations as Vice President.
In 2012, he launched the non-profit New York City Hospitality Alliance, which has become the largest organization providing education and service and representing thousands of restaurants and nightspots in government halls and the media.
Andrew is recognized as a well-spoken, highly-regarded industry advocate. He is an accomplished public speaker, frequent presenter, moderator, and commentator on local, national and international media platforms.
“Andrew has led the New York restaurant industry through the trials and tribulations of Covid-19,” said Group CEO Posternak. “His next move, he is now leading the recovery of the restaurant in New York, including the expansion of outdoor dining options. We are happy to honor him.”
“As a consultant, I appreciate the advice of the AJC experts,” added Andrew. “Building effective partnerships to make a difference takes time and trust. The AJC takes time and has gradually gained credibility at the highest levels around the world. “
Honoree Morgan Tucker is receiving the AJC Legacy Award for two important reasons. One is her family’s tradition of dedication to AJC, which she has continued. The second is the huge advantage she brings to her work in the industry.
In 1955, Morgan’s grandfather, Marvin Tucker, founded the M. Tucker company. In 1962, he played an important role as a member of the AJC’s Food Service & Group of Visitors. A 1982 AJC honoree, he has been active in the field throughout his career. His son, Stephen Tucker, Morgan’s father, became CEO of M. Tucker in 1986 and followed in his father’s footsteps as a tireless, generous partner. The AJC honored Stephen in 1990 and again in 2006.
Morgan continued: “I have many great memories of the AJC awards I have made over the years. In previous years, my father used to deliver AJC addresses. I have always admired the way he conveys the AJC’s history, values, and mission. Our industry is rooted in hospitality, but it’s the way the AJC brings together colleagues and competitors alike that makes this event so memorable.
Singer Equipment was eventually purchased by M. Tucker. Singer Hardware is the largest grocery and appliance retailer in metro-New York and the fifth largest in the country. Fred Singer, the company’s President and CEO, has maintained many of M. Tucker’s traditions, including a dedication to the AJC. In 2014, Singer Equipment was recognized with an AJC Corporate Leadership Award.
Morgan serves as a member of the Singer Instruments Executive Committee, overseeing corporate positioning, brand direction, and market strategy. In the industry, she offers expertise in food service, brand development, sustainability, and table design. She writes regularly about these topics and speaks on them at industry events around the country.
Morgan is a young leader. AJC has attracted and developed other dynamic young leaders. Clark Pager, Past Section President and Vice President at Jetro Restaurant Depot noted: “I am encouraged that the section has attracted many new young people to carry the torch into the future.”
Among those young people are members of the division’s Steering Committee: Scott Baron of the Business Marketing Company; Eugene Beniamison of Music Instruments; Cortney Davis of KeyImpact Sales & The system; Samantha Saltzman of Sam Tell Companies; Rick Sher of Day & Nite/All Service; and Aaron Weiss of popular studio e.
The head of the department, as mentioned, is Michael Posternak of PBAC & Fellow, honored by the AJC in 1991 and 2006. Working with him are Vice Chairs: Jeff Burdick of Imperial Dade; Fred Klashman of Total Food Service; Rob Monroe of KeyImpact Sales & The system; Lynne Schultz of Tristate Business; and Eddie Toby, also of KeyImpact Sales & Work systems. All are former AJC honorees.
You can register for the upcoming tribute to Fred, Andrew, and Morgan here: https://bit.ly/3RArVF0
Last year’s AJC event honored Jeff Burdick of Imperial Dade, Michael Greenwald of Singer Equipment, and Jerry Hoffman of Sam Tell Company. Held at the New York Botanical Garden, as this year’s event will be, he is the all-time record holder for distribution. Department head Posternak stated: “We have every reason to expect that we will fill the house with 350 guests and break the record again this year.”