April 2024 NICA News

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April 2024 ADVERTISERS 30 Berk Concession Supply 32 Classifieds 06 Colonel Jim’s 13 Entegra / Heinz 33 Fanestil Meats 02 Fare Foods 13 Fiserv 12 Hummel Group 15 Haas & Wilkerson 16 JKJ Workforce 08 K&K Insurance 32 McGowan Allied 23 Mr. G’s 33 OA Finance 34 Schantz 30 TasteMaker 23 WNA CONTENTS • APRIL 2024 ARTICLES & FEATURES 04 New & Renewing Members 05 President’s Message 07 Riffing With Rey 09 Association Announcements 11 Thoughts From a CCE 12 Attention Members! 14 Gathering in Indio 17 The Next Generation is Here! 18 The Big Cheese 21 Moments From the 2024 NICA Business Expo & Fare Foods Food Show: “Tomorrow Starts Today!” 24 Tomorrow’s Leaders: Apply Today For a 2024 NICA Foundation Scholarship 26 “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” 31 From the Camera Roll... 33 2024 NICA Membership Contest Leaderboard National Independent Concessionaires Association, Inc. is a Florida Corporation with an Editorial and General Office located at 1043 E. Brandon Blvd., Brandon, FL 33511 • Off ice: (813) 438-8926 • Fax: (813) 803-8460 • Online: www.nicainc.org The information contained in this Publication is based upon sources believed to be reliable. Readers should not act without professional advice. Cover to Cover © 1993-2024 NICA, Inc. All Rights Reserved. “Today Benefits Tomorrow!” NICA is a membership-driven 10 dedicated to strengthening relationships with the Fair, Festival, and Special Events Industries through effective communication, education, benefits, leadership, and solutions. April is host to a collection of fun cheese-covered holidays. NICA is proud to have hundreds of members who serve cheese in some form. Read “The Big Cheese” on page 18. Learn more about our recent West Council event with “Gathering in Indio” on page 14. 18 14 14 18

This Month’s Newest Members

Jason Bartlebaugh

Bartlebaugh Amusement, Inc.

Madisonburg, PA

Sheila Bartlebaugh

Bartlebaugh Amusement, Inc.

Madisonburg, PA

Courtney Cox

Adams County Fair

Brighton, CO

Vele Dabeski

Quality Food International LLC

Clearwater, FL

Tabby Fain Fain’s Concessions

Mayo, FL

Monica Haney

Haney’s Kettle Corn

Caldwell, OH

Chris Nehrig

Indiana CO Fair

Homer City, PA

Justin Peperak

Wild West Turkey Legs LLC

Farmland, IN

Bob Phifer

Security Check Me LLC

Tampa, FL

Ben Pickett

Trinity Concessions LLC

Laveen, AZ

Holly Rasberry

Holly Shay Enterprise

Stockton, CA

Matthew Spiker

Waybrook Concessions

Oak Hills, CA

Patty Sweet Paradise Amusements

Homossassa, FL

Joe Toler Toler Brothers LLC

Pueblo, CO

Brandon Weiss

Keeping It Fair Concessions LLC

Valparaiso, IN

Welcome to our 15 New Members! See page 33 for the 2024 NICA Membership Contest Leaderboard.

This Month’s Member Renewals

Chris Bayle

CW Concessions Lakewood, OH (2018)

Kurt Bechler

Bechler’s Fun Foods

Bad Axe, MI (2009)

Tony Cassata µ Cassata Concessions Daytona, FL (1993)

Teresa Cox-Hickey Concessions by Cox of Georgia, Inc. Perry, GA (2015)

Nicholas Digrazia

Silver Dollar Fair

Chico, CA (2022)

James Fraser

Big Jim’s Concessions Firebaugh, CA (2007)

Jennifer Fraser

Big Jim’s Concessions Firebaugh, CA (2007)

Debbie Green

Casey’s Rides Inc. Utica, KY (2020)

John Heron

Triple J Concessions / Fresh Fries Woodbury, MN (2016)

Jeffrey JJ Hickey Concessions by Cox of Georgia, Inc. Perry, GA (2015)

Kevin Kamauf

Allegany County Fair

Cumberland, MD (2023)

Dena Rizzardo

Tulare County Fair

Tulare, CA (2014)

Dan Royer

Royer’s Concessions

Morrisdale, PA (2021)

Tammy Royer

Tammy Royer Concessions

Clearfield, PA (2021)

Patrick Sheridan

Sheridan Concessions

Avon, CO (2013)

Jerry Snyder

Tammy Royer Concessions

Clearfield, PA (2021)

James Staub

Jims Tacos/Fries

Colden, NY (2023)

Dominic Jr Vivona

Amusements of America

Plainsboro, NJ (2014)

Dean Vlazakis

Diversified Agriculture & Ag Mechanics

Tulare, CA (2020)

Kristi Worm-Hunter

Indiana Ribeye

Carmel, IN (1997)

Thank you to our 20 Renewal Members for your continued support! “Together We Can!” µ 1993-2004 2005-2009 2010-2014 2015-2023 Advertise Your Business


• Reach your targeted audience through national exposure to key decision makers including Concessionaires, Fairs, and more!

• Gain name recognition via our publications, website, and sponsorships available at Industry events; ask for more details.

• Receive a superb value through quality marketing opportunities.

Many advertising opportunities are available including NICA News, NICA Membership Directory, NICA Now! emails, and the NICA Website. Special NICA Membership Discounts and Bulk plans available. Contact us at (813) 438-8926 or communications@nicainc.org or visit www.nicainc.org/advertising to learn more!

April 2024 NICA News



Spring is starting to finally show! Weeds are growing, plants are preparing to bloom, and Concession Trailers are slowly awakening from their Winter rest.

As many of us prepare for the 2024 Season, it will be necessary to get our trucks ready. Some of the benefits NICA offers with its membership to help in this department are AutoZone and Goodyear Tire. If it’s your RV you are working on, we have Arrow Distributing (with enough items that you could build your own)

When it comes to your Concession Trailer, it’s quite a list! Entegra has partnered with NICA to provide you expanded savings on over 6,000 products, complete with a rebate program, while Fare Foods and Sysco offer a complete supply of products including Meat, Produce, Frozen Goods, Paper Products, Cleaning Supplies, and much, much more. Coca-Cola and Pepsi also offer discounted pricing if you want to save on your Beverage purchases. If you’re wanting to produce your own drink cup, Whirley-DrinkWorks! is who you want to call! They are wonderful to work with, and love doing business for NICA Members.

When your Signs and Trailer Marquees need an upgrade, OCC Signs has your back and do a great job. When working your trailer, NICA has the best Credit Card Processing not found with any other Fiserv entities. When it comes to POS Systems, Clover cannot be beat! They are launching their new kiosk this April, and we hope to share more about it soon. Don, Grainger, Graybar, and Supplies on the Fly are only a few of our many suppliers that offer NICA a discount on items you may need to fix a problem in your Concession Trailer or with your equipment. Our most recent benefit is with Eastern Lighting, giving us a 22% discount on their Totalite lighting fixture, which has proven successful for indoor Vendors.

As we all travel, some quite far, and some not so, this is a reminder that your benefits travel with you. In the literal sense, however, when looking into renting a car, check out Hertz or Budget for their

varied selection of cars, trucks, and vans.

Whether you are on the Fairgrounds, at home, or cleaning up your Concession Business, Sherwin-Williams is your place to go for paint, stain, and supplies to do the job. When looking into insurance, we believe we have the best; Hummel Group is your one-stop shop! I know we personally have our Business and General Liability Insurance, Workers Compensation, Trucks, Cars, Boat, and Home, and personal items insured with them. Hummel personally visits with you, to get a feel of what your looking for in insurance. When they put the plan together, they go over it thoroughly with you, so that you understand what you’re paying for. Hummel Group is also the carrier for NICA Health Plan. Several NICA Members that I know have signed up for this plan’s medical benefits and they have found it to be great!

This is only the start of NICA’s Benefits! There are quite a few more, which you can find on NICA’s Website at www.nicainc.org/benefits or by reading the new NICA Membership Benefits Guide, included with this issue’s print edition. In my opinion, the most important NICA Benefit we offer with our membership is the $10,000 Accidental Death and Dismemberment (AD&D) benefit. You cannot purchase that type of policy, along with many of the other benefits NICA offers, with only the cost of a NICA Membership

Some of you have started your 2024 Season already. It seems that every year at the first event is always the same. We are checking everything out to see how it fared the Winter! I am glad to be part of an Organization that has so many Benefits to help us out with our Season.

The Cost of Doing Business is always on my mind. How are prices this year going to effect our bottom line? Remember to keep the Patron in mind, as we want to always keep families coming to visit us at the Fairs we participate in.

In closing, I challenge ALL of us, to make sure we always put the Customer first, and make it the best experience possible! Make it Magical like Disneyland does! Have a Great Month (and a profitable one as well) ▲

April 2024 NICA News 5


President: Kim Barr, CCE

1st Vice President: Jay Wells, CCE

Treasurer: Bryan Enloe, CCE

Secretary: Bary Bunts, CCE


Michelle Allen, CCE

Brandy Arredondo, CCE

Jacqueline Bradbury, CCE

Sandy Class, CCE

Phil Delahoyde

Dan Lusenhop

Richie O’Neil

Stacey Pittroff-Barona, CCE


Vincent Nelson, CCE

Daryl Whicheloe, CCE

Sandy Class, CCE

Don Delahoyde, CCE

Kathy Ross, CCE

Dan Lusenhop

Dominic Palmieri, CCE

Paulette Keene, CCE

Joe Potillo, Jr.

Greg Miller, CCE

Tom Sattler, CCE

Russ Harrison, CCE

Richard Busse, CCE

Tom Hodson, CCE

Jim Hodson, CCE (Deceased)

Tim O’Brien, CCE

Ron Smith

Adam McKinney, CCE

Mike Pence, CCE

Jack Woods, II, CCE

Bob Hallifax, CCE

Frank Parnell, CCE

Larry Orme (Deceased)

Larry Sivori

Rich Wright

Bill McKinney, CCE

Arthur Pokorny, Jr.

Gene O’Brien, CCE (Deceased)


Executive Director :

Rey O’Day

Office & Membership Manager :

Linda Frisco

Office Clerk :

Mary Vega

Communications & Marketing

Manager • NICA News Editor :

Jesse Willard

Commercial Exhibits Council

Coordinator :

Jeff Thornberry, CCE

East Council & Social Media

Coordinator :

Jessica Gottsche

Midwest Council Coordinator :

Dennis Larson, CFE

West Council Coordinators :

Don Delahoyde, CCE

Julie Dunn


President: Audrey Poole

Vice President : Daryl Whicheloe, CCE

Treasurer : Jennifer Giordano, CCE

Secretary : Rey O’Day


Reilly Berk

Carmel Dyer-Pittroff, CCE

Tom Hodson, CCE

James McConnell

Larry Sivori

Jay Wells, CCE


Bary Bunts, CCE

Ryan Collmer

Whitney Fraleigh

Ryan Hagy

Gino Orlandi

Patty Tessari

Michael Zdebiak, Jr.


Connie Boesen

Sandy Class, CCE

Bruce Kozelou

James McConnell

Richie O’Neil

Matt Ribar

Mickey Venegas


Michelle Allen, CCE

Brandy Arredondo, CCE

Rodney Fazackerly

Alan Harrington

Gigi Horowitz, CCE

Ryan Long, CCE

Miki Martin

Albert Valadez

Nathan Wells, CCE

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List Making 101 RIFFING WITH REY

It’s April and there is lots to do. I whip out a tablet and start making lists. Yes, I am an active list maker. I make one before I go to bed and then I have a new one when I wake up in the morning. They focus on topics, urgency, timelines, people, work deadlines, ideas, personal projects, appointments… you get the drift. And yes, lists help me with my drifting tendencies; they pull me back to the task at hand.

The psychology behind list making AND achieving satisfaction is well studied. It shows that lists can help ease our anxiety. For instance, when I think of something in the middle of the night I fear I will fall asleep and forget it. I try writing it down, but who can read middle-of-the-night handwriting in the morning?

I can’t! It used to keep me awake until I realized I could call or text myself and leave a message. Problem solved and anxiety gone.

They (yes, I have many) help me focus, organize and structure my time. A phone call can send me down a new rabbit trail (and I am on the phone a lot)!! A list nearby refocuses me to continue on with what I was working on when the interruption occurred.

smaller tasks afterwards), can prove to be much more productive.

The act of completing things motivates me to be more productive and confident that almost anything is possible to achieve if I write it down.

I don’t know about you, but I can only remember soooo many things at one time and then I need to make a list to unclutter my head by moving the information outside of me and onto a visual place. Relief yes, but it also makes room for more ideas and more lists. Karlson and Shu say, “the rule of three (3) is a magic number for productivity. The brain can remember, focus on, and achieve three things much better than it can four.” They concluded that limiting your large, daily tasks to three each day (and then of course

And let’s talk about the large tasks and the small tasks. I call it “the war” between the “trivial many” and the “vital few”! The Pareto Principle (80/20 rule) is a rule which was suggested by Management Consultant Joseph M. Juran. It is also known as the Law of the Vital Few. It states that prioritizing the “vital few” over the “trivial many” achieves greater impact. (I must confess that sometimes I concentrate on the “trivial many” because it buys me time to think about the “vital few” and it calms me down to have all that pesky stuff done.) That frees me up to focus on my “vital few” projects and make step-by-step lists for how to achieve them successfully.

The experts say it’s human nature to make lists in our world of multiple tasks. I like that they do not require long narratives. For me lists are therapeutic…OH the satisfaction I feel as I cross things OFF my lists!! I even add the things I did not put on the list that I have done, so I can cross them off too. The act of completing things motivates me to be more productive and confident that almost anything is possible to achieve if I write it down.

My lists run the gamut from:

• Places to Visit

• Educational Workshop Topics

• Board Meeting Agendas

• Things I Want to Spend Money On

• Bullet Points for a Memo of Understanding

• People to Call

• Work Deliverables by Month

• Birthdays

• Daily Gratitude List

I also enjoy reading lists. I have files full of lists. For me, information in lists is interesting, efficient, fun, brings clarity, and helps me find ideas quickly. Here are some of my favorite ones to read:

• Any Table of Contents

• Recipes for the Twelve Days of Christmas

• Daily Affirmations

• Variety of Bingo Games

• The Best Months to Visit National Parks

• The 4 Moves You Need to Build Muscle

• All Lists of Favorite New Fair Foods

• You Might Be a Concessionaire If….

And I am a sucker for any “Life Lesson” lists. My current favorite one is “Life Lessons From the Queen”…of course the late Queen Elizabeth II,

published in AARP Oct/Nov 2020:

1. Recharge Your Willpower

2. Stick to a Schedule

3. Develop Your Sense of Purpose

4. Serve Others

5. Sweeten the Self-Talk

6. Brush Aside Vanity

7. Keep the Faith

8. Be Open to Change

9. Cherish Your Crowning Years

How about I end with a To-Do List for April, the dawn of Spring:

• Put a Little More Energy into Relationships

• Take up Gardening

• Get Outside and Move Around

• Clean and Toss…Repair or Replace

Tomorrow I travel to Santa Fe for the Midwest Fairs meeting. Today, I gotta go… gotta make a list of what to pack in my suitcase. Speaking of trips… Sometimes life rolls over us, sometimes it travels with us, and sometimes it just rides beneath us. Whatever the case, having a list to change or use always makes the trip smoother. Enjoy,

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8 April 2024 NICA News
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Our Condolences to the Family of Barbara Niemi, Little Richard’s

We are saddened to report on the passing of Barbara Niemi, daughter of Richard Thomas and sister of the late Robert Thomas, Little Richard’s Enterprises, and relative of NICA Member Clint Yoder, LR Foods. Her family shared the following: Barbara D. (Thomas) Niemi, 71, of East Greenville passed away peacefully on Friday, March 15th, 2024. Raised in the Upper Perkiomen Valley, she was the daughter of Richard and Dolly (Ott) Thomas of Pennsburg. She was a 1970 graduate of Upper Perkiomen High School. She worked in food service management her whole life and was a part of the Little Richard’s Concessions family business since she graduated. Barbara is survived by her children, Melissa, wife of Jeffrey Weidner of East Greenville, and Richard Niemi and his wife Tina of Pine Grove; a step-son Tyler Neidlinger; her beloved grandchildren and great grandchildren; siblings: I.V. Thomas and his wife, Christine, and Robin, wife of Donald Laudenslager, and Sandra, wife of David Higman; and her sister-in-law, Renee Thomas. Along with her husband, she was predeceased by her brother, Robert Thomas Services will be held privately. In lieu of flowers, contributions are suggested to go to The Open Link, 452 Penn St, Pennsburg, PA 18073. ▲

Celebrating Excellence: Robert Holmes Honored With Awards

Robert Holmes, Founder and President of Spectrum Weather and Specialty Insurance, Inc., has been recognized with the inaugural Associate of the Year award at the IAFE’s annual convention last November, celebrating Robert’s exceptional contributions and steadfast commitment to the Fair Industry. His expertise and enthusiasm for protecting event organizers through specialized insurance solutions have set a benchmark for excellence within the Industry. Further elevating this moment of pride, Robert was also bestowed with the Associate of the Year award from the Wisconsin Association of Fairs (WAF) at their annual convention in January 2024. Expressing his sentiments, Robert stated, “I am both humbled and honored to receive these distinguished awards. It is a privilege to be acknowledged by peers and colleagues who share a common passion for the vibrant world of Fairs and other outdoor gatherings. These honors reinforce our commitment at Spectrum Weather and Specialty Insurance to innovate and provide the highest quality of service to our clients and the Fair community.” ▲

Board of Directors Nominations are Due August 30th

It’s that time of year! NICA is accepting nominations for next year’s Board of Directors. Joining NICA’s Board offers many opportunities to have your voice heard, connect with other professionals in the Fair Industry, and to further the cause of NICA. The due date is August 30, 2024, so don’t delay! All nomination forms can be found online at nicainc.org/nominations and must be emailed to nominations@nicainc.org, mailed to NICA, 1043 E. Brandon Blvd. Brandon, FL 33511, or faxed to (813) 803-8460. Call the NICA Office at (813) 438-8926 if you have any questions. ▲

April 2024 NICA News 9 Do you have any announcements you would like to share? Contact us at (813) 438-8926 or nica@nicainc.org

Congratulations to Coach Joe Cranston, Cranston Concessions

Congratulations to one of our own, Joe Cranston, from River Falls, WI, a longtime Concessionaire and NICA Member who achieved national recognition and accolades last month as a hockey coach. In the off season, when not serving up Scotch Eggs or Hawaiian Shave Ice in the Midwest, Joe has coached the University of Wisconsin River Falls Division III Girls Hockey Team for the last 25 years. In 2023, he led his girls to an undefeated thirty-one game winning season to take the national NCAA Championship title. On top of that Joe was given the AHCA (American Hockey Coaches Association) distinguished Coach of the Year honor. Way to go Joe! ▲

Mellowship Entertainment Proudly Supports the NICA Foundation

Mellowship Entertainment, founded in 2017 by John Julian, CFE and Anne-Alise Pietruska, provides entertainment booking and program management services throughout the Fair Industry and beyond. With more than 45 years of combined experience in the Fair Business, they understand and celebrate the relationships needed throughout the Fairgrounds to create the best experience for our guests. Entertainment, Food, Retail, and Agriculture are all pieces that make up a one-of-a-kind experience. John (JJ) and Anne-Alise recognize that and came to the NICA Foundation to invest in the future of our Industry.

At the 2024 Fare Foods/NICA Legacy Celebration, JJ announced Mellowship’s $6,000 commitment to the NICA Foundation Endowment Fund, and presented a check to NICA Foundation President Audrey Poole. We couldn’t be more excited about this new relationship!

JJ has served as President of the International Entertainment Buyers Association, in addition to multiple terms on its Board, and was a Board Member of the Academy of Country Music (ACM) and the Country Music Association (CMA). He is a Certified Fair Executive through the International Association of Fairs and Expositions (IAFE). Anne-Alise is a member of several Industry organizations, is involved with Western Massachusetts 4-H and Agriculture-based groups, and was a member of BusinessWest’s 40 Under Forty class of 2021. ▲

Text NICA to (833) 913-3767

Attention NICA Members, have you joined our Text Messaging list? If you have your cell phone on file with NICA, you may have received a messages over the last year regarding Scholarship Applications, NICA Marketplace, Benefits, and even your NICA Membership Dues. To join, all you have to do is text the word NICA to (833) 913-3767 from your cell phone. After you join, any texts you send to that number will come to us too. ▲

10 April 2024 NICA News

Thoughts From a

This month’s Statements of Communications and Management Philosophy are from the Sweet Cheeks Concessions Family: Savannah Bradbury, CCE and Jacqueline Bradbury, CCE:

Savannah Bradbury, CCE

Jacqueline Bradbury, CCE

The Certified Concessionaire Executive Program was developed to recognize the professionalism of Concessionaires, with the title representing a deep understanding and respect for the Fair and Festival Business and indicates that the titleholder will perform with the highest level of professionalism. Apply online today at www.nicainc.org/CCE. ▲

Attention Members!

NICA is very proud to be able to provide strong benefits for its Membership. We have updated our NICA Membership Benefits Guide to showcase our newest Benefit Partners and how to best utilize their discounts, rebates, or other deals as a NICA Member. This includes new and improved programs from Entegra, Fiserv, Goodyear, Hummel Group, Supplies on the Fly, and Sysco, as well as the discounts you can trust from longtime Benefit Partners AutoZone, Coca-Cola, Fare Foods, Ford, Pepsi, Whirley, and more. No matter where you are in the country, you can have access to the Benefits Guide in print or

12 April 2024 NICA News
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Gathering in Indio

In February, history was made at the Riverside County Fair and National Date Festival as the West Council teamed up with the Fair to host a memorable Luncheon for all attendees. The atmosphere hummed with anticipation and excitement as attendees gathered at noon to kick off this event. Welcoming remarks from the NICA West Council and Riverside County Fair Leadership set the stage for an afternoon filled with insightful discussions and valuable connections.

Participants were immersed in the world of NICA, gaining insights into updates, benefits, and upcoming events within the association. Amidst engaging conversations and networking opportunities, attendees also had the chance to participate in exciting opportunity drawings. Of course, no luncheon would be complete without tasty food and refreshing beverages!

The event brought together over 80 individuals representing various sectors of the event, including Food, Commercial, and Entertainment, all united in their passion for the Fair Industry.

A special thank you goes out to the organizers, whose dedication and hard work made this event possible: Chris Pickering of Pickering Events, Rey O’Day, Executive Director, and NICA West Council Coordinators Don Delahoyde, CCE and Julie Dunn, along with NICA West Members

Gigi Horowitz, CCE, Ryan Long, CCE, and Albert Valadez. They deserve extra recognition for their efforts in orchestrating such a successful event.

As the event concluded, one fortunate attendee, Mike Davis, Toucan Enterprises, emerged as the recipient of a Free NICA Membership a fitting conclusion to a day filled with celebration and connections. Here’s to many more successful gatherings for the West Council ▲

14 April 2024 NICA News
Julie Dunn and Don Delahoyde, CCE, West Council Coordinators, with Rey O’Day, Executive Director Chris Pickering, Pickering Events, and Rey O’Day, Executive Director, addressing the attendees
Have you attended a NICA-related event? Send your photos or coverage to communications@nicainc.org
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Julie Dunn, West Council Coordinator, and Free NICA Membership winner Mike Davis, Toucan Enterprises Tables full
of happy attendees at the
County Fair Luncheon

The Next Generation is Here!

Great. So now what? Humans like consistency and seeing the same faces. This is why a customer will walk past several brand new Corn Dog Trailers and go up to an older trailer that has seen many years of Fairs and is about to be retired. The customer has been taking his family to that trailer for the past 50 years and he enjoys their family recipe Corn Dog batter.

Concessionaires are the same way. We want the same neighbors next to our trailers and we want to talk with the same Fair Managers year after year. Change is inevitable. The Industry as a whole is seeing lots of Concessionaires and Fair Managers retire. These are big shoes to fill when you think of the contributions they have made over the past decades. So what can we do to carry on the tradition of Fairs?

The 2024 NICA Business Expo tackled this topic with a panel of speakers with different backgrounds. These are the key takeaways and quotes that both the incoming and outgoing generations can learn from.

Younger Generations

1. Ask lots of questions.

2. Stop talking and listen.

3. Acknowledge that you need help and ask for it.

Older Generations

1. Find one person that shows interest and invest time into them.

2. Allow new people to make mistakes but make sure that they learn from their mistakes.

3. Share stories of your successes and failures.

4. Keep good records of your business to make selling easier.

Dennis Fraleigh, Owner, F&W Concessions and Fluffy’s Donuts, said, “Get yourself a good financial planner and start planning for the future today. Let them navigate business structure options and 401k and IRA investment funds.“

Nate and Rebecca Wells, Pacific Crest Concessions, shared, “We are Second Generation. Technology has changed how we take orders compared to our parents. In order to save labor, our

guests are using self-ordering kiosks to place their orders. This is especially important when finding help is a problem. More and more guests are using credit cards or their phone vs. cash. Having fast internet to process these Point of Sale systems is a must. You can’t rely on the Fair’s Wi-Fi system. You need to have your own hotspot to connect to. Always have an extra POS device that is kept dry in your trailer. If your main POS breaks or more commonly gets rained on, you will be able to grab the back up device and keep running card payments.”

Ryan Hagy, Owner, DeAnna’s Steak Sundaes, stated, “A big difference that we have all seen up close is the work ethic and attitudes of today’s workers. It takes lots of help to run successful Fairs and Concessions. Workers today expect a big shiny sticker when they complete tasks. We need to learn how to coach a new generation. We have to change the way we teach and remember that there are different learning styles. Use technology to your advantage. Find someone who does an exceptional job and video them doing different tasks as a training tool.”

Rachael Lough, Assistant Rental Director, Ohio State Fair, added, “Take a leap of faith and attend NICA and IAFE conventions and workshops. They cover numerous topics and the speakers and panelists share the wisdom that they have learned over the years from the Concessionaires and Fairs point of view. I soon realized that Concessionaires and Fairs need to work together, not separately, to solve issues. We have much expertise to share with each other and we can accomplish more when it is done together.” ▲

April 2024 NICA News 17
Rachael Lough, Ohio State Fair, speaking during The Next Generation is Here session at the NICA Business Expo

The Big Cheese

Amidst the whirl of excitement and wonder at the Fairgrounds, there exists a timehonored tradition that beckons from every corner–the irresistible allure of Cheese. Cheese-covered this, to Cheese-covered that, there is no shortage of this tasty dairy product. From its humble beginnings to its exalted status as a beloved Fair delight, Cheese has carved its own path through history, captivating hearts and taste buds alike. We had the opportunity to chat with NICA Members to uncover what it’s like to be “The Big Cheese” on the Fairgrounds and explore their unique perspectives on this Fair Food.

Becky and Tim Harmon operate Harmons Concessions out of Kentucky and have been in business for the last 24 years: “Some of our friends were in the Food Concession Business so we decided to give it a try. It panned out for us!” Their route takes them throughout the East Coast from March to October. They make sure to attend the Food Show each Winter, where they “learn a lot.” Becky added, “We really enjoy it! We get to try the new foods that come out.” They specialize in a wide variety of Fair Food, with many products containing or covered in Cheddar Cheese including Cheese Fries, Fried Veggies, Fried Dill Pickles, Cheeseburgers, Ribbon Fries, and Fried Pizza. She continued, “Some people just want Cheese, so we put Cheese on anything that requires it. The rich, creamy texture is really important, and all of our customers really love it! We’ve never had a complaint, and we even put it on our Burgers. We

try not to change the kind of Cheese either; we won’t use anything else, so if we run out we’ll just be out.” Since they have started, they haven’t seen any changes, aside from prices, that have affected their business: “We’ve run it pretty much the same and it’s worked for us, although we have added a few things over the years. Many people are hesitant about trying new things because they think, ‘Oh, I really know I like this food, so I’m not going to spend 10 bucks on a new food that I may not like.’ If we come up with something new and it doesn’t move we’ll take it off the menu.” To eliminate waste and keep their inventory fresh, they practice a policy of “first in, first out.” Their frequency of deliveries varies on their location, but they always stock up and keep their inventory fresh in a stock trailer with multiple freezers and coolers. Above all, the Harmons most enjoy the people at the Fair. Becky said, “We’ve made so many friends out here, and most of them treat you better than family. The customers are super!” For newcomers in the business, their advice is to “get into some good shows, work on a good menu, try something fried, and don’t forget about Cheese!”

Tonio Viscusi is proud of his heritage as a Third Generation Concessionaire. He operates Angela’s International, now celebrating 50 years, on the East Coast along with his Dad Ziggy. They sell various Cheese-related mainstays such as Pizza and the Giant Mozzarella Cheese Stick, along with other Fair staples: “That’s what we’re known for! At any given time we offer a Cheese Pizza, a Pepperoni

18 April 2024 NICA News

Pizza, and a Meat Lover’s Pizza. We also have a rotating Pizza like a Dill Pickle Pizza, Mexican Street Corn Pizza, or even Guava and Pineapple Pizza. We try to keep that fourth one a novelty—one that you can’t get at any Pizzeria.” Alongside their signature Pizza, his Dad invented the Giant Cheese Stick back in the mid-90s. Tonio added, “I was just a little kid then, but my Dad had a Pizza joint and he was trying to add another item while using the same Mozzarella Cheese and Marinara Sauce he already had on hand. He took a big, quarter-pound block of Mozzarella and cut it up before placing it on a Candy Apple stick. He also developed the batter that we fry until it’s golden brown and crunchy. Over the years he has tweaked it and it’s become one of our staple items. The inside is very Cheesy and can always guarantee a great Cheese Pull for Instagram!” He explained, “We are very particular about our Cheese. We only use one Cheese now, and it comes from Wisconsin. It’s just been so consistent and reliable so you don’t mind paying a little more for that quality.” Since he’s been taking on more responsibilities with the business, he is focusing on new ideas and modernization, while keeping the same recipes and values that his Grandparents started with in 1974. He explained, “First and foremost, I like that it is a family business and it is my obligation to keep it going. Second, I like returning to events year-after-year and building a customer base. You wouldn’t believe how many messages we get asking if we are returning to a Fair!” Running a Concession Operation comes with its own share of challenges. He related, “In some ways the business has gotten easier, and in some ways it has gotten harder. Finding product and

getting our supplies has become easier for us, so we can offer the same products in every location. The little things that add up are what becomes harder. I’m just not just a Pizza Maker—I have to maintain trucks, work on equipment, and do what the Government and Fairs need me to do as well.” To new people in the Industry, Tonio advised, “Good luck! It’s so hard to get on your feet and find an established route. It’s not impossible, but you need something unique to stand out!”

Randy and Tracy Reichert have been specializing in Cheese-based products across the East Coast and Midwest for over 30 years, so they certainly know what it’s like to be “Cheesy.” They took over the Hot Wisconsin Cheese business after the original owner Robert Schmidt started it in the 70s: “We looked at the Cheese Business because we were from Wisconsin and it was unique. We’ve done other things in the Concession Business too, but they were all boring compared to Cheese.” On their menu, they currently offer Jalapeño Cheddar, Cheddar Nuggets, Mozzarella Fingers, and Cheese Curds—all battered and fried. Randy shared, “Our Cheese has stayed the same through the years. We have a Cheese provider that sells us the highest quality Cheeses that you can find. The Perfect Cheese is up to individual taste, of course, but you want to make sure it doesn’t get too cold—it will crumble and fall apart!” What about new trends? Besides the Jalapeño Cheddar, they don’t venture too far into new flavors. Randy said, “Cheeses are becoming like craft beers. They have many different varieties; some are smoked or aged, some feature fruit like cranberries or blueberries, and some mix in various international tastes such

The Harmons’ Cheesy Ribbon Fries are a popular staple Tonio’s Giant Cheese Sticks and Pizzas are ready to serve

as Mediterranean or Mexican Chipotle. We are very fortunate that we have our hands full with what we offer. We also like our employees, so we don’t want them to leave by making things too complicated. Operationally, you need to be efficient.” According to the Reicherts, prices definitely have gone up since they started: “Right now everybody’s in a little bit of sticker shock with everything. If you keep the quality and presentation up, you can soften the blow. Don’t skimp on the quality!” However, it’s not the only thing that’s changed. Tracy said, “We used to be the babies, but we’re not anymore.” Randy chimed in, “We’re the old farts!” She continued, “We were wondering where the next generation was coming from for years, but now I feel like they’re here!” Randy and Tracy’s message to new Vendors was to “Have a sharp pencil!” They added, “It’s not what it was 30 years ago. You have to be a bit more innovative in this new era. There are more costs than you know, and it’s harder and harder to make it as a niche operation due to lower margins and profitability. You also have to work your business. Don’t be a golf cart warrior!”

Gina Lockaby has been steadily working as a Concessionaire for the last 11 years and currently operates as the Cheesy Chef in California. She gained her experience working for other Concessionaires in the area and jumped at the chance when a fellow business went up for sale a few years back. She shared, “I did keep some of their products, but I changed probably 80 to 90% of their menu since I love creating new things. My most popular item is the One Pound Mozzarella Log, with my homemade batter, and served with

Ranch. It’s the same size as from your wrist to your elbow, and it’s actually quite a ‘big’ seller! I tell customers if they can eat it in front of me in 15 minutes—by themselves—I will give them their money back.” She has a Culinary degree from Texas A&M and she loves experimenting and creating new foods. Taste is paramount in her quest for flavors, and when she finds a new food she often thinks, “This might be a seller; let me try to make this!”

Her menu also offers a Grilled Cheese Sandwich, with a choice of American, Provolone, or Cheddar, and toppings such as Ham, Turkey, Bacon, and Jalapeños. She said, “I give the customers choices and my prices are very low!” She buys daily from her suppliers including Sysco, and she makes each product fresh to order: “I make sure the customer knows that it will take a few minutes to come out the window so they’re not angry for waiting.” Next, she plans to debut her Monte Cristo sandwich this year to satisfy the growing tastes of her customer base, who tend to trend towards items that are “big and fried.” What she loves most about the Fair Industry are the other Vendors: “We become like family and we all help each other.” For new Concessionaires, her suggestion is to “Be careful! It depends on the person, but you have to be strong-willed to be in this business, and you have to be able to take on criticism of your food. Take that criticism and turn it around into a positive.”

We are proud of our hundreds of NICA Members who dabble in cheese in some way, whether it is fried, melted, or served on a stick. No matter what form it takes, we are sure it is delicious! It is due to the hard work of Concessionaires like them that this simple food has become the “The Big Cheese” at the Fair. ▲

The Reichert’s signature Cheese Curds are hot and tasty! Gina’s One Pound Mozzarella Log with a nice Cheese Pull

Educational Workshop

Door Prize winner

The NICA Business Expo was also home to a face-to-face meeting for the East Council, with Council Members Whitney Fraleigh, Bary Bunts, CCE, Ryan

Beverly and Mickey Venegas, Mickey’s Massive Burritos, were four-time Door Prize winners! Trampas Porter, Fare Foods, during Food and Beverage Trends Vincent Nelson, CCE, Past President, with his Championship Belt, as Jay Wells, CCE, 1st Vice President, cheers him on Collmer, Gino Orlandi, and Council Coordinator Jessica Gottsche in attendance Jo Reynolds, CFE, 2024 IAFE Chair Jason Miller and Jim Fickert, Schantz, greeting attendees as they entered the Food Show Wes Heinkel and Tom McCarthy, Heinkel’s Packing Co., with their signature Turkey Leg Reilly and her Dad Rob Berk, Berk Enterprises, showing off their products Fanestil Meat’s Dan and Jan Smoots at their Food Show Booth The Next Generation of Concessionaires and Fair Managers successfully gathered at the 2024 NICA Business Expo Bary Bunts, CCE, Secretary, handing out Door Prize tickets Rey O’Day, Executive Director, and Audrey Poole, Foundation President, with their beautiful flower gifts during the NICA Legacy Celebration Gigi Horowitz, CCE, West Council, won the $500 National Leadership prize Phil Teague, Hummel Group, and Buddy Walls, Carrier Software, following Buddy’s Hummel-sponsored DOT Update Steve Mason, The Coca-Cola Company, with his Service Award during the Food Show Jessica Gottsche, East Council Coordinator, handing out Bingo Cards Dan Lusenhop, Director and Past President, explaining concepts in Safety and Security Kim Barr, CCE, President, introducing the speakers for the Fiserv / Clover Update Jeff Lindsey, Alpha Baking, showing his bread during the Business Expo
April 2024 NICA News 23 For over 70 years we have offered only the highest quality meat products. Our products are available from Fare Foods 800-651-1601 725 Industrial Rd., Chillicothe, MO 64601 www.mrgsmeats.com  Beef, Pork & Chicken Kabobs  Specialty Kabobs  Beef Philly Steak  Marinated Ribeyes & More! Email us at customerservice@mrgsmeats.com or call 660-646-3600 to order samples.

Tomorrow’s Leaders

Apply Today For a 2024 NICA Foundation Scholarship

In 2024, the NICA Foundation Scholarship program will award multiple scholarships for a total of $50,000, provided by our generous donors. For our future leaders, “Tomorrow Starts Today,” and with your continued help, we can ensure that they can make their dreams a reality.

Lauren Distad, daughter of Diane Holmgren and Rick Distad and employee of Stacey Pittroff-Barona, CCE, Giant Ride, was the recipient of the $3,000 Coca-Cola CCE Scholarship in 2023. She is currently attending her final year at George Mason University to earn her Bachelor of Science Degree in Biology before heading to medical school. Lauren shared, “I have learned a lot throughout the six years that I have been working in the Concession Business. The skills I’ve learned are assets that I now use in college and skills I will take beyond college. I have found a love for Fair Business and want to continue to be a part of it and the loving community. With the generous scholarship from the NICA Foundation, I can finish my degree in four years. I also look forward to coming home each year and spending my Summers in the Cheese stand and at the Fairgrounds. Concessionaires have always shown up for me and had my back, and I want to repay the favor. I am continuously grateful to be a part of this community and for this scholarship. Thank you!”

Taylor Coffman, son of Jared and Marie Coffman and grandson of Sam Coffman, Coffman Concessions, was the 2023 recipient of the $3,000 Hall of Fame Scholarship. He is currently finishing up his first year at Brigham Young University studying Biophysics.

Taylor said, “I have been personally involved in working for my Grandpa making Elephant Ears since about the age of six. While I plan on working during the Summers to help

pay for my educational expenses, this scholarship has helped me devote the time and effort that these studies deserve, laying the groundwork for my future success. Thanks to the NICA Foundation, all of the funds have been used to pay for direct college expenses such as tuition and books. I have worked tirelessly to earn good grades and achieve high academic accomplishments, and I believe my record shows I can continue to work hard and succeed. After completing my Bachelor’s Degree, I am planning on attending medical school and becoming a physician. Financial assistance from the NICA organization will help make that a reality.”

Who can apply?

• YOU or any NICA Member in good standing

• Child of a new/current member

• Grandchild of a new/current member

• Employee of a new/current member for six months

What Scholarships are available?

• 25th Anniversary Scholarship at $4,000

• Coca-Cola CCE Scholarship at $3,000

• Regional Councils Scholarship at $3,000

• NICA Leadership Scholarship at $3,000

• 2 O’Brien Vocational Scholarships at $2,000 each

• Numerous Named Visionary Scholarships at $2,000 each

• Various Entrepreneurial Scholarships at $1,000 each and Inspirational Scholarships at $500 each

When is the deadline?

To qualify, applications must be submitted to the NICA Office no later than June 1, 2024.

For those of you who are entering or continuing your education, the 2024 Scholarship Application is now available online at nicainc.org/scholarship.

If you need assistance or have any questions about the scholarship process, please contact us at scholarship@nicainc.org or (813) 438-8926



A’s Mini-Donuts & Concessions

AGM Concessions

Alabama National Fair & Agricultural Expo, Inc.

RoseMarie Ash

Beach Concessions

Bechler Family Concessions

Broetsky Foods, Inc.

CNC Event Services

Campbell’s Concessions

Chesapeake Foods

Crown & Associates

Dawghouse Concessions

Dutchess County Fair

East Coast Concessions

Grigsby Enterprise

Groscurth Equipment

Indiana Ribeye

Loret Foods

Mellowship Entertainment

Oklahoma State Fair, Inc.

Old Time Portraits

Pacific Crest Concessions

Paulette’s Food Service

Pet I.D. Tags

Jim & Judy Sinclair

The Thomas Hodson Co.

Universal Concessions

SILVER LEVEL: $150-$499

B&J Concessions

C&C Concessions

Dickerson & Kenna Concessions

Doolan Amusement Co.

Florida Federation of Fairs

G&G Concessions

SILVER LEVEL: $150-$499

Godfather’s Pizza/ROC


Hitch-Hiker Mfg.

Hopkins Food Service, Inc.

GOLD LEVEL: $500-$999

Helm Concessions

Sweet Cheeks

GOLD LEVEL: $500-$999

Legaux Holdings LLC

Joel McWaters

R.E. Smith

Vista Mobility

Wells Concessions

Alpine Amusement Co.

Berk Enterprises

Hummel Group

PLATINUM LEVEL: $1000-$2999

PLATINUM LEVEL: $1000-$2999

Kasin Concessions

Rey O’Day

Audrey Poole

Sivori Family

Tavern at the Park

DIAMOND LEVEL: $3000-$5000

The Coca-Cola Company

Fare Foods

Fun Biz Concessions

McConnell Family

La Familia Mexican Food NICA

DIAMOND LEVEL: $3000-$5000

Leadership NICA
Regional Councils Pittroff-Barona Family
Thank You to Our 2023 Donors!

“Won’t You Be My Neighbor?”

Definition of NEIGHBOR: a person living near or next door to the speaker or person referred to.

In December I had the opportunity to attend NICA Marketplace “Together!” thanks to the NICA Foundation’s First Timer Convention Scholarship. It’s been a while since I’ve been the new face in the room. These last five years as a Concessionaire have been better than even the most thrilling of roller coasters. I have traveled through most of the Western United States as The Caricature Entertainment, drawing at events that stretch from the Coastal Fairs of California to the Rodeos of Texas. I’ve drawn crowds and made many acquaintances. I say acquaintances because I realized I don’t really know my neighbors. We work together day in and day out on the Fairgrounds. We wave at each other in the aisles and wish another successful day. Yet, our temporary communities have literal and metaphorical walls that divide us. Some call it the grind, some call it the hustle, but still the sun sets and the day gets away from us...

Thank you Jeff Thornberry, CCE for breaking down my walls and encouraging me to see my position as a valued member of the Concessionaire community. I am so grateful I accepted his invitation to join NICA and attend Marketplace, because I understand it’s time to build a better neighborhood. The plan is simple.

Step 1: Invite Your Neighbors to Lunch and Learn Together

Group learning opportunities provide a way for Concessionaires to grow their knowledge and meet new people. I enjoyed the “What’s On Your Mind?” discussions over lunch. This was an excellent opening for neighborly bonding. An open room with comfy chairs, the Roundtables were an obvious hub for casual meetings. Thank you for the refreshing lunch provided by GoCashless, ice cold drinks, and even a bowl of candy.

This icebreaker provided an opportunity to interact with Concessionaires of varying businesses and experiences. The ties between Concessionaires were strengthened through casual discussions about upcoming seasonal plans; these did wonders in creating an environment to allow for people to be laid-back, joyful, and open. This was a time for establishing new relationships and understanding this vibrant working organization, all facilitated through casual chats. What did I learn?

• Know your role

• Build a team that will be there

• Have grace for mistakes

These Roundtables were hosted by our NICA leaders. Topics included RV Park Security, Credit Card Fees, and Dealing With Weather Highs and Lows. With the range of topics, the outside perspective sparked conversations among the attendees about how each has applied them. This improved not only the future working relations but also the individual skill sets, making us more likely to reach our goals together.

I enjoyed the programs that discussed highly effective practices. There is a sense of belonging that I genuinely felt with the teams. This feeling

Jon Guerzon, The Caricature Entertainment, at Registration

was created when the focus of the Workshop was dedicated to alleviating differences and openly adopting efforts to drive inclusion and equality between Vendors/Concessionaires, such as:

• Follow each other online

• Utilize a group buying effort

• Help do the simple things

Step 2: Communicate With Your Community

People want to feel like they are making a valuable contribution to something bigger than themselves. I enjoy the liberal option to have diversity in thought while pursuing a common goal. I can see that the NICA organization gives freedom to contribute ideas, which creates a strong sense of belonging. These ideas include:

• Learn how to define success

• Have clear expectations

It is important to get pulse surveys, what you are feeling in the moment, to get a sense of what the team thinks and what suggestions they have for improvements, as well as the ability to track to the impact of any changes. Many folks may feel uncomfortable or even intimidated to speak out in a group meeting, and this may cause a feeling of disconnection from the rest of the community and keep issues from being solved. Having the Breakout Sessions and Small Groups was a highly effective way to build belonging, ownership, and relevance when being heard, while seeing results in a timely manner. These methods are essential:

• Invite criticism

• Evaluate

• Seek feedback

Vulnerability in the neighborhood nurtures a sense of belonging, warmth, and trust in the organization and Fair workplace. I was afraid to open up and fully be myself, yet being vulnerable among my colleagues in a safe environment created so many benefits; I had a sense that my involvement with the organization will be deep, rich, honest, and real. I finally participated, comfortably sharing my wins and failures alike—my thoughts, emotions, and experiences. I am a showcase of being a part of a supportive and non-judgmental environment, and I openly can share and encourage my colleagues to follow the neighborhood’s example. I see the NICA team as providing authentic leadership for this community that wants to be heard, seen, respected, and celebrated.

I was encouraged to see and hear talks on Social Media marketing practices that build a sense of community. It is meant to celebrate our wins together. The Facebook posts showing the Concessionaires and the event team expresses how proud the organization is of everyone’s hard work. It only takes a moment to build a team, reinforcing our bonds and creating the atmosphere where everyone feels appreciation. It encourages us to remain motivated and continue striving for excellence, knowing that our efforts will be acknowledged and celebrated by the whole team. Getting love from Dan Mourning of the New Mexico State Fair and Jason Warrenburg of the San Diego County Fair shows thanks. Getting recognition for everyday successes in this public setting goes a long way toward creating a collaborative and supportive atmosphere.

Another example is witnessing Jon Baker of Pima County Fair asking for a raising of hands

Jon Guerzon and Dan Mourning, New Mexico State Fair General Manager after a session Jon Guerzon and Bary Bunts, CCE, NICA Secretary Jon Baker, Pima County Fair CEO, and Jon Guerzon

and seeing how many Concessionaires proudly acknowledged participating in his event. I want us to be at an event with that much community, knowing that our interests are priorities. Who has such access to the CEO? It’s taken for granted with small things, but even I would have missed propane and washing facilities, as they are a big deal. A dog park—is it a luxury? Yet when these issues are addressed, everyone feels appreciated. The friendships and comfortable working environments are huge steps towards creating a true sense of a neighborhood on the Fairgrounds.

Step 3: Win With Your Team

“We don’t win if you lose.” Craig Story, Sysco Culinary Specialist. There are always openings for disorientation amongst Vendors. To solve this, NICA is setting up a framework for an effective engagement strategy that is built on the theme “Together!” a shared purpose. Jeff led a breakfast at the Commercial Exhibitor table. There were talks for setting up systems that identify Commercial Exhibitors as components to a broader vision that aligns their goals with that of the NICA organization. There are future dates that hope to achieve transparent and seamless communication with a unified purpose to achieve our personal goals, as well as business goals. Some thoughts:

• Use your resource departments

• Don’t be afraid to raise your prices

• Know the elasticity of price

One of the best ways to build a sense of community is to organize volunteer opportunities for the organization. Seeing the wave of blue polo shirts and blazers shows that Concessionaires have a chance to give back to the community.

There is a bond and sense of working together outside of the Fairgrounds.

It is a great way to build morale and show the team what the organization values more than making a buck. Its a win-win and a benefit to the community to see volunteers and team members with a unified purpose and camaraderie.

• Make experiences

• Share experiences

• Be a team player

• Meet the needs of the Fair

A Vendor reached out to donate to the NICA Foundation Scholarship Fund Wow! He shared how it weighed on him for a year. That is a community built for the long term. The NICA President took the time to properly recognize the individual. Each team moment feels the sense of community toward their peers and the wider Fair Business when we can see that their achievements are being properly recognized and rewarded. When you are blessed, be a blessing to others.

I have so many personalities and individuals to thank for my experience at NICA Marketplace. Thank you to the entire NICA team, from warm greetings to the goodbyes, and a well-paced and planned event to be proud of. Thank you to all the Session Sponsors, Presenters, Panelists, and Moderators. Thank you to those Trade Show folks for providing a space to share your amazing products and building important connections with my colleagues. Finally, thank you to the NICA Foundation for making this possible. To any persons we drew, thank you for the laughs that melt our hearts for this First Timer Convention Attendee. I look forward to our future conversations! ▲

Jon Guerzon and Cameron Canales, The Caricature Entertainment, sketched the likes of Larry McConnell, CCE, McConnell Concessions, Brandy Arredondo, CCE, Director, Ryan Long, CCE, West Council, and Chris Conkle, CCE, Conkle Concessions
30 April 2024 NICA News Custom Ingredients From TasteMaker/Reed Food Technology Specializing In: • Funnel Cake Mix • Corn Dog Mix • Batters & Breadings • Sauces Proudly Distributed Through Fare Foods • Call 800-651-1601 For More Information • www.farefoods.com We put the fun in funnel cake!

From the Camera Roll...

From the Camera Roll...

April 2024 NICA News 31
Patty Tessari, East Council, with Faith McGee, Molnar’s Concessions, at the Pennsylvania State Association of County Fairs / Showmen’s Association Convention Ryan Long, CCE, West Council, Dennis Forel, Balloonacy, Rey O’Day, Executive Director, and Jose Quintero, JLQ Concessions, catching up at the Riverside County Fair Luncheon We appreciate that we share leadership and ideas with our IAFE colleagues: Jessica Underberg, CFE, Erie County Fair, Marla Calico, CFE, IAFE President and CEO, Tasha Hyder, Clay County Fair, and Jeremy Parsons, CFE, Iowa State Fair Chris Walden, Florida State Fair Outside Concession Coordinator, and Kevin Kamauf, Allegany County Fair Events Coordinator Tom Hodson, CCE, Foundation Trustee, and Audrey Poole, Foundation President, at the Florida Strawberry Festival concocting a great idea Kim Barr, CCE, President, and Alan Barr, Pacific Crest Concessions, indulging in a donut while visiting the Florida State Fair Rey O’Day, Executive Director, during a fun moment at the NICA Business Expo Bary Bunts, CCE, NICA Secretary, with North Carolina State Fair’s Kent Yelverton, Fair Manager, and Robert Fogle, Assistant Manager Tom Hodson, CCE, Foundation Trustee, with Linda Frisco, NICA Office Manager, at the Florida Strawberry Festival

“One of a Kind” 39’ Motorhome For Sale

We are retiring and have a “one of a kind” motorhome. We call her “Number 9.” It is a custom built Freightliner road tractor stretched into a 39’ motorhome, with a non-computerized cat 15-speed fuller, separate double bedroom/office, and space for additional bunks. It is the perfect Concessionaire vehicle to pull your trailer and carry all your dry goods. Must sell or possible trade. $24,900. Located in Bedford, PA. Call Steve at (814) 327-5927. ▲

Attention Members! Do you need our help?

Are you a Concessionaire or Vendor who needs to sell equipment or in need of staff? Alternatively, Is your Fair in search of the next big thing, a unique item, or even some all-around help for your Fair in Concessions or Straight Sales? We can help!

Ads start at $25 per month and are also viewable online at www.nicainc.org/classifieds Contact us by email at communications@nicainc.org or phone at (813) 530-4750 to learn more!

32 April 2024 NICA News
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3rd party food safety audited by SAI Global


1043 E. Brandon Blvd., Brandon, FL 33511

Phone: (813) 438-8926

• Fax: (813) 803-8460

Email: nica@nicainc.org

• Website: www.nicainc.org




q Regular Member $150

q Additional Member $100

q Employee Member $75

q Retired Member $50


Includes five Memberships in one: one Regular Member, one Additional Member, and three Employee Members ($475 value).

q Business / Group ............................................................ $400

Additional Member :

Employee Member 1:

Employee Member 2:

Employee Member 3:


Check a category below and provide a detailed description of your company’s services in the next column under Business Description.

q Food / Beverage

q Commercial Exhibitors / Retail / Merchants

q Attractions / Entertainment

q Games

q Guest Services


List all states / provinces where you conduct your business.


The NICA-sponsored $10,000 Accidental Death and Dismemberment (AD&D) Insurance Policy is provided to Regular Members. List a beneficiary and a phone number below.

Beneficiary : Phone :


A person or entity who provides services to the Concession Industry.

q Fair / Festival (over 75,000 attendance) $150

q Fair / Festival (under 75,000 attendance) $100

q Manufacturer / Distributor / Supplier $150

q Carnival / Circus Operator $150

q Association / Special Services $150


Provide a detailed description of your business, products, and/or services below. This information will be used for your entry in the annual NICA Membership Directory and as keywords to search for your business on the NICA website.

q I authorize NICA to charge the agreed amount listed above to my credit card information provided above. I agree I will pay for this purchase in accordance with the issuing bank cardholder agreement.


q I authorize NICA to make automatic renewal payments for my Membership using the credit card information above. I shall update NICA with all changes to payment information or my intent to cancel automatic renewal payments prior to my next renewal month. Applicant’s signature Date

City : State:
Mailing Address: City : State: Zip: Primary Phone Number : Cell / Secondary Phone Number : Email: Website: Age Range: q 20-35 q 35-50 q 51-70 q 70+ q Other : NICA News Preference: q Mail q Email Referred by :
q Mr. q Mrs. q Ms. First Name: Last Name: Name of Business:
Cash q Check q Money Order #:
Visa q Mastercard q American Express q Discover Credit Card #: Security Code: Expiration Date: TOTAL: Signature of Credit Card Holder For Off ice Use Only Date: #: q Member Renewal
National Independent Concessionaires Association, Inc. 1043 E. Brandon Blvd., Brandon, FL 33511 Time Sensitive Mail • April 2024 Issue
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