Page 1




All beverage-related trademarks are owned by PepsiCo, Inc., its subsidiaries or affiliates.

Contents • April 2019 Articles & Features 04 This Month’s New & Renewal Members 05 President’s Message 05 Director’s Voice 07 Card’s Corner 07 Member Benefits Spotlight 08 Association Announcements 09 The 2019 NICA Membership Contest is Off and Running 11 Thoughts from a CCE 12 Lettuce Talk About Produce 14 Growing Our Social Media 16 The Remix in Reno 20 2019 Business Expo & Food Show Moments You May Have Missed! 21 You Can’t Stay in Your Corner of the Forest Revisited 22 SYNERGY: Kindness Encourages Repeat Business 24 From the Camera Roll... 26 Pursuing Your Potential!

Events & Contests 29 Coca-Cola Membership Contest Leaderboard 30 2019 Events Calendar

AdvertiSers 15 A to Z Portion Control Meats 06 & 30 Ad America 29 Allied Specialty Insurance 13 Fanestil Meats 28 Fare Foods 10 First Data 15 Hummel Group

06 JKJ Workforce 23 K&K Insurance 28 Mr. G’s Quality Cut Meats 02 Pepsi 19 Sysco 29 The Best Around Trailer Shells

“Together We Can!” Dedicated to strengthening relationships with the Fair, Festival, and Special Events Industries through effective communication, education, benefits, leadership, and solutions The 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: The information contained in this Publication is based upon sources believed to be reliable. Readers should not act without professional advice. Cover to Cover © 1993-2019 NICA, Inc. All Rights Reserved. This just in: April showers bring May flowers! April 2019 NICA News


This Month’s Newest Members! Dawn Beers

Robert Julian

Vanessae Moran

Paul Shephard

Samantha Brockelsby

George Kolias

Nick Nicora

Marion Stephenson

Josefina Chavez

Andrew Larkin

Bill Perlman

Maria Walker Devooght

Alfonso Ledesma

Stacy Ross

John Stewart

Frank Flood

Beverlie Lee

Julie Schmidt

Vinny Valentino

Jamie Frazier

Eza Mason

Jim Teece

Kayla Wentz

Jason Fromm

Harry Mason

Validity Marketing LLC Live Oak, FL Sellallways Corp Fallon, NV

Fun Biz Concessions, Inc. Deer Park, TX Superior Land Concessions Sarasota, FL World’s Best Sundae Avon, CT Frazier Fair Foods New Paris, OH Spaghetti Eddies South Daytona, FL

RTJ Concessions Inc. Dunstable, MA Bop’s Kettle Corn Tallahassee, FL Ferrero USA, Inc. Parsippany, NJ Ledesma Concessions Chula Vista, CA The Giddy Piggy Argillite, KY Brass Ring Amusements Fair Oaks, CA Brass Ring Amusements Fair Oaks, CA

Ledesma Concessions Chula Vista, CA Spectra Pleasanton, CA Cummington Fair Cummington, MA Smash Brothers Concession Plainfield, CT Schmidt Concessions Conneautville, PA Ashland, OR

Good Food Gluten Free Corp Eden, NY Stephenson Family Concessions DBA Duncan Concessions / European Foods Williamsport, IN J and J Concessions Inc. Indianapolis, IN Valentino’s London Broil Plant City, FL Big Fun Enterprises LLC Keil, WI

Welcome to all 25 of our New Members! Each referral is an entry in the Coca-Cola Membership Contest. See page 29 for current leaderboard. “Together We Can!”

This Month’s Member Renewals Randy Brown

Brown’s Concessions, Inc. Paris, TX (2015)

Joe Cetor

Forever Concession Trailers LLC Austintown, OH (2016)

Kristy Coleman

Coleman Concessions & Equipment Lakeland, FL (2016)

David Drake

Drake Concessions Lancaster, OH (2008)

Randy Drake

The Zaar, LLC Eustis, FL (2018)

Adriaan Erasmus

Lee’s Concessions Fairbault, MN (2018)

Melissa Erasmus

Lee’s Concessions Fairbault, MN (2018)


April 2019 NICA News

James Fraser

L. Allen Meyers

Lori Southerland

Jennifer Fraser

Todd Myers

Mark Stone

Alan Harrington

Hari Paizis

Dominic Vivona

Rick Kasinak

Jeremy Parsons

Jerry Walker

Frank Kastl

Zack Sanders

Ted Wentz

Donna Kramer

Kelly Schmitz

Lora Westphal

Guy Leavitt

Roger Sharp

Katie Wilson

Steve Lepley

Angelica Ward

Big Jim’s Concessions Firebaugh, CA (2007) Big Jim’s Concessions Firebaugh, CA (2007) We Have Your Flag Mulino, OR (2017) Pacific Coast Concession Cardiff by the Sea, CA (2012) Kastl Amusements Wildomar, GA (2018) Floyd’s Enterprizes Reinholds, PA (2018) Ray Cammack Shows, Inc. Laveen, AZ (2016) Cumberland Valley Concessions Bedford, PA (2015)

Myers Amusements Mount Lookout, WV (2017) Smoke Shack BBQ Shobonier, IL (2014) Paizis Concessions, Inc. Fort Smith, AR (2008) Clay County Fair Spencer, IA (2014) Oasis Concessions McLean, VA (2017) Del Mar Fairgrounds Solana Beach, CA (2013) Sharp Concepts Paso Robles, CA (2010) Wheelock Rides / CAC Concessions Syracuse, NY (2015)

Lori’s Concessions, Inc. Vista, CA (2007) M. Stone Concessions Edgewater, FL (2014) Amusements of America Mt. Pleasant, SC (2014) Walker Concessions Myakka City, FL (2014) Big Fun Enterprises LLC Keil, WI (2018) Carnival Eats and Treats LLC North Fort Myers, FL (2018) Beak Amusements Greshom, SC (2015) Thank you to all 30 Renewal Members for your support! “Together We Can!”

President’s Message Kathy Ross, CCE, President

and winners will be announced in August’s issue of NICA News. Online applications are preferred (via, but printed applications “Whether you think you can or think you can’t – you’re are also available upon request. Contact the NICA Office at with all inquiries. right.” —Henry Ford There are both academic and vocational Pursuing an education scholarships available. We are awarding one at is no easy feat—it requires $4000, one at $3000, sponsored by Coca-Cola, four dedication, commitment, at $2000 each, and six at $1000 each for academic time and money. NICA is endeavors. There will be two Gene O’Brien proud to provide $25,000 in Vocational Scholarships for $2000 each. scholarships for 2019. We want to thank Coca-Cola for the donation of Making a commitment to education often $3000 to be awarded in honor of CCE-designated translates to years of long hours spent studying NICA Members. The Certified Concessionaire and an equal number of hours finding the dollars Executive (CCE) Program was developed to to pay for it all. The return can take years to realize, but like many students learn, achieving an recognize the professionalism of Concessionaires. education is always worth it despite the difficulty. The designation represents a deep understanding and respect for the Fair and Festival business and NICA hopes to make the process a bit easier indicates that the titleholder will perform with the with the scholarship dollars we award. The scholarship program is open to any NICA Member highest level of professionalism. Consider applying for the CCE designation; visit for in good standing for three years (including the more details. current year), child of a new/current member. There are unending opportunities to learn new grandchild of a new/current member and an things and a reward is always appreciated; whether employee of a new/current member for six months. The deadline is June 1, 2019. Applicants it is a scholarship or a title, it is always worth the will be contacted with results in the month of July, work. I think you can do it! ▲

Director’s Voice

Vincent Nelson, CCE, Secretary

someone who has not joined us yet as a member, please sign them up. NICA Membership is just Get involved! As a member, there are lots under 1200 members; I feel of things that you can be a part of during the that number should be so much year. We have several events across the country, more. Being part of NICA has from golf outings to chili contests, from bowling so many great benefits. Not tournaments to bus trips to baseball games only the discounts we receive and many others in between; otherwise, you from our Benefit Partners such are always welcome to attend one of our rallies, as Pepsi and Check-Inn Direct, hosted by our Board or Regional Councils. but our monthly magazine as I have the pleasure of working with a great well. I do think the best benefit is getting to know team with the NICA Board of Directors and the our other members. We are all unique in what we Northeast Council. We may not all agree on the do. I’ve learned a lot from our members, and most direction that NICA should go in, but every one of us enjoy helping out our fellow members. of us has NICA’s best interests at heart. The Please encourage New Members. In the back past 14 months serving on the Board has been of this magazine there is the newest version of educational. “Together We Can!” ▲ the NICA Membership application. If you know April 2019 NICA News



President: Kathy Ross, CCE 1st Vice President: Don Delahoyde, CCE 2nd Vice President: Sandy Class Treasurer: Jay “Rocko” Russell Secretary: Vincent Nelson, CCE


Kim Barr, CCE Andrew “Bruno” Broomfield Carmel Dyer-Pittroff Kevin McGrath, CCE Mike Pence, CCE Daryl Whicheloe, CCE

Immediate Past President Dan Lusenhop

Past Presidents’ Council 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: Michelle Card

Communications & Marketing Manager : Jesse Willard Office & Membership Manager : Linda Frisco

West Council

Executive Manager of Councils & West Council Coordinator : Rey O’Day

Northeast Council, Southeast Council & Social Media Coordinator : Jessica Gottsche

National Reps

Northeast Council

Duane Fischer John Harkey David Higginbottom Charles Ivory, CCE Mike McGrath Kevin McGrath, II Etta Pence, CCE David Spann R. Josh Stremmel George Wandrey, Jr. Ted Wentz Nick White

Lindsey Constantine Kelly Grout Henry Mitchell Cameron Murray Vincent Nelson Eddie Porcelli, III

SOUtheast Council

Jody Conklin Samantha Fairlie Thomas Hodson, CCE Gentry Miller

Jeff Ames Kim Barr, CCE Jan Gary Ryan Long Ryann Newman Erica Quintero Steve Vartanian Jay Wells April Wood

Do you have any questions for us? Contact us at (813) 438-8926 or today!

Serving the Food Industry Since 1986







866.674.7749 6

April 2019 NICA News

Card’s Corner Michelle Card, Executive Director

In recent meetings with Kelly Bisbey, National Account Representative for Pepsi, Kelly shared new information that will be useful and beneficial if you are registered in the NICA/ Pepsi program. 1. You can purchase Pepsi from Fare Foods and Sysco and still receive the NICA national rate. 2. Your Pepsi purchase through Fare Foods and Sysco will count towards your annual rebate. 3. 20 oz bottled Pepsi products may be purchased through third party Vendors. However, NICA does not have a national pricing agreement on bottled products. We are proud of the continued partnership with PepsiCo and encourage you to take advantage of the savings opportunities afforded in our new

Advertise Your Business in

“More Pepsi News... & it’s GREAT NEWS!”

5-year contract. If you are not currently registered in the NICA/Pepsi program, contact Linda Frisco at our office at or (813) 530-4748 or log into your Online Member Account by visiting and select the sign up from the Benefits listing. If you have immediate needs concerning your NICA/Pepsi account, please contact Kelly Bisbey at Should you have a Member Benefit in mind that you would like NICA to consider, please do not hesitate to contact me to discuss. I can be reached by email at or by calling the NICA Office at (813) 438-8926. ▲


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.

We have a variety of sizes to suit your ad—contact us at (813) 438-8926,, or for additional information on sizes, prices, bulk rates, and more!

Member Benefits Spotlight One of the most important features of NICA Membership is the cost saving benefits that are offered on many items and services that serve your business. This month we focus on Graybar. Founded in 1869, Graybar is a Fortune 500 company that procures, warehouses, and delivers tens of thousands of electrical supplies, communications and data products, components and related services to its customers. Graybar is also one of North America’s largest employeeowned companies, employing thousands of men and women at more than 290 North American

distribution centers. As a NICA Member, you receive special pricing on many of their products. Check the back of your Membership Card for NICA’s Graybar account number to receive your discounts on purchases at any location or online at You can also call (855) 347-2839 to order. ▲ April 2019 NICA News



Announcements Do you have any announcements that you would like to share with the membership? The deadline is the first day of each preceding month for your target issue. Contact us at (813) 438-8926 or today!

New Airgas NICA Account Manager Announced Sharon Bayly is your new contact when setting up your Airgas account or ordering supplies for 2019. Contact her at or (877) 717-4540, extension 11260, for all inquiries. If you are new to this program or haven’t yet signed up, you are required to enroll with Source1 Purchasing first by calling (855) 888-6422 or visiting ▲

Congratulations to the Stremmel & Wells Families NICA Members Morgan and Josh Stremmel, Top Notch Concessions, had a baby boy named Jase born on January 27, 2019. Jay and Carol Wells, Wells Concessions, are the proud grandparents. Welcome Jase Stremmel to the NICA family and Congratulations to all! ▲

Do You Use Pepsi? Send NICA Your Receipts! This year we are continuing the new protocol when it comes to tracking your Pepsi purchases so the NICA Members who utilize the Pepsi pricing and rebate program can make sure they get their full rebate. Whenever you make a purchase, send a picture of your receipt/ticket/invoice to—we will assist you in case your receipts have degraded by the November due date. For more details, visit ▲

Director Nomination Deadline is June 1st It’s that time again! 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. If this sounds like something you are interested in, we invite you to participate in the nomination process. To qualify, all that is required is a signed “Statement of Commitment,” an “Election Nomination Form” with 10 signatures supporting the nomination, a biography, and a photograph suitable for publication. The due date to get all materials to the office is June 1, 2019. All forms can be found online at and emailed to, faxed to (813) 803-8460, or mailed to 1043 E. Brandon Blvd. Brandon, FL 33511. This is your chance to be a part of the governing body of this great organization, so don’t delay! Call the NICA Office at (813) 438-8926 if you have any questions or need the forms sent to you. ▲

Attention Members—Do You Need Our Help? Is your Fair in search of the next big thing, a unique item, or even some all-around help for your Fair in the realm of Concessions, Commercial Exhibits, or Straight Sales? Alternatively, are you a 8

April 2019 NICA News

On Your Marks... Get Set... Go!

The 2019 NICA Membership Contest is Off and Running in seven New Members while hosting NICA events as part of the NICA West Council. The Carnival NICA is a membership organization founded to Cruise Package was won by Past President Rick serve its Members by strengthening relationships Busse, CCE, Dr. Vegetable, for adding Ethan with the Fair, Festival and Special Events Nicholson, Dr. Vegetable, to NICA’s Membership. Industries through effective communication, Each one had their name drawn randomly at education, benefits, leadership, and solutions. this year’s Gala in February 2019. For this year’s Growing our membership is what vitalizes current membership totals see page 29. “Together We Can!” Inviting new members and Get your name in the game! Ask fellow renewing current members is something we, as Concessionaires and Commercial Vendors “Are members, should be doing whenever possible. you a NICA Member?” even if you think they Coca-Cola Refreshments generously sponsors are. If they say “Yes,” then engage them in a our NICA Membership Contest with three different conversation about what Benefits they find useful prizes. Any NICA Member who successfully refers by looking through your 2019 Member Benefits a new or former Member receives one chance Guide with them. If they say “No,” then invite them for each one to win $500. Horscht Schacht, to join. Applications (both downloadable and German Specialty Food, won that award this year digital) can be found at, on the for bringing in Tyler Schacht, TSE Events and inside back cover of each issue of NICA News, or Entertainment, Inc. Board Member Kim Barr, CCE, by request from the NICA Office. Call us today at Pacific Crest Concessions, won $500 by bringing (813) 428-8926 for more details. Good luck! ▲

Rey O’Day, Executive Manager of Councils

Concessionaire or Vendor who needs to sell equipment or in need of staff? Whatever the need—we can help! We will also replicate your listings online at to maximize views. We can provide an excellent resource to both sides of the Industry; your ad has a maximum limit of 50 words, with the option of including a photo. Pricing is flexible and starts at only $25 an ad; bulk rates available. We can work with you to give you the best ad possible. Contact us today at or (813) 530-4750 to learn more! ▲

Southeast Council Holds Successful Fundraiser The Southeast Council will celebrate its one year anniversary in May, and has already hit the ground running. After a successful Inaugural Rally at the North Carolina State Fair in 2018, the Southeast Council launched an aggressive fundraising campaign to sell opportunities to win a coveted Cummins Allison Jetscan Currency Counter. This piece of equipment can make the difference between taking hours to close your operation each night, and getting a few extra winks at night. At several of the early 2019 Fairs, Southeast Council representatives visited members and professionals in the Industry to promote the opportunity, selling 600 tickets in just six weeks. The winning ticket was pulled at the 2019 NICA Gala, held during Florida Week in Tampa, FL. The lucky winner was Robert Santorelli, owner and operator of The Corner Grill, out of Altamont, NY. Bob was excited to bring his new currency counter home with him; congratulations! We would like to thank everyone for their support in this fundraiser. Funds raised by the Councils go to scholarships, Council activities, and education. ▲ April 2019 NICA News


Are you ready for a rush in credit card sales?

As a valued member of NICA, you can get great savings on credit card processing. NICA and First Data® have teamed up to make doing business easier by letting you securely and reliably accept more payment types and appeal to more customers credit, check, cash, debit, gift cards, mobile pay, and more. With a First Data payment processing account, you get: • Low Preferred Rates – As a NICA member, First Data helps you keep more of each transaction with no early termination fees.

• Reduced Equipment Pricing – As a NICA member, you receive reduced pricing on the Clover Business Solutions.

• 24/7 Customer Service – Your business never stops, so neither does our support. • Security and Reliability – Help your business be EMV® and PCI compliant with industryleading security.

• Trusted Global Payments Leader – We help businesses around the world with simple solutions that drive success.

Get ready for the rush & save today! Call Tina Hollis, Senior Commercial Business Consultant at 239.287.8221 or

Clover Station

Clover Mobile

Clover Mini

Clover Flex

Clover Go

© 2017 First Data Corporation. All Rights Reserved. The FIRST DATA and CLOVER names, logos and related trademarks and service marks are owned by First Data Corporation and are registered or used in the U.S. and many foreign countries. EMV® is a registered trademark or trademark of EMVCo, LLC in the United States and other countries. All trademarks, service marks and trade names referenced in this material are the property of their respective owners.

Thoughts from a This month’s Statements of Communications & Management Philosophy are from our 2019 inductees: Vincent Nelson, CCE, Secretary, Jeff Ross, CCE, Ross Concessions, and Kathy Ross, CCE, President.

Vincent Nelson, CCE I’ve learned over the years that my management skills have needed to change. I at one point was the boss no one wanted to work for. Now my employees come back every year they can. You need to care for your employees as much as possible; without them, you cannot succeed in our business. I learned in my time as an owner, I do not need to do everything. Have trust in your employees; if you trained them properly they will get the job done the way you wanted. If they do not, then retrain them; it’s not always easy when it’s 100 degrees out. Communication is key—know your employees. If they can only handle one thing at a time, only have them do one thing at a time. As owners of Food Concessions, we all need to be professional, clean, and profitable. The Fairgoer most times think we are all the same business, so do your best to stand out. We are there for their enjoyment. ▲

Jeff Ross, CCE TEAM: The old saying that there is “No ‘I’ in team,” would sum up my Philosophy of Communications and Management. • T: Teach— a person cannot perform a job without just being taught the job. • E: Evaluate— tell the person how they are doing; shake the good, the bad, and the ugly. • A: Assist— help the person, side by side. Most people, when shown a procedure, can repeat it easily. • M: Mentor— continue to support them in the job and offer to stand by their side until the job is done.

I never expect anyone to complete a job that I wouldn’t be right by their side doing. ▲

Kathy Ross, CCE NICA’s motto is “Together We Can!” and it is done best through communication. Communication is defined as “imparting or exchanging of information.” NICA based its inception on this idea of

communication. My Communications and Management Philosophy is based on this same principal. If a problem hasn’t been identified, then it can not be rectified. Your problem is then my problem and together we can fix it. I attempt to have a personal rapport with my staff as well as my Fair Management so that we feel free enough to share anything. Most often when the concerns of one is shared, a reasonable solution can be obtained, and that problem is an issue for more than one. Together with effective communication and a mutual understand of a problem, anything can be fixed. ▲ The Certified Concessionaire Executive Program was developed to recognize the professionalism of Concessionaires. The title of CCE represents a deep understanding and respect for the Fair and Festival business. This designation is awarded only after a detailed application process has been successfully met. Applications are due this year by October 1st, 2019. Once approved, the official ceremony of presentation takes place during the NICA Business Expo and Fare Foods 2020 Food Show. Visit for more information on requirements and instructions on how to apply. ▲ April 2019 NICA News


LETTUCE TALK ABOUT PRODUCE to say that many of you (and you know who you are) told me that most of the lemons come from People ask me all the time, the West Coast growers. I can tell you that even “What is the secret to buying if you are buying lemons from California they can great produce at a good be shipped to the opposite side of the country for price and having consistency about $5 per case. Even if your price was $5 higher throughout my event, and you paid $29 per case you’re still saving a lot of especially the long events of money. many days?” So when someone says “When life gives you My response is ALWAYS the lemons yada yada yada...” Tell them that they same: “It’s all about the pregive you lemonade, and when purchased right, Fair preparations and working with your suppliers more money in your pocket. Volume is the key to to insure their buyers and growers are aware of cost savings in produce. Shipping is still going to the volume we generate when we roll into town.” cost money, but a pallet of product is still $200 The biggest misconception about produce is the to ship whether there are 20 cases on that pallet fact that everyone thinks produce grows on trees! or 40 cases on that pallet. The importance of our Well, with exception to my pun, while produce NICA buying group is significant. The NICA Sysco does grow on just about everything, it can’t be Marketplace helps to solve a lot of the produce consistent if your supplier doesn’t have a good problems we all experience with pricing. The reason idea of total volume, and more so if you call your we get this kind of pricing is because our Sysco supplier the night before you open and expect top supplier pulls all our buying volume together and quality and best price on short notice. It’s crazy can make BIG buys with BIG savings and we all to think that when produce looks the worst, is the benefit. Sometimes it’s even more advantageous smallest in size, and tastes horrible—IT COSTS when there are a few Fairs in close proximity and THE MOST! close to the same dates. NICA Members can get Let’s take lemons for example. I consistently with their suppliers in advance and give them good get great prices on lemons (140’s and sometimes counts of expected usage. This helps your buyers 165’s) because I work with grower/supplier get best pricing and best quality. Sysco is now relationships as far out as 90 days. This takes a looking at going direct to the growers and getting lot of discipline and is tough to do but it makes a them to commit to certain volumes and getting HUGE difference to your bottom line. For example, better pricing. If any NICA Member can save even last year when we were paying $24 for a case of $1 a case on produce, the savings are significant lemons on the West Coast, the rest of the country over the entire year. It’s all about the ART OF THE (including Florida) was paying as much as $49 BUY. a case. I know many of our East Coast members Other things to consider in today’s Fair business sell a lot of lemonade shake-ups and use a is, of course, THE LABOR. As many of us are forced tremendous amount of lemons. Think of what to pay significantly higher wages and many hours your bottom line would look like if you saved $25 are racking up each week, you might get with your per case and used 200 to 300 cases of lemons at supplier to buy produce that is fully prepared. A few a Fair. That’s a savings from $5,000 to $7,500 for great examples are Better Burger Lettuce (basically just ONE ITEM. Giving your produce buyer ample perfect lettuce leaves cleaned and prepped so you time to source deals, and get with the growers have NO waste and you have NO labor to clean the ahead of time, gives them leverage on pricing. product and throw more than a third of it away: To bring my lemon story around full circle, I want stems, cores, ugly leaves, etc.). While the cost for

Dominic Palmieri, CCE, Past President


April 2019 NICA News

that case of lettuce is $7 a case, higher the yield is much greater and there is NO labor involved. This also contributes to a better bottom line if this circumstance works for you. Other items like fajitas pre-cut can save a lot of time and mess in your stands. A suggestion to those of you using peppers and onions chopped: Get your supplier to order the mix in a larger thicker cut so they don’t break down so fast on your grills. Instead of a standard quarter inch julienne, you may consider a half inch julienne cut and you will burn less on the grill, throw away less, and the product holds at least three times longer than the thinner cut. While price is important, be sure you are calculating the cost of the labor. As our labor circumstances are changing rapidly, there may be significant cost savings in looking at other produce options. “Just cause we always done it this way,” doesn’t mean it’s still the best way to do it. Many efficiencies in equipment have given more options to consider in the world of produce and processing. These efficiencies have opened new ways to save money while increasing the level quality and overall Guest experience in the Fair Food world. Many of you like to have a difference in

your operations. I think this is a great option for INDEPENDENT OPERATORS. We don’t all want to have the same or be the same. However, if several of you get together with your sales reps, you may see that the volume you collectively share can save you thousands of dollars by the end of the season. There can be economies of scale and this can help your bottom line . I hope this helps give some perspective of some things to consider. Many of you are already doing some of these and are working with your suppliers months in advance. None of this is gospel, just a good snapshot of what is working in one part of the country. I hope this helps give some ideas and sparks your interest to look at the benefits that NICA has to offer. NICA has a tremendous Business Expo and Food Show with Fare Foods in February, a great Food Show at the WFA Convention in January and now Sysco is having POP UP Food Shows where manufacturers are coming to a Fair and hosting lunch (usually during set up). They are giving miniseminars on cost saving food service and sharing some of the newest food products to inspire those amazing menus all of you have. ▲

800-658-1652 620-342-6354 fax 620-342-8910 All Meat Hot Dogs 10# Box:

Pre-Skewered 7” (9/1) Hot Dog Pre-Skewered 6” (10/1) Hot Dog Pre-Skewered 10” (6/1) Hot Dog Pre-Skewered 11.25” (4/1) Jumbo Hot Dog Regular Hot Dog 10” (6/1) Regular Hot Dog 7” (6/1) Pre-Skewered 10” (2.5/1) Jumbo Polish Jumbo Polish 10” (2.5/1) Polish Sausage (3/1)


Pre-Skewered Bacon Wrap Hot Dog Pre-Skewered Jalapeño & Cheddar Hot Dog

BBQ Pulled Pork Tubs (5-lb tubs) 20# Box

ALL BEEF Hot Dogs 10# Box: Pre-Skewered 6” (10/1) Hot Dog Pre-Skewered 10” (6/1) Hot Dog

Chicken Hot Dogs 10# Box: Pre-Skewered 6” (10/1) Hot Dog Pre-Skewered 10” (6/1) Hot Dog

Custom Sizes Available with Volume Requirements

• USDA Certified meat processor located in Emporia, Kansas • Over 75 Years experience in the meat business • Reputation for producing high quality cooked meats in the Midwest • 3rd party food safety audited by SAI Global

Regular unstuck Hot Dogs are available.

No longer need to inventory sticks • FDA recognizes food safety advantages • Pre-Skewered Hotdogs save time and labor

Distributed by Fare Foods • 800-651-1601 •

April 2019 NICA News


Growing Our Social MediA Jessica Gottsche, Social Media Coordinator

Did you know? An estimated 77 percent of Americans have a social media account. Social media can have several different functions, including learning and developing new ideas; discovering trends; connecting with new audiences, anywhere; bringing attention to our companies, organizations, or personal lives; and of course building our brand. Social media platforms are easily accessible in any place, by installing any of their apps on your smart phone, and simply connecting. It allows us to stay connected to the businesses that we care about, and to our friends and families wherever they may be. Social media provides us with an opportunity to network and connect with like-minded individuals and with companies and organizations that we support. Web-based social networks can be with us wherever we go, which makes it a perfect way for our members to connect with NICA. Facebook is still the most popular social media network, boasting over two billion users worldwide and is the most powerful and influential of all of the social networks. NICA uses Facebook to continuously update members and followers about important information in the Industry, related to educational opportunities, labor concerns, and general information. Have you liked us on Facebook? Followed NICA on Instagram? Tweeted about us? We have over 1,000 followers on Facebook, which represents over 80% of our members. This offers you, as our members, over 1,000 professionals in our Industry to connect with. Throughout each week, we post several times, sharing important updates on the industry, fun facts about our sister organizations and news about your Association. NICA was built on communication, and the most effective way to communicate with our members in real time, is through social media. But, are you seeing our posts? Many of you may have over 500 friends, businesses, causes

“So, Are You Socializing With Us?”

and organizations on your feed. How can you make sure that you aren’t missing the important updates that st6x[d;sFvv provides? The answer is to be sure that you are engaging with us. The Facebook algorithm restricts content that may not be of interest for you. Have you noticed that you continue to see posts from the same 1520 friends, but are missing content from many others? If you don’t engage, Facebook assumes that you are not interested. The easiest way to fix this is to visit the NICA Facebook page at, and start to like, comment and share our content. If you can commit to doing this over the course of a couple of weeks, Facebook will recognize that you need to hear from us, and will make sure that NICA updates are at the top of your newsfeed! These same methods can also be used on most other social media networks to get a similar result. So, are you ready to get engaged in a fun social media project? We’re launching a photo contest, using our brand-new hashtag #MyFairFave! Remember, by putting a hashtag (#) in front of a term in your social media post, it allows that term to become searchable, making it easier for users to find a specific theme or content. For instance, we often use #TogetherWeCan and #FoodFace, and can then search for it on a social site to see if anyone else is using it. Using the hashtag #MyFairFave, on Facebook or Twitter, show us a photo or video of your favorite part of being in the Fair Industry. Is it the comradery? The friends you have made on the road? The Conventions? Greeting our guests? The owner of photo or video with the most likes will receive a NICA Swag Bag at the completion of the contest. If you would like more information on the benefits of social media, and how to connect with us, please email Jessica Gottsche, NICA’s Social Media Coordinator, at ▲

Follow us online for the latest announcements!

Visit or search NICA on social media 14

April 2019 NICA News


focused on


“One of the cool things that Phil Teague did was, he came out and actually worked in our business...” -Ryan Kuzma, Linn Enterprises Inc.




Workers’ Compensation April 2019 NICA News



in Reno

Rey O’Day, Executive Manager of Councils The NICA West Council begins each year by participating fully in the WFA (Western Fairs Association) Convention. The theme was “Remix” so as we planned our events, we asked “How do we change up the recipe? What do we keep doing, stop doing or do better?” After many discussions and much planning, the West Council arrived with a 14-page plan. A big thank you to April Wood, Rawlings Concessions, and Drew Smith for bringing the Drew Smith and April golf cart and many other Wood, West Council. We supplies, to Ryan Long, were all glad to see April up and about following L&L Concessions, for back surgery! helping Rey sort the items needed from the warehouse, to Jesse Willard, Communications Manager, for making flyers and a video, and to Steve Vartanian, Vartanian Concessions, for delivering the booth and booth supplies—all accomplished in winter storm weather! Two years ago in Reno we provided door prizes and cash awards for the opening night

Marla Calico, IAFE, Tim Fennel, San Diego County Fair, and Rey O’Day, Executive Manager of Councils


April 2019 NICA News

Bob Jackson, Jackson Enterprises, and Pete Holohan, Good Source Solutions, with their bowling partners

The Reunion begins at the Bowling Tournament: Cie Smith, Dane Baldwin, Dale Smith, CCE, Dara Baldwin, Rich Brander, Teresa Brander, and Lori Southerlend

WFA Service Member Bowling Tournament. It was a positive experience so we did it again. Many helped hand out door prize tickets while Kim Barr, Pacific Crest Concessions, kept the door prizes going with the help of Jason Rariden, Viking Agency. Pete Holohan, Good Source Solutions, Pam Shultz, IG Presents remarked, “It was a and WFA Service Member Director (she handed out over fun way to meet new 100 door prize tickets), Bart people and catch up Noll, All Alaskan Racing Pigs, with others; it made Tammie Ryan, Source Mgmt networking throughout Company, and Jason Rariden, the convention more Viking Agency (he announced successful.” all the door prize winners)

April Wood and Steve Vartanian, West Council, presenting the Lassen County Fair team with their 1st place prize

On Monday, 2018 President Dan Lusenhop spoke to the General Assembly on NICA’s behalf. Meanwhile Jay Wells, Wells Concessions, Brenda and Jeff Ames, Ames and Jan Gary, Leap Concessions, Kim and Alan of Faith Concessions, Barr, Pacific Crest Concessions, made sure the 16 Jeff Saty, Sysco-Portland, and Jim Teece, Speaker Vendors in the NICA Extraordinaire Sysco Marketplace were moving in smoothly. A big thank you goes to the Source1 Purchasing team and Sysco for booking the space, and to Linda Frisco, Office and Membership Manager, in the NICA Office for handling the paperwork. Alan Barr and Steve Vartanian set up the NICA booth and Kim and April made it functional and pretty. (Double duty: you know if you set it up, you have to tear it down too.) Meanwhile, Ryann Newman assembled the items we had for the Blue Ribbon silent auction basket. Teamwork makes it happen! Kathy Ross, CCE, 2019 During the two trade President, and Ryan Long, L&L Concessions, share a show days, everyone shift at the NICA booth works shifts where they sign up members, invite attendees to sessions and the NICA Membership Meeting, sell fundraising tickets, direct people to the NICA Sysco Marketplace Vendor booths, answer questions and take photos. Some things of note: Daryl Whicheloe, CCE, Director, thought he had sold the most golf cart tickets; that is, until Wendy Long very effectively out sold him! Go Girl! With two competitors like that we had a great ROI on the fundraiser. Teddy Archer, Dynamite Kettle Corn, had the winning ticket for the golf cart. The NICA Sysco Marketplace had a “Pirates” theme, so we also had a treasure chest of gift cards as a very popular prize. Ryan April Wood and Jay Wells, Needham, Needham West Council, with golf Concessions, won the gift cart winner Teddy Archer, card treasure chest. Dynamite Kettle Corn

The NICA Booth at the NICA Sysco Marketplace

The NICA Sysco Marketplace consisted of Whirley, Good Source Solutions, Ventura Oils, Heritage Bags, Fresh Point, Smithfield, Sysco European Imports, McCain, Langlois Company, Sysco Specialty Meats, Conagra, Donna Italia, Blue Bunny, First Data, Tyson, Source1 Purchasing, Sysco and NICA. We were honored to have Lynn Schepers, Sysco VP of National Accounts, Rebecca Kelley, Sysco VP of National Accounts, Emma Ryder, Source1 Purchasing Senior Director of National Accounts, David Koretsky, National Business Development, and Joshua Coleman, Program Development Manager, present and guiding our NICA Sysco Marketplace Program. Monday evening we had our traditional NICA, Source1 Purchasing, and Sysco team dinner. A good time was had by all. Each day NICA hosted workshops. Our format is that a team of two Council Members checks the room, places a “thank you” item and water for the panelists, welcomes attendees, hands out door prize tickets, takes photos, and awards two door prizes at the end of each session. Rey O’Day, Executive Manager of Councils, served as the moderator at each session. On Monday, NICA West hosted 122 attendees at the “Trends in Mobile Food and Beverage” Panel, presented by Panelists Nick Nicora, Spectra Vice President of Business Development, Nate Janousek, Fun Biz Concessions, and Dominic Palmieri, CCE, Odyssey Foods. These Industry professionals covered technology, changing tastes, new products, recipes, design, equipment, use of space and It was standing room only more. We appreciate for the “Food and Beverage their leadership. Trends” Panel on Monday

►► “Remix” continued on page 18 April 2019 NICA News


“Remix” continued from page 17 ►► Tuesday, NICA West hosted 136 attendees at “Making Fairs Affordable Again,” presented by Panelists Don Hillman, Rey O’Day speaks Hillman Consulting, during the “Making Fairs Kathy Kramer, CEO, OC Affordable Again” Panel Fair, Miguel Santana, President and CEO, LA County Fair, Jan Gary, Leap of Faith Concessions, and Jennifer Giordano, CCE, C&C Concessions. These Industry professionals covered the responsibility of event producers, building promotions around yield management, the value of building community relationships, the importance of length of stay to per-capita spending, and the cumulative effect of rent and fee hikes. We appreciate their leadership. On Wednesday, Michelle Card, Executive Director, led “Strengthening Relationships with Sister Organizations.” During her presentation she shared the many successes that OABA, IAFE, NICA, WFA, IFEA, and other State Associations have had by working together on shared concerns and projects. We appreciate her leadership and attendance at the WFA Convention. On Wednesday, Kim Barr hosted the NICA Membership Meeting where Michelle Card awarded her with her Certified Concessionaire Executive (CCE) title. It represents a standard of professionalism that she and her company definitely represent. Dan Lusenhop, 2018 President, presented his “State of the Organization” message Kim Barr receiving her CCE Award from Dan Lusenhop, and Kathy Ross, 2019 2018 President, and Michelle President, presented Card, Executive Director her “State of the Future” message. Both were inspiring. Ryan Long introduced his longtime friend Jimmy Howell, Safety and Security Specialist, who spoke to us about “Personal, Business and Fair Safety.” The meeting closed with a 13 minute celebration of Food Network videos, in which so many of our members have been featured. Food at Fairs is creative, tasty, and newsworthy. It is also the number one reason most Fairgoers attend Fairs! 18

April 2019 NICA News

“Making Fairs Affordable Again” Panel: Don Hillman, Hillman Consulting, Kathy Kramer, OC Fair, Miguel Santana, LA County Fair, Jan Gary, Leap of Faith Concessions, and Jennifer Giordano, CCE, C&C Concessions

There are two events that will be the topic of future articles in the NICA News. One was a meeting with many of the Sysco Operating House leaders and sales teams that make the NICA Sysco Marketplace successful. The other was a collaborative session with the WFA Industry Standards Committee and the NICA West Council, which featured Panelists who are practicing our Industry Standards/Best Practices successfully and passionately. They share stories that touch many lives in positive ways. We are proud that Nate and Stephanie Janousek, Fun Biz Concessions, won the Barham Award for their creative design of two State-of the-Industry food locations: The Hangar at the Minnesota State Fair Sarah Cummings, WFA, and Backyard at the State presenting the Barham Fair of Texas. Hopefully Award to Nate and we will tempt them to Stephanie Janousek, write an article about the Fun Biz Concessions, pictured with their process and results. We daughters Sofia and are also very honored that Audrey Executive Director Michelle Card, a trio of NICA Presidents (Dominic Palmieri, CCE, Dan Lusenhop, and Kathy Ross, CCE), and Treasurer Jennifer Giordano, CCE all attended. We welcome Jan Gary, Leap of Faith Concessions, and Ryann Newman, Fruit Caboose, to the West Council in an exercise of “baptism by fire.” NICA is especially grateful for the ongoing committed work of the West Council: Jeff Ames, Ames Concessions, Kim Barr, CCE, Pacific Crest Concessions, Ryan Long, L&L Concessions, Erica Quintero, JLQ Concessions, Steve Vartanian, Vartanian Concessions Management, Jay Wells, Wells Concessions, Daryl Whicheloe, CCE, Southern Oregon Food and Beverage, and April Wood, Rawlings Concessions. “Together We Can Do Meaningful Work!” ▲

Sysco is proud to be the partner of choice for all of your foodservice supplies. We welcome the kick off to an exciting Fair Season!

Go to to learn more and find out how we can meet your unique needs.

2019 Business Expo & Food Show Moments You May Have Missed! Tom McCarthy, Wes Heinkel, and Denny Heinkel, Heinkel’s Packing Company, showing off some tasty turkey legs

Steve Mason and Lexie Gentleman, Coca-Cola, serving samples to attendees

The friendly faces of the A to Z Meats booth

Steven Schmader, IFEA, describing the importance of organizations working together


April 2019 NICA News

Recognition of 2019 CCE Recipients Kathy Ross, CCE, Jeff Ross, CCE, Jennifer Giordano, CCE, Richard George, CCE, and Vincent Nelson, CCE during the General Membership Meeting

Sandee O’Brien, CCE, Past Board, supplying leis at the entrance to the Gala

Past Presidents Tim O’Brien, CCE, Dominic Palmieri, CCE, and Russ Harrison, CCE sharing a laugh leading up to the Hall of Fame Award presentation

Eddie Porcelli, III, Northeast Council, was the winner of the lottery ticket drawing during the Gala

Bob Johnson, OABA, addressing the crowd after receiving a retirement gift from NICA

Forrest Graves, Jose Barron, Piper Graves, and James Hamilton, Mr. G’s Quality Cut Meats

RoboLabs demonstrating their popular floating cotton candy product

Elliott Leniton and Lewis Shaver, USHealth Advisors

Congratulations to Fare Foods for celebrating 25 years!

►► “Moments” continued on page 27

You Can’t Stay in Your Corner of the Forest John Leamer, Director, Erie County Fair The complete quote from Winnie the Pooh is “You can’t stay in your corner of the Forest waiting for others to come to you. You have to go to them sometimes.” I quoted that in my article back in 2015 entitled “Why I Went.” The point then and now is that in spite of social media, face to face interaction is a very powerful tool in communications. When I attend the convention in Tampa I am not selling anything and I am not buying anything. Or am I? Being part of Fair Management, I sit on the Board looking at costs, programs and future grounds, and building development. I do not hire Concessionaires, nor do I force a particular Concessionaire onto our Concessions Manager. However, I do look at the operations of every Concessionaire at our Fair, their customer service by their employees, the presentation of the food joints, and the quality of the food served. So why do I attend a conference like the NICA Business Expo and Fare Foods Food Show each year in Tampa, or any other conference for that matter? The answer that seems to fit me the best is that I want to—not that I have to. Certainly I look at the various workshops or panel discussion topics. Not all of them grab my attention, but that doesn’t matter. If my attitude is receptivity then I will glean something out of most workshops. Gleaning something is exactly what happened this year when President Kathy Ross, CCE asked if I would be attending the morning workshop “Generation Forward.” For me, “Generation Forward” became the most meaningful workshop of the 2019 Business Expo since I come from the Management side of the Fair Industry, and not the Concessionaire side. I found that the conversation was mostly younger men and women, and rather intriguing, as the subject focused on “How?” • “How do I get into a Fair when I am in my early 20s?” • “How do I acquire a Concession Business and make it work when I have no experience?” • “How long does it take for a Fair to let you in?” These are not new questions. In fact they are the same questions that were asked 26 years ago when NICA started. But in thinking about


John Leamer, seated with Flora Leamer and Jackie Cammarano, showing off his cotton candy “gleaned” during the “New Techniques and Food Items” session at the NICA Business Expo and Fare Foods 2019 Food Show

the questions, they took me back to my favorite quote by Winnie the Pooh: “You can’t stay in your corner of the forest waiting for others to come to you. You have to go to them sometimes.” Living in the age of social media, and the anticipation of immediate response has its positive aspects. There is however the “Art of Networking,” the face to face encounter, the negotiation tactic, where trust, body language, and yes, deals are made. Networking is not dead my young friends. How do you get into a Fair? Get an appointment with a Fair Concession Manager. Prove yourself by working with a Concessionaire before he or she retires. Meet the decision makers at the Fairs they work at and let Management know your intentions. Attend conferences and meet your colleagues. Yes, they are competition, but they are also colleagues. Have business cards and share them. Why? Because the Fairs will not necessarily come to you, you have to come out of “your corner of the forest.” Thank you Kathy Ross, CCE for the invitation to attend ”Generation Forward”—it was a worthwhile workshop. ▲ April 2019 NICA News



Kindness Encourages Repeat Business Jeff Thornberry, CCE, Pristine Systems, Inc. dba “Gadgets and Neat Stuff” “While visiting the Minnesota State Fair, I watched an emotional encounter between Jeff Thornberry, CCE and a visiting Veteran. I asked him about what happened. He shared with me his philosophy, one of his “best practices,” and how the practice both fits into the business model for his business and the Fair Industry. It encompasses concepts like relationship building, synergy, repeat business, respect, and kindness. I asked him to put his thoughts into an article for NICA News. Please read and enjoy.” —Rey O’Day, Executive Manager of Councils Successful enterprises understand the benefits of maintaining lasting relationships with their customers. The fact is that the future success of Fairs, and thereby your business, depends on our capacity to work together toward that end. Many of the Fairs that I work report that 65 to 75 percent of Fairgoers come back the following year. Most successful Fair-based businesses understand this and will strive to build their own loyal followers from among these crowds. In doing so, they help drive repeat Fair attendance, perpetuating the cycle. My cash-and-carry retail business is built upon my understanding the value of repeat business. While I apply visual marketing techniques and good product selection to attract patrons, I don’t stop there. My staff is taught to view every interaction with a fairgoer as an opportunity to cement a long-term relationship. The mission is to evolve potential and casual customers into loyal fans who will seek us out

Jeff Thornberry, CCE serving Fairgoers at his stand


April 2019 NICA News

Jeff Thornberry, CCE, Pristine Systems, Inc. dba “Gadgets and Neat Stuff,” and Rey O’Day, Executive Manager of Councils, at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo

every year. My employees receive training and tools to achieve this goal! For example, every day at the Fair you see veterans of our armed forces identifying themselves by wearing symbols of their service, such as a hat or button. I encourage my team to acknowledge these servicemen and women in a unique and powerful way, one that demonstrates our appreciation and that leaves them appreciating us as well. This is intended to establish relationships that did not exist prior to these encounters. Amongst the array of gadgets we sell is a rather innocuous item, the P-38 can opener. It’s a bit of a surprise when we hand one to a veteran as a gift, saying, The P-38 can opener “Thank you for your service

to our country and welcome home.” The P-38, sometimes referred to by Marines as a “John Wayne,” is the opener that was included along with field rations (C-rations) that were issued to members of the United States Armed Forces beginning in World War II until the mid-1980s. Everyone who has served in the field during this period has used one. Today, it’s a great tool for campers, preppers, and gadgeteers alike. While we sell P-38s for profit, the gift is genuine and we expect nothing in return. Witnessing the gratitude and the flood of emotions drawn out by this unexpected gesture is very satisfying. You never know how someone will react. We have seen surprise, elation, and even tears. In many cases we are moved by the experience as much as the recipient of this kindness. I will forever be changed by one veteran who I caught off guard by this gift. He looked at me with wide eyes and then gazed down at the small piece of metal. His eyes welled up and he said in a quiet voice, “You have no idea how much this means to me,” and then he said in an even quieter, trembling voice, “I was a prisoner in Vietnam.” So powerful

and raw were the emotions of that moment that I was left unable to speak and had to take a break until I could compose myself. As is often the case, we had left an impression on one another that neither will ever forget. And I was reminded once again that Fairs are really in the business of “making memories.” The relationships that have been initiated by these efforts may or may not contribute to an immediate sale, but they definitely help to drive future Fair attendance and thereby future business. Every interaction you have with a Fairgoer is an opportunity to form a lasting relationship, one that impacts business year after year. What can you and your staff do to create positive relationships? How you answer can shape your Organization’s future, as well as that of your Fairs! ▲ For more than 25 years, Jeff and his wife, Jo, have owned and operate Pristine Systems, Inc. dba “Gadgets And Neat Stuff,” a Commercial Exhibit business selling small tools at State and County Fairs.

With over 65 years of insurance expertise, K&K protects concessionaires and vendors with affordable coverage designed for your needs. And when claims occur, our colleagues are here to respond quickly and effectively. Visit our website to quote and buy online.


K&K Insurance Group, Inc. is a licensed insurance producer in all states (TX license #13924); operating in CA, NY and MI as K&K Insurance Agency (CA license #0334819)

April 2019 NICA News


From the Camera Roll... Michelle Card, Executive Director, Rey O’Day, Executive Manager of Councils & Kathy Ross, CCE, President

Lisa and Mike Chambers, American Food Service, with the NICA News

Spaghetti Eddie’s Eddie Porcelli, Jr. and Eddie Porcelli, III, Northeast Council, christened their new Gautier trailer with family and staff at the Pasco County Fair

Pacific Crest Concessions: Mat Wells, Alan Barr and Therese Maham give a thumbs up to Kim Barr, CCE for a successful Opportunity Drawing fundraiser at the Utah State Fair

Ellany Johnson, Florida Strawberry Festival, speaks at this year’s Fair Partner Social

Jamie Frazier, Frazier’s Fair Foods


April 2019 NICA News

Jason Au, Tin Lizzie Concessions, buying tickets from Kim Barr, CCE

Tawney Price and 2020 Strawberry Festival Camping Spot Winner Tabby Fain, Taylor’s DoughBoy

James La Fratta, Perfection Confections, showing off his lottery ticket door prize

Heather Sattler, CCE, Sattler’s Leather and Hats, won a free membership!

Nathan and Madina Marcus, West Coast Weenies, with their tickets. They were married in November 2018 and they won the Opportunity Drawing. Congratulations!

Michelle Card, Executive Director, Eddie Porcelli, III, Northeast Council, and Linda Frisco, Office and Membership Manager

Doreen and Dave Miller, Miller’s Homemade Soft Pretzels

On March 5th, we joined together to support the Indian River Firefighters Benevolent Fund, OABA and NICA. We gathered at the Bigshots Golf Center in Vero Beach, FL; everyone had a great time playing golf and networking!

Dominic Palmieri, CCE, Past President, doing what he loves to do most: making a delicious meal!

The NICA West Team at the Poker and Bingo Social: Jay Wells, Wells Concessions, Jennifer Giordano, CCE, C&C Concessions, Dan Lusenhop, Past President, Rey O’Day, Executive Manager of Councils, and Steve Vartanian, Vartanian Concessions

Robin Ryan, K&R Concessions, won the door prize, presented by Kathy Ross, CCE, President: a popcorn themed throw blanket

John Strates, Strates Shows, won the coveted Golden Golf Club for his high score

The Arizona State Fair Poker The Arizona State Fair Bingo Tournament gets serious! Social was just as exciting

Mike Broad, Broad Concessions

Janet Smith and Rita Wynn, Smitty’s Buttermilk Corn Dogs

Joey Zebroski, K&R Concessions, won the 50/50 cash prize

Vince Agnifili, CCE, Oasis Aqua Massage, greeting Dan Lunsenhop, Past President

Tammy Stiffler, Stiffler Concessions, signing up to be a NICA Member

At the State Fair of Texas: Melanie Linnear, Concessions Director, and Kelly Pound, Director of Exhibits, greet Rey O’Day, Executive Manager of Councils, and Rebecca Kelley, Sysco Vice President, attended Carey Risinger’s joyful retirement party. Melanie learned that she would soon be promoted to Vice President of Food Service and Novelties. Congratulations to Carey and Melanie! WFA Feature Fair trip attendees at the Minnesota State Fair

►► “Roll” continued on page 27 April 2019 NICA News


Pursuing Your Potential!

The NICA Scholarship Program Deadline is Approaching In 2019, NICA will award $25,000 in scholarships (up from 2017’s $17,000). We have strengthened the scholarship program with the addition of the Gene O’Brien, CCE Vocational School Scholarship in 2017 and the Scholarship Program will continue to award one scholarship with a donation from Coca-Cola in honor of CCE-designated NICA Members. The remaining scholarships are provided using donations from fundraising and the NICA Membership. Jacob Elomina, a past recipient, who submitted an application after learning about it from his grandfather reflected on winning a NICA Scholarship, saying “The NICA Scholarship meant more to me than I expected. I worked each summer at Fairs, for my grandfather, from the age of six through 16; the fairs were a really big part of my life, and continue to be.” Jacob, an accounting student at Florida State University has a little advice for you as you finish up your application: “Be yourself when applying. Don’t overthink anything. Be yourself when writing your responses and I’m sure the NICA Board will love it.” Dustin Kenna, a junior studying Supply Change Management and Information Systems at the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University shared how he felt about receiving one of our scholarships: “Winning the NICA Scholarship is one of my accomplishments that I look back on and feel a sense of pride. It confirmed how great the concessions industry is and the organizations that represent it, NICA. Winning this scholarship meant that my hard work in and out of the classroom had really paid off.” Callie Pfile, a pre-nursing student at Bowling Green State University, and NICA Scholarship recipient, reflected on the meaning of this award: “Winning a NICA Scholarship has meant more than words can describe. The fact that they care enough to help me with my college studies makes me feel extremely thankful and blessed. Going to college is expensive, but this scholarship is a positive way to help me reach my goals. For that, I am very grateful.” 26

April 2019 NICA News

Who can apply? • Any NICA Member in good standing for three years (including the current year) • 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? • 1 Coca-Cola CCE Scholarship at $3,000 • 2 Gene O’Brien, CCE Vocational Scholarships at $2,000 each • 11 NICA Academic Scholarships: 1 at $4000, 4 at $2,000 each and 6 at $1,000 each

When is the deadline? The deadline is officially extended this year, so applications can now be received in the NICA Office by June 1, 2019 to qualify. Don’t delay, apply today! Start planning the steps for the next chapter in your life and pursue your potential by applying for the 2019 Scholarship Program. Apply online by visiting For more details, contact the NICA Office at (813) 438-8926 or Good luck! ▲

“Roll” continued from page 25 ►►

George Kolias, Bop’s Kettle Corn, joined NICA the night of the St. Lucie Casino Night & Chili Cook Off

Kathy Ross, CCE, President, with Joe Blume, Stuart Confections; they won both the Judge’s Choice and People’s Choice Chili Awards

Rusty Groscurth, Super Dog, celebrating 65 years!

Jennifer Simpson, Suck It Up Concessions, serving a refreshing ice cream cone on a hot day

Alfonso Ledesma and Vanessa Moran, Ledesma Concessions

Nichole, Lisa, and Marion Stephenson, Stephenson Family Concessions / Duncan Concessions / European Foods

Rebecca Kelly, Sysco, and Emma Ryder, Source1 Purchasing, eating their first cheese curds with Dave Cavallaro, Cavallaro Concessions

Lyle Smith, Sattler’s Leather Belts and Hats

“Roll” continued “Moments” continued from page from 25 page ►► 20 ►►

Greg Chiecko, OABA, speaking at the Gala Bob Kaiser, Kaiser Pickles

Mike Jackson, WNA, showing off their latest line of specialty drink cups

Jessica Underberg, IAFE, addressing Gala attendees

The Schantz Manufacturing family exhibiting their products

Dan and Jan Smoots, Fanestil Meats

Rex and Mary Ellen Cusumano, Cusumano and Sons

Joy Cone was busy giving out their signature ice cream cones April 2019 NICA News


WE DELIVER! With our warehouses centrally located in Tampa, Florida and the Midwest, Fare Foods is able to deliver to events on site in 44 different states. Our customers value our friendly customer service and appreciate consistent delivery of product to their events throughout the year.


YEARS Delivering Great Service For 25 Years

Since 1947

COMPLETE SUPPLY OF ALL CONCESSION PRODUCTS! Meat Produce Frozen Items Dry Goods Canned Goods Paper Products Fun Food Custom Printed Cups

Call Today! 1-800-651-1601

Email us at or call 800-444-6747 to order samples. For 60 years we have offered only the highest quality meat products.

Our products are available from Fare Foods 800-651-1601

 Beef, Pork & Chicken Kabobs  Specialty Kabobs  Beef Philly Steak  Marinated Ribeyes & More! 725 Industrial Rd., Chillicothe, MO 64601 28

April 2019 NICA News

2019 Membership Contest Leaderboard* General Membership Nate Janousek..................................................................... 1 Kim Netterfield...................................................................... 1 Dominic Palmieri, CCE......................................................... 1 Randy Reichert, CCE............................................................. 1

Councils Henry Mitchell...................................................................... 2 Samantha Fairlie.................................................................. 1 Tom Hodson, CCE................................................................. 1

Board of Directors Kathy Ross, CCE................................................................... 8 Dan Lusenhop...................................................................... 5 Kim Barr, CCE........................................................................ 1 Don Delahoyde, CCE............................................................. 1 Vincent Nelson, CCE............................................................. 1

Administration Office................................................................................... 22

*Referral listing as of 2/28/19. Contact us if you see any inaccuracies. See back cover for rules and prizes.

Masters in the art of insuring amusement risks. Since 1983, we’ve crafted risk management solutions solely for the Amusement, Entertainment and Leisure industries. That’s expertise we bring to your business. We find the perfect mix of innovative and affordable insurance programs for each and every individual client, then add 24/7 claims service to give you peace of mind. Call and see how we can help:

800.235.8774 XL Group and Allied Specialty Insurance are global brands used by XL Group Ltd’s insurance subsidiaries. Coverages are underwritten by the following XL Group Ltd insurance companies: Greenwich Insurance Company, Indian Harbor Insurance Company, XL Insurance America, Inc., XL Specialty Insurance Company and T.H.E. Insurance Company. Coverages not available in all jurisdictions.

April 2019 NICA News


2019 Events Calendar

Representing NICA & Its Industry Partners

April 11-13: IAFE Zone 1 Conference • Rockport, ME 14-16: IAFE Zone 3 & 6 Combined Meeting • Indianapolis, IN 16-18: Tools of the Trade Seminar • Indianapolis, IN 22: Pima County Fair Poker & Bingo Social • Tucson, AZ 25: Pima County Fair Service Member Meeting • Tucson, AZ

May 3-5: 2019 IAFE Management Conference • Costa Mesa, CA

16-18: Florida Federation of Fairs and IAFE Zone 2 Meeting • St Augustine, FL 27: Memorial Day (Office Closed) 31: San Bernardino County Fair Service Member Meeting • Victorville, CA

7: Merced County Fair Service Member Meeting • Merced, CA 17: 13th Annual Mark Neagles / NICA West Invitational • Solana Beach, CA 20: San Diego County Fair Service Member Meeting • Del Mar, CA



1: Board of Directors Nomination Forms Due in the Office

4: Independence Day (Office Closed)

1: Scholarship Applications Due in the Office

15: Director Election Ballots go out to Voting Members

Although these dates are based on sources believed to be reliable and true, they are subject to changes throughout the year. Visit our calendar at or view upcoming NICA News for updates, changes, additional dates, and more!


WRAPS SIGNS Design & Print

BANNERS • PANELS MENU BOARDS • FLAGS Complete Graphic Department To Serve You

866.674.7749 30

April 2019 NICA News

National Independent Concessionaires Association, Inc. 1043 E. Brandon Blvd., Brandon, FL 33511 Phone: (813) 438-8926 • Fax: (813) 803-8460 Email: • Website:

Date: #: q Member Renewal


q Ms.


For Off ice Use Only


Name of business: Physical address: Mailing address:

City :

City :

Primary Phone Number :





Alternate / Cell phone number :



Age Range: q 20-35 q 35-50 q 51-70 q 70+ q Other :

Referred by :

NICA News Preference: q Mail q Email

Annual Membership Fees Independent Concession Membership

Associate Membership


A person or entity who provides services to the concession industry.

Independent Concessionaire.........................................$150


Fair / Festival over 75,000 attendance........................$150

q Additional Member..........................................................$100


Fair / Festival under 75,000 attendance......................$100



Manufacturer / Distributor / Supplier..........................$150

q Employee.............................................................................$75


Carnival / Circus Operator..............................................$150

q Retired.................................................................................$50


Special Services..............................................................$150


Concession Business / Group Membership Includes five memberships in one: one Independent Concessionaire, one Additional Member, and three Employee Members ($475 value).


Concession Business / Group...................................... $400

Additional Member : _______________________________________ Employee Member 1: ______________________________________ Employee Member 2: ______________________________________

Business Description 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.

________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________

Employee Member 3: ______________________________________


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



Commercial Exhibitors / Retail




Attractions / Entertainment




Guest Services


Mail Check or Money Order to NICA’s Office at 1043 E. Brandon Blvd. Brandon, FL 33511

Concessionaire General Routing Information

q Visa q Mastercard q American Express q Discover

List all states / provinces where you conduct your concession business:

Credit Card #:


Security Code:



Expiration Date:

The NICA-sponsored $10,000 AD&D Insurance Policy is provided to Independent Concessionaire, Additional, and Employee Members.

Beneficiary : _________________________ Phone : _____________ If accepted for membership in NICA, I hereby agree to abide by its by-laws and rules.

Applicant’s signature


Signature of Credit Card Holder 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.

National Independent Concessionaires Association, Inc. 1043 E. Brandon Blvd., Brandon, FL 33511 Time Sensitive Mail • April 2019 Issue


Profile for NICA Inc.

April 2019 NICA News  

April 2019 NICA News  

Profile for nicainc