April 2017 NICA News

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Contents • APRIL 2017 FEATURES

12 Association Announcements 16 When Preparedness Meets Opportunity 10 Thoughts from a CCE 17 NICA Celebrates a Successful Jack McBurney, CCE, Jack’s Corn Dogs / Casino Night & Chili Cook Off Giant Pretzels 20 Getting to Know Your Northeast 11 Member’s Voice Council Members David Westrum, Westrums Quality Foods; Tad Blood, Tad’s Catering & Concessions, LLC; 21 Assorted Memories Wayne Smith, Tom’s Tasty Taters; 23 IAFE and NICA Team Up! Nick Strates, Demetri’s Greek Foods

14 Concessionaire Spotlight

Jeff Jackson, Wicked Wanda’s T-Shirts

News & Articles 04 This Month’s Newest & Renewal Members 05 President’s Message Dominic R. Palmieri, III, CCE

05 Director’s Voice Dan Lusenhop

07 Card’s Corner Michelle Card

Activities & Events 07 Hidden Object Contest 22 11th Annual NICA West San Diego Golf Tournament 25 Coca-Cola Membership Contest Leaderboard 26 2017 Events Calendar

AdvertiSers 24 Allied Specialty Insurance 12 Fanestil Meats 09 Fare Foods 26 First Data 09 Mr. G’s Quality Meats 02 Pepsi 18 Source1 Purchasing 10 Whirley-Drinkworks!

Dedicated to strengthening relationships with the Fair, Festival, and Special Events Industries through effective communication, 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) 438-8928 • 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 © 1993-2017 NICA, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Spring is here! April 2017 NICA News


This Month’s Newest Members! Evan Ernsberger Ernsberger, LLC. DBA MacTastic Norman, OK

Ginny Hare Unilever Food Solutions Ukiah, NJ

Robert Kolar Kolar Spec. LLC Eastlake, OH

Josh Woods Greater Gulf State Fair, Inc. Mobile, AL

Welcome to our 4 new members! Remember, for every member that you refer, you will receive an entry into our 2017 Coca-Cola Membership Contest. You could win a cruise or cash! See the back cover for more details.

This Month’s Member Renewals Joseph Blume Stuart Confections, Inc. Stuart, FL (2014)

David Daggett K’s Koncessions, LLC Weyers Cave, VA (2013)

Danny Brown Danny Brown Amusements Mesa, AZ (2015)

Todd Desgranges Stuart Confections, Inc. Stuart, FL (2014)

Thomas Carnahan Carnahan Concessions Lake Worth, FL (2003)

Guy Leavitt Ray Cammack Shows, Inc. Laveen, AZ (2016) Nathan Marcus Steve’s Concessions Fontana, CA (2013)

Howard Miller Miller Catering & Concessions, Ltd dba Porky's Lafayette, IN (1993) Nancy Miller Miller Catering & Concessions, Ltd dba Porky’s Lafayette, IN (2011)

Cliff Munson Siskiyou Golden Fair Yreka, CA (2014) William Scannell Butcher Boys Cape Coral, FL (2015) R. Josh Stremmel Top Notch Concessions Wichita, KS (2015)

Joanie Monroe L.T. Concessions, Inc. Marion, IN (2014)

Thank you to all 13 of our Renewing Members for your continued support of NICA! Are you wondering if your NICA membership renewal may be due soon? To find out, you can contact us at (813) 438-8926 or at nica@nicainc.org. Alternatively, if you have set up your online account with us, you can check your balance online at www.nicainc.org.

“It “It is is only only the the farmer farmer who who faithfully faithfully plants plants seeds seeds in in the the Spring, Spring, who who reaps reaps aa harvest harvest in in the the Autumn.” Autumn.” -- B.C. B.C. Forbes Forbes “The “The spring spring wakes wakes us, us, nurtures nurtures us us and and revitalizes revitalizes us. us. How How often often does does your your spring spring come? come? If If you you are are aa prisoner prisoner of of the the calendar, calendar, itit comes comes once once aa year. year. If If you you are are creating creating authentic authentic power, power, itit comes comes frequently, frequently, or or very very frequently.” frequently.” -- Gary Gary Zukav Zukav Are you selling your equipment, business, or need assistance running it? Contact the NICA Office today at (813) 438-8926 or nica@nicainc.org and we will do our best to get the word out. We have many options available to help! 4

April 2017 NICA News

President’s Message Dominic R. Palmieri, III, CCE, President

After the excitement, learning and fellowship of the Convention Season, the Fair Season is beckoning to us. For me, that means planning: what do I need for the new products I’m trying, when do I need to contact suppliers, what trucks need new tires, how many signs need new graphics, and/or are we ready for the new Fairs we booked? You know the list and yet, for all our good intentions about planning, we know that Mother Nature has the last word. For instance, it took folks and hours to pull my office trailer out of the mud before Houston opened. I know you are all shaking your heads thinking I know exactly what you’re talking about. Thank goodness for planning that allows us to handle moving to Plan B and C when we must. While many of you have been working most

“Spring is in the Air!”

of the winter, Spring is a renewal of sorts. You’ve started up the trucks, polished the stands, and been to a few events. But I ask you: are you doing anything different this year? Are you doing any sort of new employee training? Working on customer service with your employees? Designing new uniforms to go with a new theme or just freshen the look of your operation? These are all things to consider in the day and life of a Concessionaire or Commercial Exhibitor. Welcome to our world! But these things are a must and our customers expect “new” each year, as do our Fairs. If you would like to share your changes and best practices, please submit them to the NICA Office with a story for the NICA News! Spring is also the time for your NICA Board of

►► “Message” continued on page 8

Director’s Voice

“NICA Members & Concession Colleagues Give Back!” Dan Lusenhop, 1st Vice President

industry core items and introduced us to new, exciting products. Greetings Everyone! For Now that Florida Week is done, it’s a sprint those of you who weren’t back to California for me to get equipment ready able to attend the NICA for our upcoming season. But before we hit Business Expo in Tampa, you the ground running, it’s time to give back and really missed out on a great volunteer to our Fair Industry through fundraising. experience! Highlights included One of our Central Valley Fairs had the opportunity a follow-up to our Strategic to operate a Nonprofit food stand at the World Planning by Rey O’Day, Ag Expo which is the largest outdoor agricultural Executive Manager of Councils, showcase with 2.6 million square feet of display and a very informative panel of our member space. The Fair Foundation wasn’t sure what benefits lead by Executive Director Michelle type of food to sell, so they contacted several Card who presented representatives from seven Concessionaires to input menu items to consider different companies for a “Q & A” discussion to which Fair food would appeal to the diverse clarify their programs. Also, a big “Thank You!” international crowd that numbers up to 100,000 to Ron Porter, Audrey Poole, and the entire Fare people per day. They settled on the “KISS” theory Foods family for the introduction of new computer software system to streamline registration and ►► “Voice” continued on page 6 another fine Food Show that showcases the April 2017 NICA News



President: Dominic R. Palmieri, III, CCE 1st Vice President: Dan Lusenhop 2nd Vice President: Kathy Ross Secretary: Sandy Class Treasurer: Jennifer Giordano


Don Delahoyde, CCE Carmel Dyer-Pittroff Richie George Tim O’Brien, CCE Mike Pence, CCE Daryl Whicheloe, CCE

Immediate Past President Paulette Keene

Past Presidents’ Council 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 michelle@nicainc.org

Business Manager : Christina Arriaga christina@nicainc.org

Communications, Marketing & Design: Jesse Willard communications@nicainc.org

“Voice” continued from page 5 ►► of a basic menu to be able to produce volume with short daytime hours: Corn Dogs, French Fries, Turkey Legs, Bacon Wrapped Hot Dogs, and Beverages. Pamela Fyock, Tulare County Fair Manager and NICA Member, designed a bright and bold design to the signage of the permanent building we operated from. Several of us loaned the fryers, grills, warmers, soda machines, etc. to bring it all together. The mission of the Foundation is to “celebrate the heritage of agriculture through the bounty of the county and works to ensure a legacy of agricultural literacy.” Much thanks to Dean Ametjian, Geneva Shannon-Orlapp, and her husband Ron from the Foundation for their tireless efforts to support the Fair and its programs. Even with rainy weather this year, it was successful with the funds going toward improvements to the livestock barns and equipment. I am proud and grateful to my fellow NICA Members and colleagues Milo and Georgia, son Travis and his girlfriend Selena, of Milo and Son 6

April 2017 NICA News

Executive Manager of Councils: Rey O’Day rey@nicainc.org

Northeast Council

Coordinator : Jessica Castro


Council Members: Kelly Grout Russ Harrison, CCE Eddie Porcelli, III Vinnie Nelson Tonio Viscusi

West Council

Coordinator : Rey O’Day


Council Members: Kim Barr Nate Janousek Ryan Long Ashley Murray Mike Newman Lisa Thompson-Baker Jay Wells Daryl Whicheloe, CCE April Wood

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

Are you Interested in becoming a National Representative, Council Member, starting a Communications Committee, or learning more about NICA? Contact the NICA Office by phone at (813) 438-8926 or via email at nica@nicainc.org

Enterprises, my brother Darin Lusenhop, Jeanne’s Artichokes, and Eddie Barrera, Hot Doggin, who donated their skills, equipment, and most of all, their time! Even though we only may be in a town for a few days or a couple weeks a year, I encourage all of us to donate to our “Fair Community” and invest in everyone’s future. “Together We Can Pay it Forward!” Have a safe and successful season. ▲

card’s corner Michelle Card, Executive Director

NICA Members including Greg Worth of Crystal Automotive, Tina Walker of First Data, Joe Betras Florida Fairs are in full of Whirley Industies, and Phil Teague of the swing and NICA members Hummel Group. Additionally, Sandy provided are all over it—fundraising details regarding our new partnerships with that is! A special thank you Airgas, 5 Star Refrigeration, and OCC Signs to Greg Miller and family, which were relayed with much enthusiasm and Miller & Company, Richie overall—very well received. NICA ended this rally George, George’s Fun Foods, with give-a-ways! Congratulations to new NICA and Randy Reichert, CCE, Members Harley Steiner, Charlie Cheese and Sons, Hot Wisconsin Cheese, for and Michael Miller, Miller Food Concessions, who hosting another incredibly successful Han Wang were the recipients of our drawing for gift cards Bowling Tournament in West Palm Beach, Florida and lottery tickets and a free 50-amp full hook-up that netted nearly $5,000. Thanks also goes to for the 2018 Strawberry Festival! 2nd Vice President Kathy Ross and family, Ross Membership drives and fundraisers are a Concessions, for hosting a successful Casino cornerstone of NICA’s history. If you would like Night and Chili Cook Off at the St. Lucie County to participate with NICA and offer your time and Fair in Fort Pierce, FL that netted nearly $4,000. talent but don’t necessarily want to become “Together We Can…Fundraise!” These efforts are a Board Member, these opportunities may be crucial to the growth of NICA and the scholarships perfect for you. Again, should you be of interest or it provides. If you would like to host a fundraiser, have other suggestions, please contact the NICA please contact our office and we’ll assist you in Office—we’d love to hear from you! ▲ every way we can. Another special thank you to our Secretary Sandy Class who hosted a NICA Membership Rally at the Strawberry Festival, Joe Potillo, Jr., Past President, and his chauffeuring services for myself and the presenters, and Mrs. Ellany Johnson, Concession Manager of the Strawberry Festival, who so generously provided a wonderful air-conditioned room in the Armory Building for our event. This is the second time this event has been held and the turnout was fantastic at over 40 new, potential, and seasoned members. Sandy Class with new members (and winners) Harley Many of our Member Benefits and presenters Steiner, Charlie Cheese and Sons, and Michael Miller, Miller Food Concessions at the NICA Membership Rally were on site to detail the benefits they provide to


Contest! Find the Spring Flower

Somewhere within this issue of NICA News is a Spring Flower that has been misplaced. If you locate it, you can win a Gift Card worth $25!

So... What if you Find it?

Well, lucky reader, tell us where you found it by entering online at www.nicainc.org/pages/hiddenobject You may also call the NICA Office at (813) 438-8926 or send us a letter with the page number, and page location to NICA, Hidden Object Contest, 1043 E. Brandon Blvd., Brandon, FL 33511. Member entries must be sent in by April 30, 2017. April 2017 NICA News


“Message” continued from page 5 ►► Directors to head off and convene at our Spring Board Meeting. This year we meet in Phoenix, AZ to discuss the upcoming year. We evaluate what projects need to be considered and what programming is important to our members. For example, planning for IAFE, WFA, FL FED, State Fair Associations and Zone meetings. This is also a time of renewal for our organization. We are always looking for ideas from the Membership, so please reach out to your Board or the NICA Office ASAP with any concerns or ideas. We welcome your input and are grateful for your contribution. What content will we bring to conventions on behalf of the Commercial and Concessions Members we serve and the Fairs we service? The message we bring is valued and important to Fairs and their success as well. We are all in this together and valuing the opinion of both Fairs and Service Members is important to the Industry. On a side note, I have been beating around the bush with recruiting new Members in a few of my past articles and Tampa Business Expo greetings. Have you done your part and signed up a new NICA Member? There are so many benefits to becoming a member and everyone in the Concessions or Commercial world should belong to a professional organization like NICA. Pass this magazine along to someone you know is not a member and let them see the value of what the possibilities are for their business. There is an application for your (and their) convenience on the inside back cover of each issue of NICA News. Our Member Benefits range from significant cost savings on supplies, food safety classes, education on a wide range of topics, and of course, the Voice to the Industry. We help our Members to Innovate, Educate, and Advocate on their behalf. It is the best $125 any company can spend to help their bottom line. Last I would like to thank all of you who have already participated in some form of NICA social event or fundraiser. It is through your efforts that help keep our Members active in your association and engaged with our Fairs. These fundraising efforts help keep the lights on and the bills paid. And for our Fairs that embrace NICA, I thank you for your continued support and hope we can be 8

April 2017 NICA News

of service to your organization as well. Whether we help connect you to Concessionaires and Commercial Exhibitors with our membership list online or the significant savings we bring you for using some of our Member Benefits, we are honored to be a part of your success. Be sure to contact the NICA Office at (813) 438-8926 if you have any questions about how you can save money. We’re happy to help! Keep an eye open for future issues of the NICA News magazine that will showcase our Member Benefits in detail. For your immediate attention you can find all of the Member Benefits on page 25. In continuing to reach out to potential New Members, we have been sending out information to Fairs to share with all the Vendors on your contract application list. It has our NICA application, information, and a short letter about the importance of belonging to a professional organization. We hope you will support our cause by encouraging your fellow Independent Concessionaires to join NICA. We work hard for our Members to help raise the bar at your events. Fairs and Concessionaires all serve the same customer so through professional organizations like NICA, we hope to always serve you and your guests. After writing this, I took my son fishing just to remind myself that we commit to planning so we can find the balance between our work and our families. We are lucky that our lives allow us to intertwine both of them—we just have to remember to enjoy both! ▲

Dominic and his son Enzo taking a little time off from the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo for a day of fishing

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Thoughts from a This month’s Statement of Communications & Management Philosophy is from Jack McBurney, CCE, Jack’s Corn Dogs / Giant Pretzels: “An open and honest, casual relationship with Fair management is an essential element to the success of Jack’s Corn Dogs and Confections. I believe that I must keep a truly open communication and understanding of the Fair’s needs in order to expect the Fair to understand my needs. It is very important to keep those lines open throughout the Fair, and throughout the rest of the year, between the two entities. Honest communication is vital to work successfully with employees. As an employer, I must be able to speak freely and honestly with my employees in order to keep the anxiety levels on an even keel. I encourage my employees to do the same. My business is successful because of the help I have always had from other Concessionaires. I make every effort to help other Jack McBurney, CCE Concessionaires to do, and be, the best they can be. I always appreciate Jacks Corn Dogs / positive criticism from my fellow Concessionaires. Giant Pretzels As manager of my business, I always have considered my key CCE Earned in 1999 employees as my ‘family.’ I treat them with respect and expect the same in return. We live in a ‘community’ within the Fair Industry. It is inevitable that I get involved in their personal lives (deaths and illnesses). I am sensitive to their needs, as they are to mine. This sense of ‘community’ makes the Concession Industry unique and special. Open lines of communication with employees, APPROVED other Concessionaires, and Fair management Brings families and allows us all to learn each others’ weaknesses revenue to your fair locations and strengths. I have had to face my weaknesses, for orders and refills. and have learned to rely on my strengths. This Consider multiple bottle ‘human factor’ can manifest itself to the good of pricing by reducing the sale price for 2 or more bottles. me personally, my business, my employees, and This annual sponsorship also the events which I am honored to work. benefits the NICA Educational In my thirty years as a Concessionaire, and Scholarship Program. meeting many, many diversified people, the diversity has taught me many lessons in life. The Fair Industry, although it is very difficult, has given me the freedom to explore other areas in life.” ▲

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The title of Certified Concessionaire Executive represents a deep understanding and respect for the fair and festival business and indicates that the titleholder will perform with the highest level of professionalism. CCE applications are available at goo.gl/H3VKUf ▲ 10

April 2017 NICA News

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Member’s Voice The greatest part of NICA is the Membership! The Member’s Voice influences where the organization is headed and what it can improve, among other aspects. The NICA Office has been continuing their survey of responses, checking to see if members are utilizing their benefits and enjoying their experience with the organization. Some of our recent responses are featured below: Tad Blood, Tad’s Catering & Concessions, LLC from Oklahoma City, OK, has been a NICA Member for more than 13 years. Describing his relationship with NICA, he said, “I am at arm’s length with NICA, but I do read the NICA News, especially the stories about people and how they got started in the business and the different things they have tried.” Tad has four trailer units, as well as putting what he called “semi-permanent buildings” that have to be assembled and taken down after the event. These buildings can be as large as 35” x 40”, so they are primarily used at his longer events, such as the 33-day-long State Fair of Texas. The biggest worry for him is the “way our businesses are now regulated,” as some regulations are “really tough!” Dave Westrum, Westrums Quality Foods out of Delano, Minnesota, stated that he is, of course, a member, but not very active in the organization. He has a very successful business and has been in concessions his whole life. “Everything is fine with me and my business has been a blessing to me.” He said that he appreciated getting the call. He admitted that since he’s been in the business his whole life, that he is already set with his suppliers and Coca-Cola, so he has not used any of the food benefits yet. He enjoys reading the paper version of the NICA News and could not think of any way to improve it. Wayne Smith, Tom’s Tasty Taters from Plymouth, IN, has been a NICA Member since 2004 when Randy Reichert, CCE told him about NICA and convinced him to join. He said that he enjoys reading the magazine and often travels to Florida for the “Florida Week activities.” He has found that “NICA is usually very helpful.” He states

that he uses the Coca-Cola, CheckInn Direct, and Sherwin Williams benefits. He enjoys reading NICA News showing what others are doing. His advice was that if you are in the Concession business then it is a real plus to join NICA as it is an organization that is very helpful and can save you money. Nick Strates, Demetri’s Greek Foods of Mt. Airy, MD, described his relationship with NICA as very beneficial not only monetarily but with camaraderie among the members. It also helps to give us a voice at conventions and such. Nick uses the Coca-Cola, Pepsi, NICA Sysco Marketplace, Fare Foods, and CheckInn Direct benefits and feels the Airgas discount with Source1 Purchasing will be “a good one.” He reads the paper copy of the NICA News enjoying the “people stories” the most, liking to read their different points of view. He made a suggestion that perhaps when it comes online that an email link could be sent so you do not have to go to the website. This is a suggestion that NICA is actually starting this month, so look out for the digital version if your email is on file with NICA. The NICA Office plans to continue these calls to our Renewing Members. If you hear from us, let us know what’s on your mind! ▲ April 2017 NICA News



Announcements Do you have any news that you would you like to share? Contact us at (813) 438-8926 or nica@nicainc.org

Scholarship Applications are Being Graded Thank you to all who submitted applications for this year’s Scholarship Program. Over the next month, all applications will be scored by the Scholarship Committee, an anonymous body consisting of Concessionaire Members. All winners will be contacted in the month of June and featured in the NICA News. ▲

Source1 Purchasing Announces New Partnership Airgas is the nation’s leading single-source supplier of gases, welding, and safety products. Through the power of Source1 Purchasing and the NICA Sysco Marketplace, NICA Members now have a chance to receive extensive savings on various products in the Airgas line, including propane, food grade carbon dioxide, and more. For more information on how to take advantage of these discounts, contact David Koretsky, Source1 Purchasing, at (901) 881-1107. ▲


April 2017 NICA News

Directories Shipping this Month The NICA Membership Directory is a great resource that lists all members, benefits, important calendar dates, and more. If your 2016 Directory is all worn out, missing pages, covered in notes, or missing somewhere along the route last year, do not fret! The newly updated 2017 Directory is on its way to a mailbox near you this month. If, for some reason, you don’t receive your copy by May 1st, contact us at (813) 438-8926 and we will be happy to send you a copy. ▲

NICA West Fundraisers Coming up in June There are two fun events that have just been announced that will take place in this summer. First off, on Monday, June 19, 2017, during the San Diego County Fair, the NICA West Council will host the 11th Annual San Diego Golf Tournament at the Lomas Santa Fe Country Club in Solana Beach, CA. The player fee is $125, which includes green fees, golf cart, amenities, and awards dinner following the tournament. Contact Gary Barham, Hot Dog on a Stick, at (619) 987-3049, Ryan Long, L & L Concessions, at (909) 732-4260, or Ashley Murray, M & M Marketing, at (310) 316-7510 for more information or see page 22 in this issue. On June 26, 2017, during the Alameda County Fair, there will be a NICAsponsored trip to the San Francisco Giants vs. Colorado Rockies game at AT&T Park in San Francisco, CA. Tickets are $110 per person, which includes transportation, game ticket, and limited refreshments. Contact Don Delahoyde, CCE, NICA Director, at (707) 480-6312 to reserve your tickets. ▲

OABA’s Board Elects New Officers & Members Elect New Directors Chair Tom Gaylin, presided at the recently held OABA Board Meeting and 52nd Annual Member Meeting in Tampa, FL. The Board voted to advance the following Officers through the chairs: E.J. Dean to Chair 2017, Jay Strates to First Vice Chair, Larry Yaffe to Second Vice Chair and Debbie Powers to Third Vice Chair, having served the OABA as a Director since 2010. The Board also voted to retain Mitchell Kaliff, as Treasurer. The following Directors were re-elected by eligible, voting members attending the 52nd OABA Annual Meeting, to continue to serve two-year terms, as nominated by the Board: Brad Dahlman, Andy Deggeller, Michael Doolan, Stacey Jamieson, Blake Huston, Ben Pickett, Scott Siefker, Greg Stewart, Mary Chris Smith, and Rob Vivona. In addition, the members elected the former Directors-at-Large, to serve as Directors: Stephen Broetsky, Mary Johnson and Lance Moyer. The total Directors serving the OABA and its members totals twenty-four. In addition, new Directors-at-Large were named to serve the OABA, included: Bobby Hauser, Nathan Janousek, Tammy Kissel, Niki Skerbeck, and Charlie Smith. In addition, Trustee Mike Featherston, who has served the OABA for the past f ifteen (15) years, stepped down as an Officer on the Executive Board and was honored by Chair Gaylin at the Annual Meeting. Incoming Chair Dean, expressed to the OABA members at the Annual Meeting, “These OABA Officers and Directors have stepped up to represent you, our members and are among the finest leaders in this Industry. They have pledged to make a difference for future generations to follow, in the Mobile Amusement Industry.” ▲

►► “Announcements” continued on page 21 April 2017 NICA News


Concessionaire Spotlight Jeff Jackson Wicked Wanda’s T-Shirts Vancleave, MS - Jeff Jackson operates under the name Wicked Wanda’s T-Shirts and specializes in airbrush and iron transfers, t-shirts, hats, and more and “has been serving state fairs in various parts of the US—namely Florida, Ohio, New York, and Texas” since 1974, according to their website. We had a chance to ask “Wicked Jeff” a few questions about his experience as a Concessionaire and a NICA Member. NICA News: Thank you for being able to speak to us! How long have you been a member of NICA? Jeff Jackson: I believe we joined in late 2008, but the original and founding owner was a member long before that. NN: How did you get in to the business? JJ: After high school, I worked at a resort town in the smokies, airbrushing shirts. One owner of a t-shirt shop, Wanda Lee Cowdery, who also had a small route at a few state fairs and other venues, asked if I could fill in for an artist that didn’t meet her standards back in 1982. I accepted and the rest is history!

Jeff Jackson, Wicked Wanda’s T-Shirts, hard at work

NN: What do you like most about being a Concessionaire? JJ: I would have to say that I enjoy mostly the travel and experiences, meeting so many people and the diversity of it all never gets boring. NN: What’s something people don’t know about you or your business? JJ: There are a few things, but I think most people would be amazed that we’ve been around the Concession business for over 40 years, and that we employ some of the most talented artist and friendliest staff around.

One of the Wicked Wanda stands known as “Big Red”


April 2017 NICA News

NN: How has the business changed since you first started out? What’s something you wish would change? JJ: Overall, speaking for myself, I’ve seen a change in the professionalism of our Industry. Years ago, I think most people considered us as “fly by night” group that were there to simply get

your money. I see more respect given now, as the quality of ownership and venues has gone up. If I could change anything, it would probably be some of the travel restrictions related to DOT or some of the insurance requirements that hinder a lot of our fellow Concessionaires. NN: What’s been the highlight of your career? JJ: I’ve reached some personal goals; I guess, being recognized as an industry leader in the airbrush industry and attending some of the most prestigious events on behalf of companies who now sponsor a lot of my work would certainly serve as highlights. NN: What’s been the most influential to your personal or business success in the past five years? JJ: My partner and brother Randy Jackson, has been the older and wiser. Helping when I seem to come to a dead end on where we need to be heading for future success. As well, the prior knowledge and guidance given to me by our founder, Wanda Lee Cowdery, also known as “Wicked Wanda.” NN: What’s the funniest thing that has happened in your Concession career or through your Concessionaire travels? JJ: I remember lots of funny moments along the way, from borrowing a dragon suit and harassing my co-workers, handing them candied ginger as dried pineapple, to painting something for someone completely wrong on purpose just to see their reaction. I’d repaint it correctly of course!

One of Wicked Wanda’s colorful tent stands

NN: What’s something you like to do in your free time? JJ: I really enjoy oncorn my old Chevy One of theworking Campbell’s dog ‘55 stands pickup or fishing offshore or around the house, to toying around in my shop, generally keeping busy challenging myself. NN: What do you like best about NICA? JJ: I love the insight and informative news of today’s Concession business as well as the resources that NICA offers from product information to insurance. NN: Do you use any of the NICA Member Benefits? JJ: I love using the auto parts discounts and the rental car service and for the most part it’s been satisfying. I’m also looking forward to using the Ford Fleet discount, as I’m in the market for a new box van. NN: What’s something you’re looking forward to this year? JJ: Working with some of our new equipment as well as increasing our knowledge and and friendships at our venues. NN: Is there anything else you’d like to share with NICA Members? JJ: I’d like everyone to know that Wicked Wanda’s staff are a group of friendly and accomodating people. We‘d hope to increase our friendships and would encourage anyone to feel free to stop by and say, “Hello!” ▲

Wicked Wanda’s stand used at Southern Fairs

We hope you enjoyed this feature! Do you have a Concessionaire in mind that you think should be in NICA News? Send your suggestion to communications@nicainc.org today!

April 2017 NICA News


When Preparedness Meets Opportunity Rey O’Day, Executive Manager of Councils Once upon a time, Lola Ramirez and Jose Quintero were Commercial Exhibitors who became importers of items from Mexico. Then the recession of 1994 hit, the value of the peso fell, and they were in the “What do we do now?” conversation. Lola’s parents had been Food and Beverage Concessionaires serving events in the Central California Valley, so Lola and Jose decided they might give that a try. They developed a concept called Marisco’s that specialized in authentic, tasty, and fresh Mexican shrimp and carne asada dishes. I had the pleasure of meeting them in 1999 as the Food and Beverage Manager at the LA County Fair when they applied to play the Fair. While they had not played an event that size, they had a concept with good content and commitment backed up with a plan and the ability to make it happen—the hallmarks of successful entrepreneurs! Over time they added three more food stands and three Aguas Frescas carts. Last Spring, while visiting with Lola at the Santa Barbara Fair and Expo, she told me she was going to build a new stand with a new concept to introduce for the 2017 season. She noticed that there was a void in Asian food offerings and that the Asian stands that were operating did not have families that wanted to continue the tradition. Being a wonderful cook who is devoted to fresh food, she attended classes, researched recipes,

Eddie’s Asian Inspired Cuisine, built by Waymatic for JLQ Concessions


April 2017 NICA News

Lola Ramirez and Jose Quintero, JLQ Concessions, with Samantha Keller, Firestone Financial

and dove into the trend of Asian fusion cooking. Fortunately, this Industry has many professionals who become part of the team that makes a project of this size and expense possible. They worked with David Easterwood at Waymatic to design and build a trailer that would best prepare and present her dream. Samantha Keller of Firestone Financial helped them procure the necessary financing to complete the project. They were looking to develop healthy, authentic food selections so Lola signed up for a Sysco Business Review at Sysco Riverside. In their state of the art kitchen, the Chefs tried many products and recipes with her and her team. Lola remarked that “Sysco gave us so many ideas and this helped us so much.” It is many Concessionaires’ dream to have their children be successful and not work as hard as they have and to hope that one of their children will love the business as much as they do and carry it on into the future. Lola and Jose have four daughters. Lola always says that two of them, Rima and Monica are “her customers.” She is very proud of them because they have gone to college, have fine careers and are what she lovingly calls the “9 – 5er’s.” “We need the 9 – 5er’s, because they and their families are our core fairgoers.” Their youngest daughter, Angelica is a college student who was last year’s WFA scholarship winner.

►► “Preparedness” continued on page 19

NICA Celebrates a Successful

Casino Night & Chili Cook Off Kathy Ross, 2nd Vice President

The 3rd Annual St. Lucie Fundraiser and Casino Night was held on February 28, 2017 at 11:30 PM and there were over 75 attendees this year and over $3900 raised for the NICA Scholarship Fund! This event would not have been possible without the generous donation of the use of the Budweiser Tent by the St. Lucie County Fairgrounds and General Manager Jeanne Keaton’s willingness to help with the event. We added something new to the event this year—a Chili Cook Off! Seven entries were submitted, a highly regarded panel of judges was gathered and the bowls were ready for the competition. An “all you can eat chili dinner” was provided for $10 and each guest Lining up for chili! was asked to vote for their favorite chili. The judges, Jeanne Keaton, Marianne Gruzlewski, and Sally Suggys, sampled each entry and chose the winner. Pickle Barrel’s Evan Colglazier accepted the coveted “Giant Ladle Award for Best Chili.” The guests voted on the chili and the “People’s Choice Chili Cook Off Winner” was awarded to “Cryin Ryan Chili” submitted by

Kris Ryan and Joey Zebroski of K&R Concessions being presented the People’s Choice Award by Kathy Ross

Kathy Ross, NICA 2nd Vice President and Ross Concessions, presenting Evan Colglazier, Pickle Barrel, with the Giant Ladle Award for Best Chili

Kris Ryan and Joey Zebroski of K&R Concessions. A custom made plaque was awarded. Everyone enjoyed sampling the chili and fixins, corn bread, brownies and drinks. Thank you to our Chili Cook Off contestants, we look forward to a bigger event next year! As the host of the event, I addressed the attendees, sharing about the educational opportunities and other features of the recent Business Expo and Fare Foods Food Show in Tampa, FL. Reminded the Sampling all of the chilis attendees of the April 1st deadline for scholarship application submissions and shared some new benefits available to NICA Members. Casino tables were soon set up while the meal was enjoyed, with the Fair selling beer and wine to the attendees, and the games started at 12:30 AM. Slot machines were added to this years gaming tables. Table sponsors included Evan Colglazier, Pickle Barrel, and Mark Frazier, Frazier Fair

►► “Successful” continued on page 19 April 2017 NICA News


Use This Code For All Your Orders!


www.NICA .S ource1 P urch asing.com

1-855 888 NICA (6422)

Ensure Success at Your Next Fair Event There’s no doubt that fairs are all about the food, and there’s nothing more frustrating to a concessionaire than not receiving the right food, at the right location, at the right time. That’s why Source1 Purchasing is now offering a new service to all NICA/Sysco MarketPlace members. The Fair Discovery Tool (found by navigating to the “Member Resource” page on NICA.Source1Purchasing.com) was designed to help members secure their purchase orders for all upcoming events. The steps are very simple for members to follow. 1. Select the state of the event 2. Find the event 3. Select a delivering Sysco OpCo 4. Confirm attendance Once the member chooses an OpCo and confirms fair attendance, Source1 Purchasing will be right behind them taking care of all of the legwork. Your Dedicated NICA Representative will directly contact each member to verify program connection and details of their purchase order. Your Representative will call the coordinating Sysco OpCo to arrange and communicate: 1. Connection to the NICA/Sysco Program 2. The concessionaire’s complete purchase order 3. Where items should be delivered 4. When items should be delivered By utilizing the Fair Discovery Tool and relying on the Source1 Purchasing Team to ensure program connection, members can feel even more confident that their F&B will be high quality, safely handled and delivered right to their door. The MarketPlace team is dedicated to serving fair operators so members can receive the best products, the best prices, and the peace of mind one can expect from working with NICA, Sysco and Source1 Purchasing.

“Preparedness” continued from page 16 ►► Erica, their second oldest, who always had a fondness for the business, was going to become a CPA. Her high school boyfriend (and today significant other) Eddie Lomvera also loved the business, so together they have decided to make the Concessions business their profession. Today they are part of the JLQ Concessions team that will proudly operate “Eddie’s Asian Inspired Cuisine” along with their Marisco’s and Aguas Frescas locations. This is not a “good luck” or “overnight” success story; Lola and Jose are successful by choice, not by accident. As true Concessionaire entrepreneurs, they work hard, have initiative, and take calculated risks. What sometimes feels like luck is what Earl Nightingale defines as

Erica Quintero and Eddie Lomvera, JLQ Concessions

“when preparedness meets opportunity.” NICA wishes JLQ Concessions and all its other member companies with new stands a wonderful 2017 season! ▲

“Successful” continued from page 17 ►► Foods. Todd DesGranges and Joe Blume, Stuart Confections and Jay and Karen Russell, Russell Foods. A special thank you to Cathy and Loretta Murphy for their donation to the Scholarship fund. Other drawings during the night included a door prize of a tower of Girl Scout Cookies, won by Jay and Karen Russell, Russell Foods, and a camping location, donated by St. Lucie County Fair, was won by Gary Armstrong, Armstrong Concessions. Thank you to everyone that helped make this a great night! Fun was had by all and I am looking forward to next year’s Casino Night and Chili Cook Off. “Together We Can!” ▲

Jay and Karen Russell with their door prize winnings: Girl Scout Cookies!

A variety of casino games provided a great time after the Chili Cook Off Winners were announced April 2017 NICA News


Getting to Know Your Northeast Council Members This is the first in a new series of question and answer articles meant to bring the NICA Membership closer to their representative members in the newly established Regional Councils of NICA. This month’s installment focuses on the Northeast Council’s own Vinnie Nelson. NICA News: What is the name of your business and what do you sell? Vinnie Nelson: My business is Vinnie’s Fine Foods and I sell pizza, stromboli, Italian sausage, garlic mozzarella cheesesteak, and fresh squeezed lemonade. NN: What is your route? VN: I am currently working events in New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Maine. NN: How long have you been a NICA Member? VN: I believe I have just celebrated 10 years of membership! NN: Tell us about your family… are they active in your business? VN: My wife’s name is Linda and I have two children: Gabriella who is ten and Vincent who is

Vinnie and Linda Nelson, Vinnie’s Fine Foods

six. Linda is an integral part of my business; she can do everything I can. NN: Do you remember who first recruited you as a member? VN: At first it was Russ Harrison, CCE, Rudy’s Inc., and then also by Stacia Markowitz, Mike’s Concessions. NN: What is your most valuable NICA benefit? VN: I use the national pricing on soda the most; the money I save through this program pays for my annual membership at least three times over. NN: What inspired you to join the Northeast Council? VN: I believe NICA works hard to help concessionaires and fair boards improve their relationships, and make them even stronger. NN: What do you hope the Northeast Council accomplishes during your tenure? VN: I would like to make Concessionaires more aware of the good things that NICA does for all of our businesses and the industry.

The Northeast Council’s Meeting at the NICA Business Expo in February with Eddie Porcelli, III, Spaghetti Eddie’s, Vinnie Nelson, Vinnie’s Fine Foods, Kelly Grout, Jack’s Fries, Jessica Gottsche, Council Coordinator, and Tonio Viscusi, Angela’s International (via Facetime)


April 2017 NICA News

NN: We appreciate your responses Vinnie! What is the best way for a NICA Member to reach you? VN: You can reach me by cell at (845) 656-7647 or email at vinniesfinefoods@aol.com ▲

Assorted Memories Rey O’Day, Executive Manager of Councils

Alan and Kim Barr, Pacific Crest Concessions, Ashley Murray, M & M Marketing, Rey O’Day, Executive Manager of Councils, Daryl Whicheloe, CCE, Southern Oregon Food & Beverage, Nate Janousek, Fun Biz Concessions, and Jay Wells, Wells Concession representing NICA West at the WFA Convention and Trade Show

Dominic Palmieri III, CCE, NICA President, Rebecca Kelley, Sysco Director of National Account Sales, Deb Aschmann, Concessions and Partnerships, Dutchess County Fair, Charlene Leavitt, RCS Owner, Rey O’Day, NICA Executive Manager of Councils, and Kevin Graham, Sysco Houston Program Manager, at the Houston Livestock and Rodeo

“Announcements” continued from page 13 ►►

Director Nomination Deadline is June 1st Each Fall, NICA’s Board of Directors holds an election to fill Board vacancies. Leading up to this, NICA accepts nominations for Board Members from the Membership. 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, 2017. All forms can be found on www.nicainc.org/pages/DirectorNominations— they can be submitted digitally to nica@nicainc.org or via mail 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. ▲

Call for Stories and Photos from the last 25 Years Can you believe that NICA has been around for more than 24 years? It’s true! This association has certainly grown with membership, benefits, and recognition within the Fair and Special Events Industries during this time. To prepare for our 25th year coming in 2018, we want to focus on our members’ experiences during this period of history. Were you here since the very beginning? Were you part of NICA’s leadership during these years? Did you just join but want to share your story? We want to hear from you! Send your stories, photos, etc. to communications@nicainc.org today. ▲ April 2017 NICA News



11th Annual

SaN DiEgo Golf TourNamENt

Monday, June 19, 2017 at Lomas Santa Fe Country Club 11:30am: Registration • 12:00pm: Putting Contest • 1:00pm: Shotgun Start


(One Form per Foursome)

Name:__________________________________________________ Phone:________________________________________ Address:________________________________________________________________________________________________

Sponsorship of Hole, Company Name:__________________________________________________________ $100 (Sign Included) Foursome Player Names:

□ □

_________________________________________ $125 _________________________________________ $125

□ □

_________________________________________ $125 _________________________________________ $125


Total Enclosed:______________

Contact Gary Barham at (619) 987-3049, Ryan Long at (214) 403-0706, or Ashley Murray at (310) 316-7510

$125 PLAYER FEE Includes Green Fees, Golf Cart, Amenities, and Awards Dinner following Tournament

PRIZES 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Place Winning Teams, Longest Drive, Closest to the Pin, and the $10,000 Hole in One!

Lomas Santa Fe Country Club 1505 Lomas Santa Fe Drive Solana Beach, CA 92075 (858) 755-6768

Drop Applications off at CHUCKWAGON during the San Diego County Fair, register online at www.nicainc.org OR send via mail to NICA West Golf Tournament, 2130 Walnut St., La Verne, CA 91752 no later than June 12, 2017. 22 April 2017 NICA News

IAFE and NICA Team Up! Get Kids to the Fair with

Read and Win

The National Independent Concessionaires Association (NICA) is sponsoring these ribbon bookmarks for fairs to use in creating innovative partnerships with their schools and libraries, all designed to drive traffic to the fair. Reward young readers with a bookmark and some incentive to the fair (tickets, coupons for free or discounted food and drink, carnival midway tickets, etc.). This is a WIN-WIN situation for everyone — kids, libraries, concessionaires, carnival operators, communities, and the fair! Each member fair creating a program can receive up to 1,000 ribbons FREE, courtesy of NICA. Additional ribbons may be purchased for 7 cents each. Contact Matt at the IAFE Office (800-516-0313) or receptionist@fairsandexpos.com or go to www.fairsandexpos.com (Products in the Resources tab) to download an order form. “The Dane County Fair, Madison, Wis., passed out 710 reading ribbons to youth (ages 17 and under). The participants used their reward to gain free admission to the fair and then exchanged the coupon for a reading ribbon. Each library set their own reading requirements, but used the free admission as a highly sought after reward for participants finishing the reading goals. The fair intends to continue working with the South Central Library System in offering this program.”

April 2017 NICA News


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A Membership that Pays for Itself It is possible that as a NICA Member, discounts and savings through one of our benefit partners could offset the entire cost of your NICA Membership and then some! If you have any questions on how to use any of these benefits, call the office at (813) 438-8926. The following list gives a snapshot of what comes with your membership:

• 5 Star Refrigeration & Air Conditioning Discounts • $10,000 AD&D Insurance Policy • Affordable Health Insurance • Advanced Testing Solutions, LLC • Arrow Distributing Discounts • AutoZone Discount • Budget Rental Discount • CLC Lodging / CheckInn Direct Hotel Discounts • Coca-Cola National Pricing • Crystal Automotive Special Pricing & Free Shipping • Fare Foods Food Discounts • First Data Credit Card Processing • Ford Fleet Program Discount • GrayBar Electronics Discount • GreenZone Hero Discount • Hertz Rental Cars Discount • HD Supply Discount • NICA Sysco Marketplace Food Discounts & Rebates • OCC Signs Special Pricing • Pepsi National Pricing & Rebate • Sherwin-Williams Discount • Source1 Purchasing Discounts including Airgas, Best Buy, Cintas, Grainger & Office Depot • SuperFleet Fuel Discounts • Trip Sheets Online & more!

2017 Membership Contest Leaderboard* General Membership Jennifer Allison......................................................................2 Robert Hutchins....................................................................2 Robert Santorelli...................................................................2

Board of Directors Don Delahoyde, CCE..............................................................2 Richie George........................................................................1 Kathy Ross............................................................................1

Administration Office......................................................................................7

*See the back cover for rules and prizes

Connect with us Online


Advertise Your Business in

by calling the NICA Office today at (813) 438-8926 emailing communications@nicainc.org, or by downloading the online Insertion Order at www.nicainc.org/pages/advertising. Contact us today to reserve your spot! April 2017 NICA News


2017 Events Calendar

Representing NICA & Its Industry Partners April 1: Scholarship Applications due in office 6-8: Mid-West Fairs Association Annual Convention • Miami, FL 17-20: Board of Directors Spring Workshop 25-28: 49th Annual IAFE Management Conference • Spokane, WA

May 3-6: IAFE Zones 3 & 6 Meeting • Toronto, ON

18-20: Combined IAFE Zone 2 Annual Meeting & FL Federation of Fairs & Livestock Shows Annual Convention • Orlando, FL 29: Memorial Day (Office Closed)

June 1: Board of Directors election nominations due in office 19: 11th Annual NICA West Golf Tournament • Solana Beach, CA

July 4: Independence Day (Office Closed) 15: Board of Directors election ballots go out to voting members

August 15: Directory Updates go out to membership

26: Baseball Trip During the Alameda County Fair • Pleasanton, CA

Although these dates are based on sources believed to be reliable and true, they are subject to changes throughout the year. Additional or revised dates may be announced in future issues of NICA News or at www.nicainc.org under our calendar section.

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April 2017 NICA News

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National Independent Concessionaires Association, Inc. 1043 E. Brandon Blvd., Brandon, FL 33511 Phone: 813-438-8926 • Fax: (813)438-8928 Email: nica@nicainc.org • Website: www.nicainc.org

For Office Use Only

Date: #:


q Ms.



Name of business: Physical address: Mailing address:

City :

City :

Primary Phone Number :





Alternate / Cell phone number :



How would you like to receive your NICA News? q Mail q Email Would you like to advertise? q Yes q No

Referred by:

Fill out the information below as accurately, detailed, and complete as possible. Information provided below will be used for your entry in the annual NICA Membership Directory and as keywords to search for your business on the NICA website.

Annual Membership Fees Independent Concession Membership

Associate Membership

q Independent Concessionaire............................................$125 q Additional Member...............................................................$75

q q q q q

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



q Employee................................................................................$ 5 0 q Retired....................................................................................$50 Concession Business / Group Membership

Includes five memberships in one: one Independent Concessionaire, one Additional Member, and three Employee Members ($350 value).

q Concession Business / Group..........................................$300 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 below:

q q q

Commercial Exhibitors / Retail Attractions / Entertainment Services

q q

Fair / Festival over 75,000 attendance.......................... $125 Fair / Festival under 75,000 attendance...........................$75 Manufacturer / Distributor / Supplier............................ $125 Carnival / Circus Operator................................................ $125 Special Services................................................................ $125

Business Description

Provide a detailed description of your business, products, and/or services below:

________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________

Food Games

Mail Check or Money Order to NICA’s office at 1043 E. Brandon Blvd. Brandon, FL 33511 q Visa q Mastercard q American Express q Discover

Concessionaire General Routing Information

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

_____________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________ Fairs and Festivals

Credit Card #: Security Code:

Expiration Date:


List three Fairs or Festivals worked in the past year :

1. __________________________________________________________ 2. __________________________________________________________ 3. __________________________________________________________ I understand that my application is subject to final approval by the NICA Board of Directors. I also understand that if my application is not accepted, the amount paid will be refunded to me. If accepted for membership in NICA, I hereby agree to abide by its by-laws and rules.

Signature of Credit Card Holder I authorize NICA to charge the agreed amount listed above to my credit card provided herein. I agree I will pay for this purchase in accordance with the issuing bank cardholder agreement. The NICA sponsored $10,000 Accidental Death and Dismemberment Insurance Policy is automatically provided to all Independent Concessionaire Members.

Applicant’s signature


Beneficiary ________________________________________ Phone ___________________

National Independent Concessionaires Association, Inc. 1043 E. Brandon Blvd., Brandon, FL 33511 Time Sensitive Mail • April 2017 Issue