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Contents • January / February 2020 Articles & Features

Events & Contests

04 This Month’s New & Renewal Members 05 Passing of the Gavel 05 Focus on the Future 08 Riffing With Rey 09 Director’s Voice 10 Thoughts from a CCE 11 Association Announcements 17 Member’s Voice 18 It’s All in the Oil: Fry Baby, Fry! 22 Attention Members! 26 Transforming Transactions into Experiences with Schantz Manufacturing & Craftsmen Industries 28 2019 Year in Review: Regional Council Reports

13 NICA Business Expo & Fare Foods 2020 Food Show Information, Registration & Schedule of Events 32 WFA Convention Preview 34 NICA Invites You to Attend Florida Week 39 5th Annual Fair Partners Shootout 41 2019 Coca-Cola Membership Contest 42 2020 Events Calendar

AdvertiSers 25 A to Z Meats 36 Allied Specialty Insurance 23 Alpha Baking Co. 35 Berk Concession Supply 37 Fanestil Meats 23 Fare Foods 16 Firestone Financial 31 First Data 41 Heinkel’s Packing 38 JKJ Workforce

40 Member Classifieds 02 Pepsi 35 RJ Schinner 25 Schantz Mfg. 22 Soda Parts Express 37 Swanel Beverage 30 Sysco 06 The Best Around Trailer Shells 38 Whirley DrinkWorks! 36 WNA

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 © 1993-2020 NICA, Inc. All Rights Reserved. We Hope to See You in Reno and Tampa! January / February 2020 NICA News


This Month’s Newest Members! Chelly Allen

Mars Wrigley Confectionary Boynton Beach, FL

Andrew Bryan

Bryan Holdings LLC Hutchinson, KS

Jeffery Corlett

Stealth Trailers Bristol, IN

Erica Haag

Emma’s Cookie Kitchen / Kora’s Cookie Dough Greenbush, WI

Matthew Hall

Benjamin Merrill

John Wandrey

Kathy Jordan

Trey Miller

Kristen Whicheloe

John Kilduff

Mary Prange

Hall Family Foods Inc Hutchinson, KS Georgia Pacific Professional Atlanta, GA

Rockin’ Comet Diner Clayton, NC G3 Concessions Fayetteville, NC

Wandrey Concessions Baraboo, WI Southern Oregon Food & Beverage Cave Junction, OR

Sherri Winslett

Margaret Lucio

Emma’s Cookie Kitchen / Kora’s Cookie Dough Fayetteville, NC

John Ricci

Mark Walker

Mike Menelle

Conagra Foodservice Livermore, CA

Keurig Dr. Pepper Las Vegas, NV A and M Concessions Jasper, FL

Twisted Tattooz Michigan City, IN OA Finance, LLC Lee’s Summit, MO

Ventura Foods, LLC Dayton, OH

Welcome to our 17 New Members! See page 41 for the final 2019 Coca-Cola Membership Contest Leaderboard. “Together We Can!”

This Month’s Member Renewals Andrew Alcantara

Leon Leather Co. Inc Port Orange, FL (2007)

Della Amstutz

Wesley Stevens Concessions Oklahoma City, OK (2013)

Mary Anderson

Solem Concessions, Inc. Rochester, MN (2016)

The Roadhouse Fort Cobb, OK (2016) Route 66 Pizza Puyallup, WA (2017)

Randy Anderson

Route 66 Pizza Puyallup, WA (2017)

Alan Barr

Pacific Crest Concessions Kuna, ID (2012)

Chris Bayle

CW Concessions Lakewood, OH (2018)

Brad Bennett

Bennett Concessions Kokomo, IN (1997)

Jack Bidwell

Bidwell’s Concessions Crossville, TN (1995)

Phyllis Bidwell

Bidwell’s Concessions Crossville, TN (2004)


Wesley Boyd Bierwirth

January / February 2020 NICA News

Samantha Bluhm

Scott Brandt

Butcher Boys / F&W Concessions Rhinebeck, NY (2016)

Randy Brown

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

Nancy Chapman

Chapman Fashion International Oakhurst, CA (2016)

Joe Cooney

Tyson Foods Springdale, AR (2015)

Kelly Courtland

Good Source Solutions, Inc. Carlsbad, CA (2014)

Shane DeVooght

Superiorland Concessions/ Sidewalk Sundae Sarasota, FL (2011)

John Doolan

Tom Frazee

Jeffrey Dunham

Jan Gary

Doolan Amusement Co. Stuart, FL (2002) Cousins Confections Youngsville, NC (2013)

Frazee’s Concessions Comstock Park, MI (2014)

Gene Edick

Leap of Faith Adventures, Inc. dba JK Dots Vista, CA (2005)

Teresa Farnum

Leap of Faith Adventures, Inc. Vista, CA (2018)

Brogdon Concessions Oceanside, CA (2013)

Karen Gary

Giant Ice Cream Cone and Lemonade Riverside, CA (2018)

Andy Glushakow

Jake Fink

Lucas Gobeli

Pal Fontana

Alexandra Graf

Joshua Ford

Lee Grigsby

Milo Franks

Larry Habeck

Earl’s Rides Weyauwega, WI (2017) Fontana Foods Cape Coral, FL (2011) Specialty Foods Wellington, OH (2004) Milo & Son Enterprise, Inc. Pilot Hill, CA (2018)

Phat Boyz Catering Hebron, MD (2018) Great Jones County Fair Monticello, IA (2015) Schnitzels & Giggles Sunset, TX (2011) Grigsby Enterprise LLC Shreveport, LA (2015) TBA Concessions, LLC Gibsonton, FL (2006)

►► “Renewals” continued on page 24

Passing of Of the Gavel Kathy Ross, CCE, 2019 President

“One of the greatest discoveries a person makes, one of their great surprises, is to find they can do what they were afraid they couldn’t do.”­ — Henry Ford Wow... a year ago I was so afraid of what was ahead of me. I am surprised how fast it has gone by; but, I am on the other side, a stronger, better leader. I am confident that NICA is in good hands with Rey O’Day, Executive Director, Don Delahoyde, CCE, Incoming President, and the current path the Board is following. The Board of Directors are a hard working group with the NICA Membership as their focus. At the IAFE Convention in San Antonio, TX, NICA hosted two sessions, “What Makes Fairs Affordable” and “The Changing Landscape of Commercial Exhibits,” and a Happy Hour event. At the Board Meeting held there, we discussed

the NICA Business Expo & Fare Foods 2020 Food Show. At this year’s Expo we want to Focus on the Future: the future of trucking changes, temporary labor use, association health insurance, and payment processing. Our goal is to focus on topics that impact all of our members. NICA offers all events FREE of charge. Sunday, February 2nd starts with a Super Bowl Party, provided by Fare Foods, FREE of charge. This is a chance to see friends, enjoy the game, and partake of great food and drinks at no charge. Monday brings an afternoon of educational sessions. We strive to

►► “Gavel” continued on page 6

Focus focus on the Future future

Don Delahoyde, CCE, 2020 President

Kathy Ross, CCE, Outgoing President, Sandy Class, CCE, 1st Vice President, Daryl Whicheloe, Happy New year to all our CCE, 2nd Vice President, Jay “Rocco” Russell, great Members and Board. It is Treasurer, Vincent Nelson, CCE, Secretary, and my privilege to take the helm Directors Andrew “Bruno” Broomfield, Carmel as NICA President for 2020: Dyer-Pittroff, CCE, Kevin McGrath, CCE, and th NICA’s 27 year. I thank Kathy Kim Barr, CCE. Mike Pence, CCE will be retiring Ross, CCE for all her hard work from the Board this year after many years of and time and dedication to appreciated volunteer service. The other cog of NICA and its members. We the wheel that keeps NICA moving forward are our welcome new Board Members Regional Councils; they have made great strides Jacqueline Bradbury and Lee Stevens to the Board in hosting Fundraising Member Socials as well as of Directors. As many of you have heard, our other representing the body of the NICA Membership. new Board Member passed unexpectly, and will Thanks to all of them for the time and work. If you be missed greatly—that was Vince Aglifili, CCE, think you would like to participate on a Council CFE. The Board is currently interviewing potential please let any Director know. members to replace Vince for a one year period. I would also like to mention the great Staff that That person should be in place by the NICA/Fare Foods show. Those three new Board Members will ►► “Future” continued on page 7 join your dedicated Board of Directors including January / February 2020 NICA News



2019 President: Kathy Ross, CCE 2020 President: Don Delahoyde, CCE 1st Vice President: Sandy Class, CCE 2nd Vice President: Daryl Whicheloe, CCE Treasurer: Jay “Rocco” Russell Secretary: Vincent Nelson, CCE


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

incoming Directors Jacqueline Bradbury Lee Stevens

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 & West Council Coordinator : Rey O’Day

Communications & Marketing Manager : Jesse Willard

Office & Membership Manager : Linda Frisco

East Council & Social Media Coordinator : Jessica Gottsche

east Council

Lindsey Constantine Samantha Fairlie Kelly Grout Thomas Hodson, CCE Mike Kramer Henry Mitchell Gentry Miller Cameron Murray Kelley Myers Vincent Nelson, CCE Joshua Nicholson

West Council Brandy Arrendondo Kim Barr, CCE Irene Dugan Jan Gary Ryan Long Ryann Newman Erica Quintero Steve Vartanian Jay Wells

National Reps 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

Do you have any questions or would like to get involved with NICA? Contact us at (813) 438-8926 or today!

“Gavel” continued from page 5 ►► focus our sessions on helping our Members to become better Independent Operators. Fare Foods will provide a session that focuses on the newest items available to their customers. Hummel Group will provide a session to offer information on association health insurance. Recent changes in the Department of Labor (DOL) will make it easier for small businesses to band together to buy health insurance without some of the regulatory requirements that individual states and the Affordable Care Act (ACA) impose on smaller employers. Hummel Group is offering to provide the NICA Association Health Care Plan. Plan to join this session... FREE of charge. Wednesday, February 5th will bring our busy week to a close with the NICA Annual Membership Meeting and Gala Dinner. Plan to join us to celebrate the Hall of Fame award recipient, our scholarship winners and NICA’s 2019 accomplishments... FREE of charge. As I complete my year, I challenge the NICA Membership to try something you were afraid to do, because you will be surprised what you are capable of. Farewell­­­—“Together We Can!” ▲ 6

January / February 2020 NICA News

“Future” continued from page 5 ►► keeps the day-to-day operation of NICA running. This includes Rey O’Day, our Executive Director, Jessica Gottsche, Council Coordinator, and the two key people in the NICA Office: Jesse Willard, Communications and Marketing Manager, and Linda Frisco, Office and Membership Manager. In regards to the NICA Business Expo and Fare Foods 2020 Food Show, we have been working diligently to offer good content for our Members. Besides the two evenings of the Food Show, some of the topics we will be discussing during the Business Expo are:

The NICA Board of Directors hosting the NICA-sponsored Happy Hour at the IAFE Convention

advantage of all the things offered by NICA. Your Directors and Staff recently attended the IAFE Convention in San Antonio, TX. I want to assure all the Members that the Board and Staff worked hard to represent you and the organization in a positive professional manner. We had two • Francisco G. Acuna is back by popular demand different seminars put on by Rey O’Day: The IAFE to continue those important DOT updates. Institute course “The Principals of Food and • Hummel Group will introduce us to an Active Beverage” and a Commercial Exbibits Symposium Shooter option and present a review of that took a deep dive into “The Changing Landscape Insurance 101. of Commercial Exhibits.” NICA also presented “What • Health Insurance—we have a company that Makes Fairs Affordable” with a panel consisting is prepared to write health coverage for our of James Romer, North Carolina Assistant Fair Members and families; he will tell us all about Manager, Kevin McGrath, CCE, NICA Board Member, it and costs. and Jennifer Giordano, CCE, C&C Concessions. • Fare Foods will bring in new suppliers with The Directors met with our Fair Management new items and Vendors that will provide food Advisory Committee on Safety and Security, Links demonstrations. between Food and Agriculture, Vendor Logistics and • “Propane 411” will be a talk by our propane Strengthening Community Relationships Together. professional Vincent Nelson, CCE, Board NICA also sponsored the Happy Hour on Tuesday. Secretary. Your Board spoke at every Zone meeting, spreading • Tina Hollis, First Data, will do a class on the goals of NICA. I am amazed, and very proud payment processing called, “What Else Can after attending this event for many years, how much Your Point of Sale Do for You?” respect and enthusiasm in regards to NICA that is • See the event’s schedule on page 14 of this created at this event. We have come a long way in issue for additional topics not mentioned here. our 27 years! NICA will be wide open in January with our We will be going back to the format we have NICA Sysco Marketplace Food Show at the Western used in the past where our Annual Membership Fairs Convention in Reno, NV. We will be presenting Meeting will be held just before dinner—not early several great topics for the Service Members, and in the day. We are also looking at a top quality I will be speaking at the opening ceremonies. This speaker to give us some new wisdom. We will have announcements involving our new nonprofit event is held this year at the Grand Sierra Resort in Reno; I look forward to seeing our West Coast arm for scholarships and education, as well as recognizing the latest person to join the NICA Hall Members. The Staff comes from that event directly to Florida Week. It is a busy time, but is rewarding of Fame. for the organization. Remember that the NICA Business Expo I will conclude my thoughts by saying “Thanks!” and Fare Foods 2020 Food Show is the only to all who make NICA work. My phone is always on convention you will go to that is FREE! The and I am willing to discuss your needs, ideas, or seminars, Super Bowl Party, Hospitality Suite, concerns. I hope to visit many Fairs this year and and the Focus on the Future Gala Dinner, are all look forward to putting faces with names. “Together FREE to our Members. I hope everyone who can We Can!” ▲ come enjoys the nice Florida weather and takes January / February 2020 NICA News


Riffing With Rey Rey O’Day, Executive Director

The holidays present many gift giving opportunities. My personal belief is that gifts are for thoughtful giving; not keeping, or taking back, or shaming, or getting even, or settling beefs, or manipulating, etc. I am going to complain, be grateful, and offer a solution because that is how I roll. A recent trend in gift giving seems to be that we don’t want to have to give/purchase a gift for everyone, so let’s buy one nameless gift for $40, wrap it, put them all in a pile in the middle of the room, and figure out a way to disperse them. On Christmas Day, the families I was with decided we would all receive a number : number one picks a gift, opens it, and then number two decides if they want to take the gift the first person received or open a new one. At some point, someone will choose to take one of the opened gifts from the person that has it and not open a new gift. This means the person who just had their gift lifted can now go choose to take an opened gift from someone else or open a new gift. One of the “rules” is that if a gift has been stolen twice it is now safely with the most recent pincher and cannot be taken again. This goes on until everyone with a number has a gift in front of them… but wait, the game is not over! Number one now gets to look at everything and decide if they want the gift they have or someone else’s (except twice stolen items that cannot be taken again). I am sure from my use of words that you have already figured out what I think about this process. Let me share some observations during this “gift giving sham.” There were 13 players: one family of two, one family of three, one family of five, and three single persons. One man bought and wrapped a gift that he wanted to keep… not give away. His brother picked it and liked it so much that he said kiddingly, “Anyone who tries to take this from me will die.” Needless to say, the brother who brought it had a later number and took it proudly. There was one gift left, so the brother that had his gift stolen took 8

January / February 2020 NICA News

Gifts are for Giving!

the last gift on the floor, which turned out to be a generic kitchen bowl/utensil set that his wife brought. (He graciously said that he can always use new kitchen items.) Let’s talk about his wife: she picked a gift with useful items for a car, including a smartphone mounting set. She was so excited that she asked her husband to please put these in her car ASAP. Ah, but she was not to keep it. One of the families brought three items that they wanted to keep for the three members of their family. The woman in that family had an early number, so she picked something she was pretty sure would be stolen, so she could then go swap the item she wanted for her husband and her son. Another “a-ha moment”—you don’t steal a gift because YOU want it; you act as an agent for your family and choose gifts they want. It takes a team to play this game. She took the car items for her son and later took a pair of perfectly husband-sized slippers and hot/cold beverage holder from a 16 year old, who was actually relieved for the opportunity to try again. I could go on and on, but I watched teenagers hang onto their gift with a pleading “please don’t take this gift from me” look, and I watched others who could hardly wait to take something away from anyone. Oh, and I forgot to tell you that I was invited by my friend, the matriarch of these families, who started out our dinner conversation with the comment to me: “I still remember that you stole those patio lights from me last year and they were the only thing I wanted.” She not only had a grudge from last year, but she left with one this year as well. I won’t even tell that story. However, later in the evening, I stopped by to visit my neighbors who shared their gift giving story. “Oh, you can’t believe how much fun it is to steal the gifts back and forth. It is hilarious and we laugh so hard.” Then their three year old grandson proceeded to tell me how he cried when they took his, and another person laughed that whenever his brother-in-law let it be known he wanted to keep a certain gift, they strategized together to make sure he did not get to keep it because they loved seeing

Director’s Voice

Sandy Class, CCE, 1st Vice President

Director, have worked very hard on putting together a jam-packed three days with great programming. Happy New Year! I hope Audrey Poole, along with Fare Foods, has also everyone had a blessed holiday worked very hard on putting together a sold season, sharing laughter out Food Show and a Super Bowl Party. I urge and making memories with all of you to attend and don’t miss our Annual friends and family. November Membership Meeting, the Gala with a Chinese took many of us to the IAFE auction, entertainment, food, and the introduction to Convention in San Antonio our Incoming Board Members. Additionally, I would and the world renowned IAAPA like to congratulate our latest recipients of the CCE Convention in Orlando. Some award and designation: Barry Bunts, The Apple Cart, went on the Showmen’s Club trip to the Dominican Chris Conkle, Conkle’s Concessions, Courtny Conkle, Republic, and as I write this article, I am on my Wyoming State Fair, Carmel Dyer-Pittroff, Director, way somewhere very South to float on a boat and and Sandy Class, 1st Vice President. Job well done! relax, feeling very thankful. The IAFE Convention To all our Fair friends in the North, I wish you was jam-packed with great topics. It is always warmer weather and that you all will hopefully nice to see our Fair Partners swapping stories begin to thaw out. For those of us in South, I wish and receiving awards for all their endeavors to everyone a prosperous Florida Fair season; it make their Event successful. A convention means won’t be long before we will all be heading North. different things to different people; for me, I found I would like to take this opportunity to thank you this convention to be a rewarding experience for allowing me to serve on this Board; it truly has supporting Fairs and Fair Management in an been an enriching experience. I encourage all to get Industry of how my husband and I earn our living. involved, whether it be a Communication Committee, We must not forget about the NICA Business a Council, a jamboree, or a fundraiser. This is your Expo and Fare Foods 2020 Food Show, February organization. Oh, and by the way, we have a great 3-5, 2020. The 2020 Expo is going to be bigger Scholarship Program too! The NICA Board works and better than ever, and guess what? It’s all very hard for our membership, ensuring that our FREE! The NICA Board, along with our dynamic Members are always in our best interest! Office Staff and Ms. Rey O Day, our Executive “Together We Can!” ▲

him get upset about it. REALLY?!! I enjoy gift exchanges for the same reasons I love potlucks: they are fun, efficient, social, interesting, engaging, and provide variety and mystery. However, to purposely create fear, meanness, narcissism, quid pro quo, shaming, desire to do harm, and create grudges are not my gig. They are inappropriate in gift giving! There are many wonderful ways to conduct gift exchanges in the spirit of generosity and joyful laughter. Google and Pinterest have many wonderful ideas. There is a book by Roberta Jeeves—White Elephant Gift Exchange: Rules, Themes and Ideas for Hosting a Perfect Holiday Gift Swap. My favorites are the many “left-andright” stories. Sit in a circle and when the story

says “left,” pass the gift to the left, and when the story says “right,” pass the gift to the right. In my house, whatever gift you are holding at the end is yours. (Some do quietly exchange on their own.) In our Industry, we all give gifts and are asked to give gifts as part of our culture. I try to ask myself, “What is my intention?” My riff is, “A gift is something to give willingly with goodwill, thoughtfulness, generosity, and without payment.” When I cannot do that, then I cannot call it a gift; and sometimes, I do not give it at all. Let’s forget the negative lessons cited above and remember, “The manner of giving is worth more than the gift.” – Pierre Corneille. Oh yes, and let’s remember that life is a gift: open it, celebrate it, and let’s be grateful for it! Happy 2020! ▲ January / February 2020 NICA News


Thoughts from a This month’s Statement of Communications & Management Philosophy is from our newest CCE Recipients Barry Bunts, CCE, The Apple Cart, LLC, Chris Conkle, CCE, Conkle’s Concessions & Courtny Conkle, CCE, Wyoming State Fair: happiest, most enthusiastic employees with the biggest smiles. These people are happy to be Barry Bunts, CCE alive, and are excited every minute that they are CCE Earned in 2020 working at the Fair. I work with them 99% of the “I believe in always serving time, and they are trained well on how to make the the freshest products, from the product, customer service, and every other aspect cleanest stands, in a courteous concerning the rest of the Fair. and professional manner. Our employees know where the sheep barn This was instilled in me by my is, know the times and location of the ‘Sea father from the earliest days Lion Show,’ and know what event is going on of assisting with the family in the Grandstand each night. They are an business. I strive to instill the same attitude into integral part of the Fair as a whole. They know all our team members so that all of our patrons Fair Management, office workers, janitorial, have a pleasurable experience and receive a maintenance, and all the other Vendors. quality product. All of the employees and I have an open Besides flash, friendly smiling faces mean communication policy about everything. If there more cash! That is why I try to make our long is any kind of question or problem, they can hours as pleasurable and fun as possible while come to me at any time. This same open policy still maintaining a professional atmosphere. is practiced with the Fair staff and all the other I want everyone on our team to be as happy Vendors. My employees make our business and pleased as our customers. I want longspecial!” ▲ term employees, as well as long-term repeat customers. Courtny Conkle, CCE I also strive to have open and honest CCE Earned in 2020 communication with employees, patrons, and “My Communications and events. I feel honored that many have sought my Management Philosophy, much advice or opinion over the years. As our Industry like the empowering ‘Together changes and evolves, we must be open to new We Can!’ that NICA lives by is ideas and strategies, which we can often learn simple, yet powerful. I believe from others. Listening to patrons, event managers, that so long as all sectors of and employees makes for better relations with the Fair and Event Industry are everyone, and a successful business.” ▲ working in a collaborative manner, that our joint efforts can keep our Industry relevant and vibrant. Christopher Conkle, CCE We are so lucky to be able to serve community CCE Earned in 2020 members from every background and all walks “My Statement of of life at our events. In a time of natural disasters Communications and like what we have seen in California recently, Management Philosophy is the traditions that Fairgoers look forward to are very simple. My front line becoming more and more important. employees represent my I always strive for growth, whether it is growing company and are also the face the attendance of my Fair, seeing an increase of the Fair. They can make in Concession gross, or earning my Certified or break a Fairgoer’s experience. I only hire the Concessionaire Executive designation, I work 10

January / February 2020 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!

Our Condolences to the Families Who Suffered Losses in December It is with a heavy heart that we share the news of the passing of four NICA Members in December: Mildred Dickerson, Dickerson and Kenna Concessions, Karen Kennedy, CCE, Old Time Saltwater Taffy, Eddie Porcelli, II, CCE, Spaghetti Eddie and Past NICA Director, and Denny Thompson, Industry legend. Mildred Lee Dickerson, 94, passed away December 17, 2019. Millie was born May 18, 1925, to Clarence and Opal (Biddle) Demott. She was raised in Lebanon, IN and graduated from Lebanon High School in 1942. On June 22, 1946, she eloped with her fiancé, James L. Dickerson, to Delphi, IN where they were married by a pastor who was washing his car. They honeymooned at Ideal Beach, IN. Jim and Millie operated their business, Dickerson’s Fine Foods, where they traveled to Fairs as Concessionaires. In 1974, they moved from Lebanon to Monticello, IN where they spent many happy years on Lake Shafer. In the mid ‘90s they retired by buying a funnel cake stand and they both worked well into their 80s. Millie was known for her sense of humor and she loved to make people smile. A celebration of Millie’s life will be held at a later date. Her family would like to extend their sincere gratitude towards the wonderful staff members at both Crown Pointe and Homewood for the care and love they showed Millie. You may visit the website where you may sign her online register and leave a personal message. Karen Kennedy’s husband Michael Kennedy, CCE, NICA Past Director, writes: “My wife, partner, lover, and confidant of 54 years has left me for another, Jesus Christ, now in His loving arms, surrounding her with all the love of heaven. On December 17th at 11:45 PM, Karen went home to our Lord and Savior. We will have

►► “Announcements” continued on page 12

tirelessly to improve myself and lead by doing. Competition drives innovation; while some sectors of our Industry lead the way on what is latest and greatest, it takes all of our sectors working in unity to make us the very best that we can be as an Industry.” ▲ The CCE Program was developed to recognize the professionalism of Concessionaires, with the title representing a deep understanding and respect for the Fair and Festival business.

The applicant must have a minimum of seven years as a full-time Chief Operating Manager of an Independent Concession Business and be a current Member of NICA, at least one State Association, and of one of the following associations: IAFE, IFEA, or the WFA. The applicant must then complete a questionnaire and a 150-200 word personal philosophy of communication and management as it relates to the Fair Industry. Visit the CCE website for more details and the application form: January / February 2020 NICA News


“Announcements” continued from page 11 ►► a celebration of her homecoming January 11th at 11 AM at the Oxford Assembly of God, 12114 North US HWY 301, Oxford, FL 34484.” In place of flowers, the family asks for donations to Anna’s House Ministries, 4180 CR 181, Wildwood, FL 34785. Edward Joseph Porcelli passed away December 17, 2019 at the age of 79 surrounded by family and friends. Born in Manhattan, NY, March 26, 1940, Ed lived an accomplished and adventurous life. Upon graduating Marlboro High School in New York he joined the Navy and proudly served and saw the world during his four years of service. A life long entrepreneur, who owned many businesses in the Food Service Industry, including restaurants in New York, South Carolina, and Florida. Ultimately, he found his calling on the “road” in the Mobile Food Concession business traveling throughout the United States, Canada, and the Bahamas. Ed loved the sea and constantly pursued his life enduring dream of sailing the world, loved his work and the people he encountered, but above all, Ed loved spending time with his family and friends. All who knew him were keenly aware of his undeniable spirit, ingenuity, and integrity. A Celebration of Life to be announced. In lieu of flowers, the family asks you consider making a donation to Hospice in Ed’s name at Rey O’Day, Executive Director writes: “Denny Thompson’s life (August 23, 1938 – December 27, 2019) is a life to be celebrated! He was important to us as individuals and to all of us as an Industry. I met him towards the end of his career as the WFA Food and Beverage Liaison. As the expert, he went to many county health departments and righted wrongs. Most importantly, he taught a generation of health officers that Mobile Food Concession trailers were NOT food trucks and should not be classified in the same manner. As the friend, he wrote about the best places to eat as he traveled from Fair to Fair. After he retired, I learned that he had a love for theater. At the time I was the Producing Artistic Director for Performance Riverside, a regional Broadway theater company near where he lived. He attended performances and provided an opening night dinner for each cast for several years. A priceless memory. I invite all of us to celebrate and honor his life together by joyfully sharing our stories.” ▲

2020 Coca-Cola & Pepsi Pricelists are Now Available It’s official! The 2020 NICA National Pricing Discounts for Coca-Cola and Pepsi have been released and are now available to view on the resources section of your member profile at or by request from the NICA Office at or (813) 438-8926. Do you sell soda but haven’t signed up yet for either of these programs? You are missing out on some great savings! What’s more is that they are ready to assist you with ordering and securing the pricing with your local bottlers nationwide to make sure you are stocked for your event. Sign up today! ▲

2020 NICA Scholarship Applications Available Online It’s time to think about college scholarships! For you or those of you with young people heading off to or planning on entering college, the 2020 NICA Scholarship Application is now available on the website at We invite you to apply as soon as possible, as the deadline is June 1st, 2020. We have strengthened the scholarship program with the addition of the Regional Councils Scholarship in the amount of $3,000. The Scholarship Program will continue to award the Gene O’Brien, CCE Vocational School Scholarship and one scholarship with a donation from Coca-Cola in honor of CCE-designated members. The remaining scholarships will be provided using donations from the NICA Membership. Start planning for the next chapter in your life today! ▲ 12

January / February 2020 NICA News

NICA Business Expo & Fare Foods 2020 Food Show February 3rd, 4th & 5th 2020 Join us at the beautiful

Sheraton Tampa Brandon Hotel 10221 Princess Palm Ave. Tampa, FL The NICA Business Expo provides Workshops and Discussion Groups which cover the issues and the daily challenges our industry is faced with today. The Workshops are facilitated by experts in their fields. Workshops and Discussion Groups:

February 3rd, 4th & 5th

The Fare Foods 2020 Food Show features exhibitors showcasing the latest food trends and technology that define the 2020 Fair Season. Fare Foods Food Show:

February 3rd & 4th, 5 - 9 pm

(Vendor Setup: Feb. 3rd, Noon - 4 pm)

NICA Membership Meeting & Evening Entertainment:

February 5th

WE HOPE TO SEE YOU IN TAMPA! January / February 2020 NICA News


Schedule of Events* Sunday, February 2nd 6:00 - 11:00 PM: “Super Bowl Party” Hosted by Fare Foods & “NICA Scholarship Fundraiser” (Ballroom)

Monday, February 3rd 1:15 - 2:15 PM: “Active Shooter and other Emerging Insurance Risks” (Brandon II) 2:30 - 3:30 PM: “Food Trends Cooking Demonstration” Presented by Fare Foods (Brandon II) 3:45 - 4:45 PM: ”Have You Seen Your Fair?” Presented by Eddie Porcelli, III, NICA East Council (Brandon II) 5:00 PM: Ribbon Cutting (Lobby) 5:00 - 9:00 PM: “Food Show” Presented by Fare Foods (Ballroom) Drawings every half hour for the CASH BONANZA 9:00 PM: “Hospitality Suite” Hosted by Fare Foods (Palm Room)

Tuesday, February 4th 8:30 - 9:30 AM: “DOT” Presented by Francisco G. Acuna (Brandon II) 9:45 - 10:45 AM: “Propane 411” Presented by Vincent Nelson, CCE, NICA Secretary (Brandon IV) 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM: “From Container to Concession Stand” Presented by Tom Hodson, CCE, NICA Past President and East Council (Brandon II) 12:15 - 1:15 PM: “Regional Council Service 101” Presented by Jessica Gottsche, NICA Council Coordinator (Brandon IV) 1:30 - 2:30 PM: “What Else Can Your Point of Sale Do for You?” Presented by Tina Hollis, First Data (Brandon II) 2:45 - 3:45 PM: “Roundtables: Sales Tax, Tip Jars, Transfer of Ownership Experience, Urgent Care Health Coverage” (Palm Room) 4:00 - 9:00 PM: “Food Show” Presented by Fare Foods (Ballroom) Drawings every half hour for the CASH BONANZA • final drawing at 8:45 PM 9:00 PM: “Hospitality Suite” Hosted by Fare Foods (Palm Room)

Wednesday, February 5th 9:15 - 10:15 AM: “Social Media/Influencers” Presented by Jessica Gottsche, NICA Council Coordinator, and Dominic Palmieri, CCE, NICA Past President (Brandon II) 10:30 - 11:45 AM: “Speakers Training” Presented by Rey O’Day, NICA Executive Director (Brandon II) 12:00 - 2:00 PM: “Past Presidents and Directors Luncheon and Meeting” (Palm Room) 2:00 - 3:15 PM: “Safety and Security” (Brandon II) 3:30 - 4:45 PM: “Health Insurance” Presented by Hummel Group (Palm Room) 5:00 - 6:30 PM: “NICA Annual Membership Meeting” (Cypress Room) 6:30 - 7:00 PM: “Cocktail Reception” (Ballroom) 7:00 - 10:00 PM: “Focus on the Future Gala Dinner” (Ballroom) 14

January / February 2020 NICA News

*Schedule is subject to change; see event program and signage or visit

NICA Business Expo & Fare Foods 2020 Food Show February 3rd, 4th & 5th 2020

Pre-register at & Download the Event App Today! We have some exciting new surprises this year. We have chosen a new registration program, Whova. The App that has been designed for the event can be downloaded after you register. The Whova app will keep up to date on all the new happenings, schedule, has the ability to interact with other attendees, and has information on all the sponsors and exhibitors. NOTE: Please make sure you choose the number of tickets that you will be registering. This step must be complete first in order to register.

What is the CASH BONANZA? The CASH BONANZA, sponsored by Allied Specialty Insurance, is a drawing for $2500 held during the NICA Business Expo and Fare Foods 2020 Food Show. To qualify, you must place your tickets in the designated ticket bin. On the evenings of February 3rd and 4th, one ticket is drawn each half hour; if the person is present, their ticket is placed into eligibility for the GRAND PRIZE. All qualifying names must be present February 4th at 8:45 PM to be eligible for the CASH BONANZA Grand Prize. Good Luck! Pre-Register to receive TWO tickets, register onsite to receive ONE ticket, and attend Monday Workshops (at 1:15, 2:30 and 3:45 PM) to receive an ADDITIONAL ticket for every session you attend. January / February 2020 NICA News



January / February 2020 NICA News

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, especially when it comes to which benefits are being used and which events people are interested in attending. The NICA Office has recently renewed their survey of responses from Renewing Members. Morgan Stremmel, CCE, Top Notch Food Concessions from Witchita, KS, describes her relationship with NICA: “I’ve known about NICA for about 15 years, and while I wouldn’t say I’m ‘super’ involved, I do try to attend conventions, read the magazine, keep abreast of Industry issues, and bring those issues to attention whenever possible.” Top Notch Concessions is currently focusing on “Gourmet Style” burgers, sausages, and pizza! Morgan and her husband were both working in this Industry separately before they started their own business: “me with my parents (Wells Concessions) and him for The Best Around.” She elaborates, “We both started rather young in life and were able to start our own company in 2013! Since then we have been working across the Midwest, Canada, and now focus on the Southwestern part of the USA.” They start in Arizona at Christmas, and end in Arizona on the 1st of November. “We rarely have time off in there, but we do work in California for about two months in the summer to get away from the Arizona heat.” Morgan states that her favorite event is the Iowa State Fair, where she started working in 1998 “at the ripe old age of 13.” She continues: “Since then, I have only missed about three Fairs! I cut more ice cream bars there than anyone I have ever met, which afforded me my ‘Ice Cream Cutter Extraordinare’ title, AND I met my husband there!” Regarding her most utilized NICA benefits, Morgan explains, “I have Scott from OCC Signs on speed dial, I have the Autozone Commercial Account Number memorized, and I’m CONSTANTLY making hotel reservations through the CLC app. Oh, I’m cashing those quarterly

Josh and Morgan Stremmel, CCE, Top Notch Concessions

Sysco rebate checks, too...” She says that she loves getting her NICA News magazine and looking through the photos to see who she knows and what they are up to. She also enjoys learning from other Industry minds in the pieces “so many have taken the time to write.” Regarding her experience in the Fair Industry, she loves the freedom she is afforded in her schedule, so “that I get to control when I go and where I go.” She loves being able to experience new things in the new places they travel to, and now that she’s a mom, she says “I really love getting to spend all my time with my kiddo.” One suggestion to the Membership that she has is that “Things in our business seem tougher than ever, the margins thinner than ever, and the miles take longer to pass than they used to. While we are all in the proverbial ‘same boat,’ I also see that each of us has our own unique strengths and challenges. Get to know your fellow Members, and Non-Members alike! We are all showmen, and in the spirit of showmanship, we should always extend our best to each other.” Thank you for your responses Morgan! The NICA Office plans to continue these surveys throughout this year. If you hear from us, let us know what’s on your mind! ▲ January / February 2020 NICA News


IT’S ALL IN THE OIL: Fry Baby, Fry! Dominic Palmieri, III, CCE, Past President

One of the common denominators Concessionaires have in common is commodities. Not the kind sold and traded in Chicago on the mercantile, but the ones that make our foods ooey, gooey, fried, and chewy. ALL operators (for the most part), use some commodity item that is important to their specific operation. Sugar, flour, pork, beef, chicken, turkey legs, lemons, produce of all kinds, etc.; are just the common items. But what about the ONE commodity that the customer never sees or actually shouldn’t see? Oil, fry oil, liquid gold, shortening, peanut oil, olive oil, or lard. All these creamy, clear or trans-fat free liquid commodities make some of the most sensational Fair Food items on the planet: corn dogs, funnel cakes, elephant ears, curly fries, french fries, blooming onions, and deep fried EVERYTHING, including basically all the meats, sweets, and treats our fair patrons love. But with such important quality, innovation, and science at stake, why do we care so little about the ONE MAIN COMMON DENOMINATOR we all have in common? OIL! It seems like almost everyone I talk to tells me they buy the cheapest oil they can find because it doesn’t matter. Well, I’m here to say that “It does matter”­—we put the test to the oil, and metrics to the results to show how much it actually matters. Possibly, one of my greatest joys is “I love what I do,” and maybe to a fault. I find myself always searching for a better mousetrap, better quality food items, creative paper products to make my items present better, taste better, 18

January / February 2020 NICA News

Ventura Foods reps and techs discussing the results of the testing with Mike Marcus, Marcus Concessions, Rey O’Day, Executive Director, Chuck Dugan, Chuckwagon, Steve Vartanian, Lori’s Concessions, Bill Morton, Morton Concessions, and Vivian Leavitt, Paradise Management

maintain volume consistency and increase bottom line dollars. I’ve cut (tested) more food items from every food group in search of the perfect item for the next crazy concoction and all of a sudden it came to me; why have we not spent more time looking at the one item almost all of us have in common to make our foods? OIL! Sometimes we hit the jackpot, or we just get lucky with someone making a call or having a meeting. And our new Executive Director Rey O’Day happened to be the lucky ticket. Rey was invited to one of the most coveted Food Shows and met a guy who knew a guy who had a guy that was head of the sales division of Ventura Foods

(an oil company with a broad array of oil products for cooking). Ventura Foods also happened to be the oil supplier that served the NICA/SYSCO Marketplace with different oil products. And this is where the quest began to find that better mousetrap. In my case, it was an oil slick. Winston Churchill once defined success as the ability to move from failure to failure with “NO LOSS of enthusiasm.” I had tried a few different oils. Canola, safflower, peanut, cottonseed, etc. But I just didn’t seem to find the right concoction for what worked best for my operation. It’s time consuming to test oil, and the timing has to be right. Since timing is everything, and Ventura Foods fell in my lap, Rey connected me with Mike Menelle, Senior Manager National Account Sales at Ventura Foods. He then connected me with his sales/development team and the next thing I knew, I was in the middle of a HUGE oil testing process. I’m not talking about just using one fryer with a different oil and tasting. I mean, I had a team of oil professionals who knew oil, tested oil, and created oil blends. I had several conversations to help the Ventura team understand the Fair Concessions world and all the different items we fry, batter, or dip. What items have lots of water, what items have lots of sugar, what items are protein centric, and what fried items just send out more oil due to their shape (example curly fries) than what it burns when its fried. I wanted to test the oil to see HOW IT WOULD AFFECT MY BOTTOM LINE and INCREASE THE QUALITY OF MY PRODUCTS. But I didn’t want it to be just my show, I wanted it to be a representation of other NICA Members’ items as well. So we invited several Concessionaires to bring items to fry. We had an array of Concessionaires who are some of the best in the country. They have won awards for their products and understand the value of quality and not just bottom line. Their understanding of quality drives them to serve the best products, which in turn does increase their bottom line. So I guess it really is about the bottom line, especially when it comes to quality! Let’s set up the testing to better understand what we refer to as the cutting of oil. Understand that Ventura Foods had never done such a complex testing of so many different items in one cutting. This was unprecedented and went deep diving into new territory. I think they learned as much from Concessionaires as

we learned from them. This will hopefully help to define and design new oil blends to make the best foods possible with best pricing in mind. This was an eight-day test. Day One: Fill three different banks of fryers with different oil. Nine fryers in total—three fryers in each bank. One set had the normal commodity oil that Sysco sells­—clear TFF oil. We’ve been using this for several years and it has been performing quite well, especially at the price point of about $18.50 per jug. One bank of fryers had a premium oil called Mel Fry and the other set of fryers had a combination of oil, which consisted of half Mel Fry in one fryer and clear Sysco TFF oil in fryers two and three. This was in an attempt to see how different foods performed with different oils side by side. Corey Armstrong came every day for eight days to test the oil. He had a testing device that allowed us to visually see the difference of the oil as it was used over a busy week at the Fair. He tested all the oils and fryers and made copious notes. Some of the fryers fried items with lots of batter, others fried items like potatoes fresh cut with lots of water, and other items with lots of sugar. All these items were critical in getting a snap shot of a broad range of fried foods at Fairs and Festivals. NOTE: “We did NO filtering and wanted pure data of how the oil performed as is.” What we found was that the premium oil was exactly that—PREMIUM. It lasted four days longer than the regular commodity clear oil. Flavor was significantly better, held less residual oil on the product and one of the things we all realized was the premium oil made less mess on the fryers. One might ask, how would less mess impact my business and bottom line? The answer was simple. The commodity oil was coated and crusted onto the face of the backing of the fryers and we all knew it was a big job to clean and change oil every three-four days. The premium Mel Fry oil made far less mess on the fryers and was super easy to clean. We all noted that premium oil outlasted commodity oil from four days usage to six to eight day’s usage. This also is significant to the bottom line. As we tested the oil each day, there was

►► “Oil” continued on page 20 January / February 2020 NICA News


“Oil” continued from page 19 ►► a progression of loss of life as in all oils. But the premium oil that uses a combination of cottonseed and high-oleic canola oil versus the commodity oil that is a mixture of and a little high-oleic canola and soy bean oil, favored longer usage. There is also an anti-foaming agent and a little citric acid to dramatically reduce flavor transfer and foamy boiling when frying different types of foods. As an Operator of a diverse array of stands and menu offerings, I quickly realized that premium oil had its advantages for certain fried items and in other circumstances, it didn’t make sense to use a premium oil. Let me dive into this just a bit more to clearly explain. Let’s use two very popular Fair Food items: curly fries and corn dogs. I sell a massive basket of curly fries in my 75 lb. fryers. A basket usually has about six (60 count) potatoes to fill that huge basket. There is so much volume of potatoes that it is nearly impossible to drain all the oil out of the fries. Don’t get me wrong, the fries are crisp; they don’t sag from grease induction, but yet they probably trap six to eight tablespoons of oil inside that huge nest of fries. When you add up six to eight tablespoons of oil, times 500 to 800 orders per day amounts to A LOT of oil going out the window just because it is trapped in that huge nest of fries! For those of you who care about the math, there are 256 tablespoons per gallon. If you do the above math at 500 orders times 8 tablespoons, it equals 4000 tablespoons or 15.6 gallons of oil; basically, three jugs of oil per day. Add three jugs times a 21-day fair and you get 63 jugs of oil; that is just excess. You can all do the math based on what the cost of fry oil is currently and that is just what goes out. So basically, because we are adding so much oil constantly to the fryers, the oil really doesn’t get burned up or use its lifespan as quickly. It stays pretty fresh, especially if we skim several times per day. Using a premium oil on a curly fry item doesn’t necessarily pan out. Commodity oil under these circumstances works very well. Yet, let’s look at the simple corn dog. It doesn’t have a lot of excessive material compromising the oil; i.e.: small chunks of particles, flaking batter or many floating solids of any sort, and needs to be nice and dry of residual oil and needs to also 20

January / February 2020 NICA News

have a clean taste. We found that the premium oil used side by side with the commodity oil lasted far longer, had better taste, left less residual oil on the product and could definitely show a significant savings for using a premium oil, especially if you were looking to set your product into a higher quality category. We had six days’ use out of the premium oil and only four days out of the commodity oil. However, the biggest advantage was the taste and color of the corn dog was significantly better with the premium oil. Some people may be fine with what they HAVE ALWAYS DONE because they HAVE ALWAYS DONE IT THAT WAY. Others may be searching for a better product and looking for ways to increase the quality of their items. Purchasing is so critical to the overall success of your operation. Not only for bottom line dollars, but also for quality of product sold that leads to increased sales. I am always searching for ways to increase quality while looking for cost savings. Many times I find that paying more for a product really doesn’t cost more. The savings in extended use or especially yield has a significant impact on my business as it would for anyone’s business. Not just food items but paper products as well are key to my overall cost savings. I have found many times that a plate is not a plate and a food boat is not just a food boat. When I find my staff using two or more of a certain item because it just doesn’t hold up, I know it is costing far more money than the $4.00 a case more I may pay for a premium product. As I look at all aspects of my business and the fact I use H-2B labor and the high cost for that portion of my payroll, I am constantly searching for ways to use that higher cost of labor most efficiently. So sometimes produce items that I used to process (due to labor being so much higher) precut and I now purchase already processed produce. Sticking sausage and dogs may have been the norm for years, but now I realize the cost for me to do that job is far higher than just spending a few dollars a case more to have the product pre-stuck. The reality is there are a lot of options and not every particular process works for everyone or possibly anyone. But when you look at shrinking net profits every year, there is just NO way to overlook the possibilities of cost savings when it can especially increase productivity and quality. I urge everyone to look at the products you’re selling as Convention Season is upon all of us. Overlooking the oil factor in a true scientific manner

Different Fatty Acid Profile = Different Frying Performance Different Fatty Acid Profile = Different Frying Performance Canola oil High-Oleic Canola oil Canola oil Safflower oil High-Oleic Canola oil Mid-Oleic Sunflower oil Safflower oil High-Oleic Soy oil Mid-Oleic Sunflower oil Sunflower oil High-Oleic Soy oil Corn oil Sunflower oil Olive oil Corn oil Soybean oil Olive oil Peanut oil Soybean oil Rice Bran oil Peanut oil Cottonseed oil Rice Bran oil Lard Cottonseed oil Beef Tallow Lard Palm oil Beef Tallow Butterfat Palm oil Palm Kernel Oil Butterfat Coconut oil Palm Kernel Oil Coconut oil



20% 7% 3% 6% 21% 11% 14% 8% 1% 7% 20% 3% 26% 9% 8% 14% 1% 12% 11% 1% 9% 26% 12% 11% 12% 1% 13% 12% 15% 9% 8% 13% 15% 15% 9% 8% 19% 33% 15% 19% 36% 19% 33% 27% 19% 36% 43% 27% 48% 43% 51% 48% 68% 51% 68% Saturated Saturated


11% 70% 77%

77% 75%

71% 57%


57% 54%


1% 1% 54% 9%

82% Polyunsaturated 91% (Linoleic Acid) Polyunsaturated (Linoleic Acid)

could have been costing me far more than the time and effort I used to debunk the Oil-Ology (a new term I just came up with about the study of fry oil). This is the time of year to work with your Suppliers and search for new items that will greatly impact your quality and cost of business. I also found that oil products that are marketed as premium are NOT always premium. Be aware that many Operators are not aware of the packaging inconsistencies of fry oil. There is a big difference between five gallons of oil and 35 pounds of oil. True vegetable fry oil weighs eight pounds per gallon. Are you getting 40 pounds (five gallons) per jug or are you getting cheater jugs of 35 pounds that most still think are five gallons? You must be sure to calculate all the variables when looking at pricing. Oil that is $1.50 a jug cheaper may in fact be costing you $7 to $10 more per jug just in the fact that it is not same weight or the fact that it may be inferior in quality which forces you to change the oil more often. How much is that costing? I will remind everyone that Sysco has an impressive Business Review process that will help you develop new items, inspire new flavors, and stay on top of new food trends. Many of these are fried treats and oil is important to the overall



29% 1%


1% 8%

29% 23%


48% 44% 48%


10% 91%



1% 54% 10% 1% 9% 1% 10% 10% 1% 82%






70% 86%

44% 47% 1% 1%

49% 47% 49% 3% 1% 3% 1%

Polyunsaturated (Linolenic Acid) Breaks down 25X faster Polyunsaturated

(Linolenic Acid)

Other Factors: Smoke Point Melt Point Other Factors: Inherent Flavor Smoke Point Lack of Flavor MeltContent Point Solids Inherent Flavor Supply Lack Cost of Flavor Solids Content Supply Cost

23% 1%




39% 39%

28% 2% 28%


7% 2% 15% Monounsaturated7% (Oleic Acid) Monounsaturated (Oleic Acid)

25X faster mixBreaks of down most of our operations. Be sure to utilize the benefits that NICA has for all its Members and use them for the bottom line efficiency of your operation. We have two very impressive Food Shows coming up: the NICA/SYSCO Marketplace will feature Vendors at the WFA Convention in Reno in January and Fare Foods will feature Vendors at the NICA Business Expo in Tampa in February. Be sure to use the beginning of the year to get your usages for your products for each Fair. Your Food Suppliers can easily provide you with usage of what you ordered at every event you play. Look at all those numbers and evaluate what the savings will be. Keep in mind that CHEAPER ISN’T ALWAYS CHEAPER. Use the oil chart above to evaluate how your oil fares with real info. Just Google search the name of you oil and it will provide you the ingredient list. Use that list against this chart to really see how your oil will perform and why it might be so inexpensive or costly. Avoid oils with heavy sections of green. Those are the ones that break down quickly. It’s okay to have some of those in there but when the percentages get over five percent there is less good acids in the oil and they break down quickly. Keep in mind there are a lot of blends that are played with to get to different qualities and price points. Good luck this year, and fry baby fry! ▲

January / February 2020 NICA News


Attention Members!

Are you taking advantage of all that NICA has to offer? One of the most important aspects of NICA is the access to benefits that we provide to our Membership. The NICA Office often reaches a member who has not been able to take advantage of these discounts, either due to not knowing about them or thinking that the benefit has too many steps. For those who may have had difficulty, we hear you loud and clear! To remedy this, we have compiled a comprehensive guide to our benefit partners and how to best utilize their discounts, rebates, or other deals as a NICA Member. No matter where you are in the country, you can have access to our membership benefits booklet in print or online editions—it’s meant to be used on the go! Of course, if there are any questions (or if the benefit requires you to), feel free to call the NICA Office at (813) 438-8926 and we can help! ▲


January / February 2020 NICA News

January / February 2020 NICA News


“Renewals” continued from page 4 ►► Frank Hale

Crystal Automotive Group Homosassa, FL (2014)

Lucky Henner

Capital Cookery, Inc. Wolfforth, TX (2004)

Susan Hewing

JMS Concessions Windsor, IL (2004)

Daniel Hill

Heritage Bag Company Roanoke, TX (2019)

Doug Hively

DH Concessions LLC Tucson, AZ (2018)

Bobby Jenks

Jenks Concessions, Inc. Vale, NC (2013)

Joseph Kastl

J&A Food LLC Phoenix, AZ (2018)

Dustin Kenna

Dickerson & Kenna Concessions Lebanon, IN (2014)

Karen McGrath

The Best Around Inc. Cape Coral, FL (2005)

Kevin McGrath II

The Best Around Inc. Cape Coral, FL (2004)

Michelle McGrath

The Best Around Inc. Cape Coral, FL (2008)

Mike McGrath

The Best Around Inc. Cape Coral, FL (1999)

Crystal Miller

California Ice Cream Co. Acampo, CA (2019)

Howard Miller

Miller Catering & Concessions, Ltd / Porky’s Lafayette, IN (1993)

Nancy Miller

Miller Catering & Concessions, Ltd / Porky’s Lafayette, IN (2011)

Phil Miller

Howard Kilgore

California Ice Cream Co. Acampo, CA (2019)

Guy Leavitt

Miller Concessions, Inc. Foley, MN (2013)

George Martin

Creigberhill Co. LTD Lewisburg, WV (2010)

Rick Martinez

Vinnie’s Fine Foods Kingston, NY (2012)

Robbi Miller

Moon Monkey Elfers, FL (2003) Ray Cammack Shows, Inc. Laveen, AZ (2016) Billies Baked Potatoes, Inc. East Otis, MA (2015) R & K Concession LLC Glendale, AZ (2017)

James McConnell

James McConnell Concessions Indianola, IA (2016)

Ron Miller

Vincent Nelson, CCE

Ryann Newman

Fruit Caboose Concessions Oroville, CA (2015)

Cody O’Brien

O’Brien’s Food Service Enterprises Inc. Valrico, FL (2018)

Leah O’Neil

Michele Stock

Richie O’Neil

Lance Sturgeon

Hari Paizis

Jim Swain

Jessica Patterson

Fiona Tizard-Meyer

Brandon Petree

Stephen Vartanian

O’Neil Amusements LLC St. Paul, MN (2017) O’Neil Amusements LLC St. Paul, MN (2017) Paizis Concessions, Inc. Fort Smith, AR (2008) Robbeloth Concessions Inc Riverview, FL (2019) Louis & Claire Concessions Austin, TX (2017)

Navajo County Fair Holbrook, AZ (2018) Jack’s Shack North Fort Myers, FL (2016) Swain’s Pizza On A Stick, Inc. Crystal River, FL (1995) Brazos Valley Fair & Rodeo Bryan, TX (2017)

Mark Piche

Vartanian Concessions Management Murrieta, CA (2016)

Kenneth Ragley

The Silhouette Shop Fairland, OK (2017)

Piche Concessions Ware, MA (2015) Ragley Concessions Houston, TX (2016)

Tom Robinson

Ludwig Fish & Produce Co. LaPorte, IN (2019)

Carol Sanders

B & J Concessions Peoria, AZ (2014)

Tyler Schacht

TSE Events and Entertainment, Inc Bennett, CO (2018)

Ron Waggoner

Maria Walker DeVooght

Superiorland Concessions/ Sidewalk Sundae Sarasota, FL (2019)

William Webster

Webster Enterprises Springdale, TX (2017)

Tim Weiss

Giggles Campfire Grill St. Paul, MN (2018)

Daniel Wessel

Patrick Sheridan

Wessel Propane, Inc. Baldwin Park, CA (2016)

Grant Simons

Christmas Lane Dover, FL (2019)

Ed Stergar

White’s Concessions Dalton Garden, ID (1995)

Owen Stern

Alibi Entertainment Inc. Toronto, ON (2017)

Sheridan Concessions Avon, CO (2013) Ann Lee Concessions Lake City, FL (2018) C & E Concessions, LLC Indianapolis, IN (1997) National Food Group, Inc. Novi, MI (2015)

Lane Wetherington

Ed White

Carol Wilkinson

Michelle Young

Smithfield Foods Kansas City, MO (2015)

Thank you to our 87 Renewal Members for your continued support! “Together We Can!”

Advertise Your Business in


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!


January / February 2020 NICA News


YOUR ONE-STOP SHOP Our facilities, the largest in the industry, house design and engineering, full fabrication, paint shop, and large-format printing capabilities, so we can ensure you with quality solutions for your concessions business. Fully customizable floor plans, lowest counters in the industry, custom graphics, and 10+ years of reliability are just a few of the solutions that we can offer your business.


January / February 2020 NICA News


Transforming Transactions into Experiences with Schantz Manufacturing & Craftsmen Industries Jessica Smith, Craftsmen Industries Innovation can simply be defined as new ideas, techniques, or products, but can mean vast growth for companies across all industries. Businesses can only succeed with a distinctive presence; talent and effort drive continuous creativity and problem-solving. It is vital to keep our customers at top of mind and ask ourselves, “How can I improve my audience’s experiences?” In the 1950s, before food trailers could be found on the midway, Socrates Schantz looked around the Fairs and Festivals where he owned and operated a few rides, and thought there must be a better way to vend food than the mainstream Concession Stands. He explored this idea, quickly realizing that Concession Stands should more resemble brick-and-mortar establishments, all while allowing quicker, easier setups. Socrates, alongside his son Raymond, used his engineering background to design and build a retractable platform, eventually topped with a custom kitchen trailer. Schantz Manufacturing was born from this innovation and sensitivity to the customer experience, ultimately changing the Fair and Festival Industry’s expectations about customer interactions. The retractable wheel system offered better 26

January / February 2020 NICA News

communication and quicker transactions with low service counters. It didn’t take long before Concessionaires saw the benefits and seized the opportunity to increase their profitability, enlisting Schantz to create their own custom trailers. As the company grew, Socrates’ grandson, Mike Schantz, joined the business and brought computers, CAD, CNC equipment, and more technology into the company to streamline the design, engineering, and production processes. Schantz continued to heavily invest in research and development of existing product offerings, new features and options, and the latest in advanced materials. Schantz remained on the rise until 2016 when it recognized the need to restructure and secure additional investment and scale. Previous Schantz co-owner and current Craftsmen Industries employee, Jim Fickert, received this news and recognized a perfect match. Craftsmen’s coowners, the Helmsing family and Mark Steele, agreed this was a fitting opportunity to revive a great company, brand, and name with two simple principles that drive their very own company: quality and service. Craftsmen Industries acquired Schantz assets and brands in December of 2017 and employed Mike Schantz to continue the Schantz legacy as a member of the SchantzCraftsmen team.

Craftsmen Industries opened for business in 1982 focusing on trailer service and sales over the years as it evolved into an established leader in the design, engineering, and fabrication of experiential marketing vehicles, large-format graphics, and industrial mobile solutions. Craftsmen’s portfolio covers a diverse group of unique experiences, including 53’ doubleexpandable trailers, mobile kitchens, food trucks, three-dimensional displays and vehicles, interactive kiosks, and architectural graphics for many widely-recognized brands across the globe. Both companies’ focus aligns in the thought that innovation and great engineering equal bestin-class products and market leadership. Like Schantz, family is fundamental to Craftsmen, supported by the founding Helmsing family and the recently invested Steele family. Between the shared values and manufacturing specialties, it was a natural fit, so Craftsmen Industries acquired Schantz Manufacturing in 2017. Now, two great companies and three families are committed to the success of the Fair and Festival Industry. “Schantz has a well-built and well-designed product. It’s the perfect complement to Craftsmen, where we are heavily involved in the Food and Beverage Industry, and in return, we offer great value to their business with our expertise in custom fabrication,” Mark Steele, co-owner and CEO of Craftsmen shares. “Our team is made of 160 craftsmen and women, including experts in design, engineering, fabrication, paint, and graphics print and installation. We are a true onestop shop and we are well-capitalized. We are here to support already great products with better efficiency and innovation, pushing the creative limits of the Industry.” Craftsmen’s competency in creating

customer experiences gives Concessionaires the opportunity to take their business further to generate more profits, faster. Together, the companies are continually striving to help their customers grow their businesses, which has inspired them to ask the question, “How do we enhance the Fair and Festival experience for our customer’s customers?” In addition to Concession trailers, Schantz now brings to the table an array of innovative solutions including threedimensional photo ops, interactive displays, pub tables, dining and hospitality areas, and branded graphics and signage. All products are geared towards creating quicker, smoother, and more memorable customer experiences. The companies’ latest innovation is the MillenniumNG, the next generation of their Millennium Series Concession trailer, a Fair and Festival staple. All the existing benefits including low counters, light undercarriages, and strong bodies are now combined with completely waterproof roofs, LED lighting, and upgraded electrical panels. While Concessionaires can expect boundless evolution from Craftsmen and Schantz, their dedication to innovation and customer service will remain constant. If you are interested in learning more about Craftsmen Industries and its affiliate, Schantz Manufacturing, Jim Fickert, Seth Steele, Mike Schantz, and Dan Smith will be at the NICA Expo, February 3 through February 5, 2020, at the Sheraton Tampa East Hotel in Tampa, FL. See, touch, and tour our custom trailers and products with our team, February 5 through February 8, 2020 at IISA’s Gibtown Show, 6915 Riverview Drive, Gibsonton, FL. In addition, you are invited to our facilities in Saint Charles, MO and Highland, IL, anytime­ even on short notice when you are passing through the St. Louis area. You can also visit, or, and follow both companies on their social media pages and via #WeAreCraftsmen. ▲ January / February 2020 NICA News


2019 Year in Review Regional Council Reports Rey O’Day, Executive Director & Council Coordinator • Jessica Gottsche, Council Coordinator

In the spirit of “Together We Can,” the Board of Directors has merged the Northeast Council and the Southeast Council into the East Council effective immediately. This will bring the synergy of two successful Councils with several overlapping Fairs, persons, and projects into one very strong East Council. The West Council is preparing for their full participation in the Western Fairs Association Convention in Reno, NV, which includes producing a Food Show, presenting several Workshops, Sponsoring the Bowling Tournament and hosting the Annual NICA Membership Meeting. Our NICA Members benefit from the commitment and passion of these very committed and creative volunteer leaders. Go East and West Councils! Marla Calico, President of IAFE. Speakers included Rey O’Day, Executive Director, Jessica Gottsche, 2019 Northeast Council Report Council Coordinator, as well as Jessica Underberg In June, the Northeast Council celebrated its and Marla Calico. Rey shared updates from the third anniversary, and how far we have come. We office, including the announcement of 14 new added one additional member to the Northeast 2019 Scholarship Recipients. Council this year. Today, your Northeast Council The Northeast Council hosted Brown Bag Bingo Members are: at The Big E, in West Springfield, MA, in September. • Cameron Murray, Chester’s Gators and Taters There were over 30 mystery prizes, over 50 people, • Lindsey Constantine, Red’s Red Apples more bingo cards than we could count, and some • Henry Mitchell, Amy’s Sweet Treats great food. Bingo cards were sold to support the • Kelly Grout, Jack’s Fries activities of the Northeast Council, as well as the • Vincent Nelson, CCE, Vinnie’s Fine Foods Scholarship Program. Several sponsors supported • Josh Nicholson, Dr. Vegetable the evenings’ events including Eastern States • Jessica Gottsche, Council Coordinator Exposition, Home of The Big E, The Hummel Group, Potillo Sanitation Services, Firestone Financial, In January, representatives from the Council Somerset Syrup and Concessions, and Vinnie’s attended the New York State Association of Agricultural Fairs Convention. In addition, we also Fine Foods. Feedback from attendees was that Bingo Night was one of the best Council events attended the IAFE Zone 1 Meeting in Maine, and the Joint Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode they had attended, and they look forward to many more! Island Fair Convention. As our major fundraiser for 2019, the Northeast Our Council Representatives have also Council purchased a Tech Package that included been actively recruiting New Members to the association, and are thrilled to share that through an iPad Pro, a wireless printer and a keyboard folio. Andrew Alcantara, Leon Leather, had the our rallies, events and networking at Fairs. winning ticket, and we presented his prize at The Members of the Northeast Council have already Big E. He also joined the association upon winning. reached their commitment of each recruiting at least one New Member to the organization this year. This year, the Northeast Council changed things up a little, and held our fourth annual rally at the Erie County Fair in Hamburg, New York. Special guests included members of the Concessions Staff of the Erie County Fair, as well as Jessica Underberg, CEO and IAFE Chair, and 28

January / February 2020 NICA News

2019 Southeast Council Report In May of 2019, celebrated its one year anniversary. We added two new members this year. Today, our Southeast Council Members are:

• Samantha Fairlie, The Pretzel Lady • Thomas Hodson, CCE, The Thomas Hodson Co. • Kelley Myers, B. Wilson Enterprises

• Mike Kramer, Fun Time Foods • Gentry Miller, Josephine’s Glazed Donuts • Jessica Gottsche, Council Coordinator Our Southeast Council Representatives have continued their commitment to growing the organization by recruiting New Members, and, to date, have brought over 20 New Members to the organization. Jessica also attended the Florida State Fair and North Carolina State Fair to meet with both Fair Management and NICA Members. In October, the Southeast Council held its second annual event at the North Carolina State Fair. Over 50 NICA Members attended the breakfast rally where guest speakers from Fair Management shared their belief of the importance of open lines of communication between Vendors and their Fair Staff, and also thanked us for choosing to their Fair for the Council’s very first event. There was also a valuable prize table and 50/50 drawing. In attendance, were four Past Presidents of NICA, offering their continued support of the organization and the Council. In November, the Southeast Council partnered with the Board, and with OABA to host a fundraiser in Tallahassee, as an end of season blowout. It was a successful event, with over 70 attendees. Some of the issues that the Council discussed this year included the ever-changing fire codes, and how they vary from state to state, and even from inspector to inspector. Concessionaires must be notified of changes as soon as possible. Some fairs are very good at this, others still struggle. We also discussed the continued increase in the requirement of cash registers. Our challenge is that as Fairs continue to require registers, each of their requirements and processes are different, and Concessionaires have a harder time keeping up with all of the differences. This year, the Southeast Council is also selling tickets for a popular Tech Package, and will give away a brand new iPhone 11, Airpods and an Apple Watch. In addition, cash prizes will be given away for a second place and third place drawing. We expect a net profit of over $6,000. So far, in 2019, the Southeast Council has recruited four New Members to the organization. They continue to explore options to participate in regional and state meetings. Several members participated in and attended the Joint Florida Federation of Fairs/Zone 2 Convention.

2019 West Council Report 2021 Class: • Kim Barr, CCE, Pacific Crest Concessions • Ryann Newman, Fruit Caboose • Jan Gary, JK Dots • Jackie Bradbury, Sweet Cheeks 2020 Class: • Jeff Ames, Ames Concessions • Erica Quintero, JLQ Concessions • Steve Vartanian, Vartanian Concession Mgmt 2017 Class: • April Wood, Rawlings Concessions • Jay Wells, Wells Concessions • Ryan Long, L&L Concessions The West Council starts its year attending the Western Fairs Convention where it holds its annual face-to-face meeting. This year we sponsored the Service Member Bowling Tournament by providing $900 in prize money and door prize gift cards. Kim Barr, CCE replaced Daryl Whicheloe, CCE as Council Chair when he was elected to the Board. Ryann Newman, Jan Gary, and Jackie Bradbury became our new members. Ashley Murray received his “Greatly Appreciated Volunteer” for his six years of service. April and Drew married in November and moved to Missouri. She will receive her “Greatly Appreciated Volunteer” at WFA in 2020. At the NICA Membership Meeting, Safety and Security Specialist Jimmy Howell gave us personal, Fair, and Business safety tips. Over 400 people attended the NICA sessions at WFA which included “Trends in Mobile Food and Beverage,” “Making Fairs Affordable Again,” and “Sharing Best Practices.” Executive Director Michelle Card hosted her first WFA Workshop, “Strengthening Relationships with Sister Organizations,” 2018 President Dan Lusenhop gave his State of the Organization report and 2019 President Kathy Ross, CCE gave her State of the Future report. Many of Sysco’s District Sales Managers and their Master Associates attended WFA with the goal of working more closely together. Bree Ann, SF Sysco, was so inspired that she held a food show hosted by the Sacramento, Central CA and San Francisco houses. The result is more purchasing cooperation between the houses. Opportunity drawings, Poker Tournaments,

►► “Reports” continued on page 31 January / February 2020 NICA News


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“Reports” continued from page 29 ►► and Golf Tournaments helped us raise nearly $40,000 year to date. Moreover, we gave back $3,500 to Fairplex CDC, San Diego Boys and Girls Club, Maintenance Mania, WFA, and Arizona Fairs Association. We are looking forward to contributing to the new NICA Regional Councils Scholarship. Our monthly meeting discussions cover the gamut from starting Concession Committees to tip jars; from developing tire benefits to using a money counter as a fundraiser; and from promotions that work to product creep. Our Council consists of six companies with first and second generations working together, which makes for many empathetic and useful discussions. The three Councils had a joint meeting in June where we discussed geographic differences and similarities. Everyone was encouraged to apply for their CCE. In addition, “Good Neighbor Award” recipients Jon Baker, Mike Davis, and Mamadou Diop were recognized and thanked for helping those around them in the spirit of “Together We Can!” ▲

Don’t Miss Our FREE Focus on the Future Gala on February 5th! Save the date for NICA’s FREE Focus on the Future Gala on Wednesday, February 5th, 2020, immediately following the NICA Annual Membership Meeting. The Focus on the Future Gala will include a complimentary dinner provided by Fare Foods, entertainment, guest speakers, and NICA’s annual silent and live auctions, showcasing a large variety of items. If you are interested in donating any items for the auction or would like to sponsor the event, please contact the NICA Office at or (813) 438-8926.

January / February 2020 NICA News


WFA Convention Preview Introduction by Rey O’Day, Executive Director

Out West we kick off the year at the Western Fairs Convention, January 19-22, 2020 at the Grand Sierra Resort, Reno, NV. On Sunday evening, the occasion starts off with the WFA Service Member Bowling Tournament. As a Sponsor, NICA draws winning gift cards throughout the evening and provides the prize money for the winning teams. As part of the WFA Trade Show, NICA, Sysco, and Source1 Purchasing present the NICA Sysco Marketplace Food Show. Vendors include:

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

AirGas - Booth #337 Conagra Food Service - Booth #239 First Data - Booth #438 Georgia Pacific Professional - Booth #544 Good Source Solutions - Booth #543 Heritage Bag Company - Booth #336 Idahoan Food - Booth #436 Keurig Dr Pepper - Booth #339 Lamb Weston Holdings - Booth #542 Mars Wrigley Confectionary - Booth #240 Rhino - Booth #538 Smithfield Foods - Booth #237 Source1 Purchasing - Booth #444 Sysco Corporation - Booth #443 Tyson Foods, Inc. - Booth #242 Ventura Foods - Booth #439 Whirley Drinkworks - Booth #338

Sunday, january 19 • 8:00 – 11:00 PM: WFA Bowling Tournament, hosted by the WFA Service Members with door prizes and cash awards provided by NICA. This tournament is often referred to as the “unofficial kick-off” of the WFA Convention, and you will definitely want to be part of the fun! Door prize drawings will take place every half hour throughout the evening; ticket holder must be present to win. Cash prize for 1st place, 2nd place and last place teams may be picked up at the NICA Booth #442 on Monday. Enjoy meeting new friends, seeing old friends, a no-host bar, and lots of laughter and fun at this must-attend event at the Grand Sierra Bowling Lanes.

In addition, the NICA Booth #442 is a hub of activity: selling opportunity tickets, signing up members, answering questions, shaking hands, and hugging. Educational Workshops are the backbone Monday, january 20 of Conventions and NICA is involved in several: Promotions That Have a Positive Impact, Tip • 9:00 – 11:30 AM: Opening General Assembly Jar Roundtable, The Changing Landscape of and Keynote “Lighten Up and Lead”: Laugh Commercial Exhibits, What is the Right Mix of and learn key characteristics to create levity Food at Your Fair, and Speak with Confidence and in the worker, workforce and workplace, with Style. We also host the NICA Membership Meeting tools that help you reach your personal and with demonstrations and benefit information. professional potential through the power of This year’s WFA Convention will be capped off fun. Incoming NICA President Don Delahoyde, with our own Incoming President, Don Delahoyde, CCE will extend a short greeting from NICA CCE, being inducted into the WFA Hall of Fame. to all the attendees. Presented by Author and Congratulations! Engagement Expert Tami Evans. 32

January / February 2020 NICA News

• 11:30 AM – 3:30 PM: Trade Show including the NICA Sysco Marketplace Food Show. This year’s fundraiser is for a Cummins Allison professional money counter and a Treasure Chest full of gift cards. Come to Booth #442 to purchase tickets and learn about NICA! • 3:45 – 5:00 PM: Promotions That Have a Positive Impact: We all have slow days at our Fairs… let’s talk about promotions that make a positive impact, increase attendance, increase revenue, increase quality of life in the community AND are proven to work. This positive promotion workshop has a summary handout of ideas to share! Moderated by NICA. • 5:15 – 6:15 PM: NICA Membership Meeting: The National Independent Concessionaires Association will offer information on membership, benefit programs, and address current topics affecting Food and Beverage, Supplier, and Commercial Exhibit Vendors throughout the Industry. • 6:30 – 10:00 PM: President’s Reception

Tuesday, January 21 • 8:30 – 9:30 AM: Service Members Division Breakouts: Commercial, Food and Beverage, Entertainment

from the internet are altering the way patrons interact with Fair Commercial Exhibit’s programs. These and other influences have prompted at least two Industry groups to take a deep look into this segment of our business with the explicit goal of improving it. This session will explore Commercial Exhibits from a fresh perspective as it delves into the findings and recommendations emerging from these discussions. You won’t want to miss this provocative examination of this Industry mainstay! Presented by Jeff Thornberry, Pristine Systems, Inc.

Wednesday, January 22 • 10:00 – 11:15 AM: What is the Right Mix of Food at Your Fair? How many corn dogs? How may ice cream stands? How many BBQ’s? Rey O’Day, NICA’s Executive Director, will discuss how to balance the mix of stands between traditional choices, regional favorites and brandnew concepts. She will share the kind of data to use when deciding if a Fair is “under-fooded” or “over-fooded?” And how many duplicate stands are appropriate and why? Is there a mix of expensive, average and cheap pricing? Are you serving children, seniors and people with special needs such as “sugar free” and “gluten free?” How do you manage menus? Come learn the steps that provide the “Right Mix of Food at your Fair!” Presented by Rey O’Day, NICA Executive Director and Dennis Larson, Minnesota State Fair.

• 9:45 – 11:00 AM: Insurance 101: Designed for businesses of all types. Insurance can be an ambiguous topic, so our goal is to clarify the purpose of insurance as it relates to business exposures. In this presentation, we cover a • 1:00 – 2:15 PM: Round Tables: Join WFA’s new line of business—Active Shooter—and the Industry partners, including NICA, for interactive standard lines of business including general sessions designed to answer the questions you liability, property, business auto, inland marine, have about your Fair or business. employment practices liability, workers’ • 2:30 – 3:45 PM: Speak with Confidence and compensation, umbrella coverage, etc. This Style: Does public speaking make your heart is our most comprehensive presentation and race? Do you break out in a cold sweat? Don’t is tailored to the Industry. Presented by Phil sweat it… be yourself and learn to breathe easy. Teague and Tom Brenner, Hummel Group It’s okay to come nervous. When you finish this • 12:30 – 3:30 PM: Trade Show including workshop you will be able to ask for a raise or be the NICA Sysco Marketplace Food Show. the “toast of the town!” Presented by Opportunity drawing tickets are drawn at 3:15 Rey O’Day, NICA Executive Director. PM. Enroll in the NICA Sysco Marketplace for • 6:00 – 8:00 PM: Industry Awards Dinner: The great pricing and pick new products to offer in culmination of the event, featuring presentations the upcoming season. It’s all about the DEALS! of the Barham Award, the Merrill Award, and the • 3:45 – 5:00 PM: The Changing Landscape of WFA Hall of Fame Award. Come applaud NICA’s Commercial Exhibits: Generational shifts in Incoming President, Don Delahoyde, CCE, as a buying habits coupled with direct competition 2020 Hall of Fame Recipient. ▲ January / February 2020 NICA News


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January / February 2020 NICA News

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January / February 2020 NICA News


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January / February 2020 NICA News

MEMBER CLASSIFIEDS Would you like to place a classified ad with us? Contact us at (813) 530-4750 or

Premier Frozen Drink Business Opportunity Coco Bongos is a unique frozen drink business vending in a variety of venues. We serve a selection of very high quality frozen beverages in an assortment of collectible cups. Coco Bongos LLC Daytona Beach, Florida started in 1994. We, Alyson and Chris Englert, have had an operating license with Coco Bongos for the State of New York since 2006. Our licensing agreement is unique in the fact that Coco Bongos LLC does not typically issue licensing agreements for entire states. We have been operating and still growing our business for the last 13 years in upstate New York (Syracuse and West). We have created a unique opportunity for someone interested in operating their own business in the densely populated area of Eastern New York. You can check us out at Several of our four vending units are featured on our Coco Bongos corporate home website. We would love to talk with anyone interested in building a profitable future owning their own business. You can start the conversation by emailing us at ▲

Restaurant Building & Business For Sale Turnkey, well established, profitable yearly blue-ribbon winning state fair located business. Includes 2160’ air conditioned permanent building, equipment, supplies, inventory, indoor seating, and take-out window, servicing Fair and Special Events. All American Restaurant & Grill—call Theresa at (561) 386-1709 or email ▲

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 Concessions or Straight Sales? Alternatively, are you a Concessionaire or Vendor who needs to sell equipment or in need of staff? We can help!

Ads start at $25 per month and are also viewable online at Contact us by email at or phone at (813) 530-4750 to learn more!

Calling All Contributers—Submit Your Content! We love to hear from our NICA Members from you! Send your announcements, stories, photos, videos, and anything else that you would like to share to for consideration. You can also utlitize our submission tool at ▲ 40

January / February 2020 NICA News

Councils Henry Mitchell...............................................................................2 Jacqueline Bradbury.....................................................................1 Samantha Fairlie...........................................................................1 Jan Gary����������������������������������������������������������������������������������������1 2019 Membership Contest Leaderboard* Kelly Grout.....................................................................................1 Tom Hodson, CCE..........................................................................1 General Membership Ryan Long�������������������������������������������������������������������������������������1 Dennis Larson.............................................................................10 Gentry Miller..................................................................................1 Fare Foods.....................................................................................4 Jay Wells........................................................................................1 Nate Janousek..............................................................................3 Robert Poole..................................................................................2 Board of Directors Ralph Berkeypile............................................................................1 Kathy Ross, CCE..........................................................................11 Wayne Decker................................................................................1 Don Delahoyde, CCE......................................................................9 Russ Harrison, CCE.......................................................................1 Vincent Nelson, CCE......................................................................7 Jeff Horbowicz..............................................................................1 Dan Lusenhop...............................................................................6 Mike McGrath................................................................................1 Kevin McGrath, CCE......................................................................5 Ken McKnight................................................................................1 Andrew “Bruno” Broomfield..........................................................2 Kim Netterfield...............................................................................1 Daryl Whicheloe, CCE....................................................................2 Vincent Navarra.............................................................................1 Kim Barr, CCE.................................................................................1 Dominic Palmieri, CCE..................................................................1 Sandy Class, CCE..........................................................................1 Pasco County Fair.........................................................................1 Jay “Rocko” Russell......................................................................1 Randy Reichert, CCE......................................................................1 Julie Schmidt.................................................................................1 Administration Office............................................................................................48

*Referral listing as of 12/31/19. Contact us if you see any inaccuracies. See back cover for rules and prizes.

Follow Us Online!

Visit or search NICA on social media for the latest updates

January / February 2020 NICA News


2020 Events Calendar

Representing NICA & Its Industry Partners

January 1: New Year’s Day (Office Closed) 2-4: North Carolina Association of Agricultural Fairs Convention • Cary, NC 2-4: Virginia Association of Fairs Convention • Hot Springs, VA 3-5: Indiana Association of Fairs Convention • Indianapolis, IN 5-8: Wisconsin Association of Fairs Convention • Wisconsin Dells, WI 8-11: Kentucky Association of Fairs & Horse Shows Convention • Louisville, KY 9-11: Michigan Association of Fairs & Exhibitions Annual Convention • Grand Rapids, MI 9-12: Texas Association of Fairs & Events Convention • Galveston, TX 9-12: Oregon Fairs Association Convention • Salem, OR 16-18: Tennessee Association of Fairs Convention • Nashville, TN 16-19: Minnesota Federation of County Fairs Convention • Minneapolis, MN 17-20: Illinois Association of Agricultural Fairs Convention • Springfield, IL 17-20: New York State Association of Agricultural Fairs Convention • Rochester, NY 19-22: WFA Convention & Trade Show • Reno, NV 20-21: NICA Sysco Marketplace at the WFA Convention • Reno, NV** 22-25: Pennsylvania State Association of County Fairs Convention • Hershey, PA 23-25: Maine Association of Agricultural Fairs Convention • Portland, ME


January / February 2020 NICA News

TBA: NICA’s 2020 Tribute Bowl Tournament • Greenacres, FL 1/30-2/1: Georgia Association of Agricultural Fairs & South Carolina Association of Fairs Combined Annual Convention • Greenville, SC 1/30–2/2: Missouri Association of Fairs & Festivals Convention • Columbia, MO

February 1: Utah Association of Fairs & Events Annual Convention • Salt Lake City, UT 1: Utah Association of Fairs & Events Annual Convention • Salt Lake City, UT

Florida Week*

2: Fare Foods Super Bowl Party & NICA Scholarship Fundraiser • Tampa, FL 3-5: NICA Business Expo & Fare Foods 2020 Food Show, NICA Annual Membership Meeting, Annual Gala & More! • Tampa, FL

5-8: Gibtown 2020 Extravaganza & Trade Show • Gibsonton, FL 6: 5th Annual Fair Partners Shootout • Lithia, FL 6: OABA’s Topgolf Tournament • Tampa, FL 2/28-3/1: IAFE Zone 5 Meeting • Des Moines, IA

March TBA: Fair Partners Social at the Strawberry Festival • Plant City, FL 19-22: Mid-West Fairs Association Convention • San Diego, CA 22-25: IAFE Zone 4 Annual Meeting • La Crosse, WI

27-29: IAFE Zones 3 & 6 Meeting • Tulsa, OK

April 4-6: 52nd Annual IAFE Management Conference • St. Louis, MO 23-25: IAFE Executive Summit For State And Provincial Associations • Springfield, MO TBA: Pima County Fair Poker & Bingo Social • Tucson, AZ

May 3-5: Institute of Fair Management Summit • Columbia, SC 7-9: IAFE Zone 1 Annual Meeting • York, PA 14-16: Florida Federation of Fairs and IAFE Zone 2 Meeting • St Augustine, FL 25: Memorial Day (Office Closed)

June 1: NICA Scholarship Applications are due in the NICA Office*** 1: NICA Director Nominations are due in the NICA Office TBA: 14th Annual Mark Neagles NICA West Invitational • Solana Beach, CA TBA: Alameda County Fair Poker & Bingo Social • Pleasanton, CA Although these dates are based on sources believed to be reliable and true, they are subject to changes throughout the year. Visit our online calendar at or upcoming NICA News for updates, changes, additional dates, and more! *See page 34 **See page 32 ***See page 12

National Independent Concessionaires Association, Inc.

For Off ice Use Only

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

Date: #: q Member Renewal


First Name:

Last Name:

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NICA News Preference: q Mail q Email

Referred by :

Annual Membership Fees Associate Membership

Regular Membership q

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

Regular Member..............................................................$150


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


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

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


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

Business / Group Membership


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


Association / Special Services......................................$150

q Additional Member..........................................................$100 q Employee Member.............................................................$75

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


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

Additional Member : _______________________________________ Employee Member 1: ______________________________________ Employee Member 2: ______________________________________ Employee Member 3: ______________________________________ Regular membership categories Check a category below and provide a detailed description of your company’s services in the next column under Business Description.

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.

________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________


Food / Beverage



Commercial Exhibitors / Retail / Merchants



Attractions / Entertainment








Guest Services

Credit Card #:

General Routing Information List all states / provinces where you conduct your business.


q q




Security Code:

Money Order q


American Express



Expiration Date:


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

Beneficiary : _________________________ Phone : _____________

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.

Automatic Renewal Option 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 • January / February 2020 Issue


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January / February 2020 NICA News  

January / February 2020 NICA News  

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