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Contents • June 2021 Articles & Features AdvertiSers 04 This Month’s New & Renewal Members 05 President’s Message 05 Director’s Voice 08 Riffing With Rey 11 Association Announcements 12 Thoughts From a CCE 13 Member’s Voice 16 The CCE Program: An Application, An Investment and An Honor 18 Labor, Wages & Tips 20 The Year in Labor 25 Check it Out! Discovering the Features of Our Website 27 Getting to Know Your Regional Council Members 28 Communication + Education = Solutions 30 From the Camera Roll... 33 NICA Membership Contest Leaderboard

14 Alpha Baking Company 07 Berk Concession Supply 02 Coca-Cola 29 Corfu Foods 33 Fanestil Meats 26 Fare Foods 24 Firestone Financial 34 Hummel Group Insurance

33 JKJ Workforce 26 K&K Insurance 32 Member Classifieds 34 Mr. G’s 31 Rio Syrup 14 Swanel 23 Sysco 29 TasteMaker 15 WhirleyDrinkWorks! 33 WNA

There’s nothing like a cold ice cream to melt your cares away on a hot day! Although National Ice Cream Month isn’t until July, June gets the party started with a plethora of ice creamrelated days, including Vanilla Milkshake Day, Ice Cream Cake Day, Chocolate Ice Cream Day, and more. NICA is proud to have over 50 members who serve ice cream in all of its delicious varieties each year!

NICA is a membership-driven organization dedicated to strengthening relationships with the Fair, Festival, and Special Events Industries through effective communication, education, benefits, leadership, and solutions. National Independent Concessionaires Association, Inc. is a Florida Corporation with an Editorial and General Office located at 1043 E. Brandon Blvd., Brandon, FL 33511 • Off ice: (813) 438-8926 • Fax: (813) 803-8460 • Online: www.nicainc.org The information contained in this Publication is based upon sources believed to be reliable. Readers should not act without professional advice. Cover to Cover © 1993-2021 NICA, Inc. All Rights Reserved. “Together We Can Enjoy the Summer!” June 2021 NICA News


This Month’s Newest Members Monica Chaudury

Amanda Cowan

Bryan Gresham

Jimmy Scyoc

Clay Chester

Brent Cristao

Jefferey McGowan

Sebastian Stevens

Samantha Fairlie

Connie McGowin

James Wylie

Smithfield Foods Cudahy, WI

Chester Built Trailers Ltd. Highland, IL

Jon Colt

First Foods Dallas, TX

Kerry Food Service Beloit, WI Vanee Foods Berkley, IL

United Concessionaires Association Saint Augustine, FL

Miss Piggy’s Seymour, IN

Conagra Brands Chicago, IL Burke Geneseo, IL

GariMark Foods Lawernceville, GA Julees Concessions, LLC Gibsonton, Florida Hormel Foods Waterville, Oh

Welcome to our 12 New Members! Check the back cover to learn about the NICA Membership Contest. “Together We Can!”

This Month’s Member Renewals Amanda Alcantara

Danny Brown

David Easterwood µ

Andrew Alcantara

Suzy Cason

Joan Ehlers

Volusia County Fair Association, Inc. Deland, FL (1999)

Danielle Fickel

Valley Meats, LLC Coal Valley, IL (2009)

Leon Leather Co. Port Orange, FL (2017) Leon Leather Co. Inc Port Orange, FL (2007)

Richard Allen

Sierra Korn Enterprise Oroville, CA (2013)

Gary Armstrong

Armstrong Concessions Knoxville, TN (2016)

Ronald Arner

R and J Food Concessions L.L.C. Valencia, PA (2015)

June Arner

R and J Food Concessions L.L.C. Valencia, PA (2015)

Steve Aucoin

Aucoin Concessions Litchfield, ME (2015)

Leonard Baginski Durham Fair Durham, CT (2014)

Robert Berk

Berk Concession Supply Warren, OH (1995)

Joe Betras

Whirley-DrinkWorks! Warren, PA (2012)

Randy Brown

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


June 2021 NICA News

Danny Brown Amusements Mesa, AZ (2015) Oklahoma State Fair, Inc. Oklahoma City, OK (2014)

Ron Cheatle

Waymatic, Inc. South Fulton, TN (1993) McMeen’s State Fair Taffy Webster, FL (2015)

Ronald Hull

Adam Jobe

Bob Kaiser

Joe Cipriani

Advanced Food Products LLC New Holland, PA (2015)

Pal Fontana

Tim Kammeler

Steve Clyne

Fontana Foods Cape Coral, FL (2011)

Rob Forner

Greg Kaupke

Jerry Constantine

Joy Cone Company Hermitage, PA (2007)

Pam Cooper

TasteMaker Foods Hernando, MS (1998)

Maria Costis

Heinkel’s Packing Co., Inc. Decatur, IL (2004)

Swanel Beverages, Inc. Hammond, IN (2010) Teti Bakery Cleveland, OH (2014) American Foods Group Des Peres, MO (2017) Corfu Foods, Inc. Bensenville, IL (2004) Lamb Weston Dallas, TX (2008) Olympic Kitchen Grosselle, MI (2001)

Rex Cusumano

Cusumano & Sons, Inc. Mt. Vernon, IL (2006)

Eugene Dean

Fiesta Shows Seabrook, NH (2019)

Todd Desgranges

Stuart Confections, Inc. Stuart, FL (2014)

Kaiser Pickles Cincinnati, OH (2017) Affinity Group Osage St. Charles, MO (2006)

Chris Hall

Indiana Beef Cattle Association, Inc. Indianapolis, IN (2015)

Wes Heinkel

James Tea Company Perry, OH (2010)

Jeff Horbowicz

Saz’s Hospitality Group Milwaukee, WI (1997)

James Kekelis

Curt Kluth

Erie County Agricultural Society / Erie County Fair Hamburg, NY (1999)

Donna Kramer

Gigi Horowitz

Scott Kunz

Fun Time Foods LLC Garden Grove, CA (2015)

Floyd’s Enterprizes Reinholds, PA (2018) Galaxy Amusement Sales Tampa, FL (2017)

►► “Renewals” continued on page 10 Year: µ 1993-2001 2002-2006 2007-2011 2012-2020

President’s Message

Sandy Class, CCE, President

Here we go! Summer is here and the word is out... Fairs are opening! Many of us have been busy at the Fairs here in Florida and I would like to give a big shout-out to ALL the Florida Fairs that opened! It was a welcoming warmth of positivity that we were able to have events, see the iron go up, and Concession trailers come out of the barn. Summer smiles and happy trails to everyone! Your NICA Board had a very productive annual Spring Workshop at the Tuscany Suites in Las Vegas where we focused on this year’s theme of “Movin’ Forward!” Vincent Nelson, CCE, 2nd Vice President, reported on his successful visit to the IAFE Zone 1 Meeting in Pennsylvania. NICA’s insurance policies were reviewed, and all are up to date and in order. Jeff Thornberry, CCE, Director, suggested we develop some training for the new

Commercial Exhibitors it will take to fill our Fairs. Our Regional Councils continue to flourish with our young entrepreneurs; it is fun to watch them grow in leadership and with ideas. We had a great Zoom call with Marla Calico, CFE, IAFE President and CEO, with updates on Fairs, the effects of COVID-19, and the stability of the Industry. Our commitment to alignment and resource sharing with our sister organizations continues to be strong and we look forward to being in San Antonio together in November. Time was spent strengthening and updating NICA’s Strategic Plan which is the document that houses our core long and short-term goals: • • • • •

Increasing and Strengthening Membership Being a Voice in the Industry Growing Benefits Building Financial and Administrative Stability And.... Executive Committee (added in 2021) ►► “Message” continued on page 6

Director’s Director’S Voice

Daryl Whicheloe, CCE, 1st Vice President

I feel truly blessed this Spring to have been able to take my Concession trailers out and put them to work here in Northern California. There have been a number of Fairs, Rodeos, and special events that have opened at 100% capacity. Our Fans, Fairgoers, and Customers have shown they have missed us and are coming out in record numbers. I recently pulled into a Fairgrounds and watched as the Carnival ticket booths and several ride trailers pulled in. It gave me goosebumps. I hadn’t realized how much I missed seeing these sights. Two days later, during a very busy opening night at the Fair, I stopped for a long moment to watch the Ferris wheel and other rides go around in circles and to see the enjoyment on the people’s

faces. This gave me a deep appreciation of how important our Industry is to so many people. I also work three Rodeos in California this time of year, and always due to alcohol and testosterone there are dozens of rowdy patrons that at some point in the event get involved in a fight. This year with thousands of people attending and with record alcohol sales there were almost no incidents at all. Apparently the public also missed each other and just wanted to enjoy each other and the event. Hopefully this trend will continue. Sadly, for many of us, we are not quite done with COVID yet. Like so many of you, a lot of my events are canceling or being reduced in some capacity already this year. We are not a group of people that like to ask for help but more than ever we need it. NICA has a new Peer-to-Peer Resource Center page viewable on the website, located ►► “Voice” continued on page 7 June 2021 NICA News


Dominic Palmieri, CCE Paulette Keene, CCE Joe Potillo, Jr. Greg Miller, CCE Tom Sattler, CCE Russ Harrison, CCE Richard Busse, CCE Tom Hodson, CCE Officers Jim Hodson, CCE (Deceased) President: Sandy Class, CCE 1st Vice President: Daryl Whicheloe, CCE Tim O’Brien, CCE 2nd Vice President: Vincent Nelson, CCE Ron Smith Adam McKinney, CCE Treasurer: Kim Barr, CCE Mike Pence, CCE Secretary: Jacqueline Bradbury, CCE Jack Woods, II, CCE Directors Bob Hallifax, CCE Phil Delahoyde Frank Parnell, CCE Carmel Dyer-Pittroff, CCE Larry Orme (Deceased) Kelly Grout Larry Sivori Rich Wright Thomas Hodson, CCE Bill McKinney, CCE Kathy Ross, CCE Arthur Pokorny, Jr. Jeff Thornberry, CCE Gene O’Brien, CCE (Deceased)

Immediate Past President

Don Delahoyde, CCE

Past Presidents’ Council

Kathy Ross, CCE Dan Lusenhop


Executive Director & West Council Coordinator : Rey O’Day rey@nicainc.org

east Council

Communications & Marketing Manager: Jesse Willard communications@nicainc.org

Office & Membership Manager: Linda Frisco nica@nicainc.org

East Council Coordinator & Social Media Coordinator: Jessica Gottsche

Bary Bunts, CCE Libby Class Ryan Collmer Thomas Hodson, CCE Gentry Miller Henry Mitchell Kelley Myers

West Council


Brandy Arredondo, CCE Kim Barr, CCE Irene Dugan Jan Gary, CCE Ryan Long Kara Moederndorfer Ryann Newman Steve Vartanian Jay Wells

Trustees: Mark Lancaster Don Kenna Vincent Nelson, CCE Daryl Whicheloe, CCE

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


Central East Council Coordinator: Dennis Larson, CFE dennis@nicainc.org

President: Audrey Poole Vice President: Greg Miller, CCE Treasurer: Jennifer Giordano, CCE Secretary: Rey O’Day

“Message” continued from page 5 ►► With NICA Together: A Marketplace of Networking, Ideas, Products, and Services in our future plans we did a site visit at the hotel and agreed it is a professional, clean, and friendly place to hold this event. We also discussed educational programming and trade show ideas for the event. We enjoyed the camaraderie of the Board and it was great to finally all meet face to face. As our 2021 Fairs continue to open, we realize that Concessionaires and Fair Management will face hurdles successfully because as an Industry we are resilient… we can and will overcome the challenges together. NICA was well represented at the Florida Federation of Fairs Convention; we sponsored the YPI (Young Professionals Institute) Pre-Convention Cook Out poolside, presented “The Changing Landscape of Commercial Exhibits” and “What Can NICA Do 4 Me?” topics at the convention, greeted the IAFE Zone 2 Meeting, and participated in the “Are You a New Fair Manager” panel and the Vendors and Concessionaires roundtable. Great workshops and good networking had by all! We 6

June 2021 NICA News

Sandy Class, CCE, President, with Daniel West, Florida Federation of Fairs Executive Director, and Jim Ward, Pasco County Fair and Florida Federation of Fairs President

all will continue to work together, realizing that networking and strong Fair partnerships are so important. It’s time to get the tires turning on the highway (watch for the Goodyear tire benefit) and the chaser lights twinkling. As Eleanor Roosevelt said, “If life were predictable it would cease to be life and be without flavor.” Safe travels to all, it is going to be a fantastic Summer! ▲

“Voice” continued from page 5 ►► at www.nicainc.org/resources that is constantly being updated with any and all information that we hope can benefit you during these troubling times. Make sure to view the two newest documents, provided by NICA Member Brandy Arredondo, CCE, Noel’s Foods: COVID-19 Site-Specific Protection Plan (SPP) and Daily Health Screen examples for members that are required by OSHA to write COVID-19 safety plans. Please check it out, as well as the other resources on the page, as I think you will find it very useful. My personal advice to you as you head back to work this season is to start planning early. If you need ten employees, get fourteen. Unfortunately four will not show up. If you need fifty cases of drumsticks get eighty because unlike the employees, the customers are showing up in record numbers.

Daryl Whicheloe, CCE, 1st Vice President, with his son Gus

My final advice is that after a year of little to no movement check your tires! I have had to replace more than the usual flats this year already. We are proud to announce a new benefit for NICA members—access to Goodyear’s leading tires and retreads with 24/7 emergency roadside service—all at a competitive national price. With Goodyear’s program, members can conveniently buy tires at more than 5,700 locations or work with a dedicated national account manager to place an order. Stay tuned to NICA Now! and our website for more details. I hope to see as many of you as I can this Summer and wish all a profitable season. ▲

June 2021 NICA News


Riffing With Rey

Rey O’Day, Executive Director

Grateful Shout-Outs!

It has been a busy and please tell me and I will gladly shout-out the good productive month for NICA. works of others ASAP. In alphabetical order on The Board of Directors held behalf of NICA I say THANK YOU to the following: its annual Spring Planning At an upcoming California meeting at the beginning of the month. The Foundation Board Fair, Cal OSHA has required of Trustees also met to plan its a health and safety plan be submitted to address future fundraising and giving COVID-19 and other safety schedules. NICA participated concerns. Brandy Arredondo in the Florida Federation of Fairs Convention CCE, West Council, read in Naples which was electric with the energy the request and did enough emanating from the opening of Florida Fairs. research to understand All of our Strategic Planning Committees Brandy Arredondo, that it was (Membership, Benefits, Voice in the CCE, West Council tedious and Industry and Financial) have met for time consuming, and that OSHA the first time this year and set their “Anytime was becoming more involved in 2021 goals. If you would serve on members step up Fairs across the country. She one of these Committees, please carefully wrote her plan to meet and help many, contact the NICA Office at the details being requested and (813) 438-8926. NICA also gratitude is my then offered the plan to NICA to signed an agreement with only emotion… a become a part of our website’s Goodyear Tires for Commercial shout-out is my Peer-to-Peer Resource Center and Consumer Tires and Road action.” as a template for others to use. Service at Fleet Rates for our Generous and Priceless. members. Watch for the rollout. Jessica (NICA Staff) and Rob We have some amazing, proactive, Gottsche are expecting a baby this and creative members. When volunteers month. To all the people becoming parents I want step-into-their-light, I say “Hooray!!” And hope it to say “thank you” from all of us who are here to be will inspire me and others to do the same. Anytime your village. Parenting supports and provides the members step up and help many, gratitude is my physical, emotional, social, and intellectual fabric only emotion… a shout-out is my action. I also of our society. Parenting is a lifetime decision that know it is dangerous to point out the good works makes our country stronger, supports our Industry, of others because I might miss someone. If I do, and provides the visionaries of our future. Together we can pray for all the parents in the world. As a membership-driven organization, engaging new members and supporting current members is our most important mission. With permission from the Marla Calico, CFE, IAFE President and CEO, Greg Chiecko, Kentucky State Fair, Tom OABA Chair, Rey O’Day, NICA Executive Director, and Hodson, CCE, Director, called Jeanne Keaton, retired St. Lucie County Fair Manager, at and asked for 300 NICA the “Are You a New Fair Manager?” panel at the Florida Tom Hodson, CCE, Membership Applications Federation of Fairs Convention


June 2021 NICA News


to place in Vendor packages. Proactively taking responsibility for inviting our colleagues to join NICA is how we grow. On Mother’s Day, Foundation Trustee Don Kenna and his wife Cecelia hosted a family meeting. Because several in their family have been recipients of NICA Scholarships, they believed it was time to “pay Don Kenna, it forward” by making a Foundation Trustee family commitment to raise $1500 for the NICA Scholarship Fund. Watch for personalized items, event tickets, and baskets to become available soon. Mark Lancaster, Foundation Trustee, invited his friends to a party at his house and raised $6000 for the NICA Foundation by auctioning off not one, but two “electric scooter parties” at his home that include Mark Lancaster, drinks and hors d’oeuvres, Foundation Trustee dinner, neighborhood scavenger hunt ride, dessert and bonfire for 16 of your closest friends. Great idea! His circle of friends has been supporting the fundraising of sports teams, girl scouts, unexpected illnesses, school campaigns, and favorite projects for years; this was just part of that history and what community is all about. For years I have heard Past Directors Kevin McGrath, CCE and Gayle McGrath, CCE talk about the success of Survival Kits. At the Florida State Fair, I saw my first McGrath Survival Kit: it was Bary Bunts, CCE and professionally useful, Kelley Myers, East Council, beautifully presented, making plans to sell the and highly desirable. The Survival Kit tickets McGrath family donated one that East Council Members, Bary Bunts, CCE and Kelley Myers, took on to sell. Wanting it to be financially available to everyone, they sold over $400 worth of tickets at $5 a piece. At the same

event President Sandy Class, CCE sold 100 tickets for the donated Florida State Fair camping spot with the proceeds funding NICA’s educational sessions and the Foundation’s educational programs at a $1000 each. A fine example of a successful team effort. The Concessionaires at the South Florida Fair have been holding a bowling tournament fundraiser for years. This year Gentry Miller, East Council, wanted to change it up and join forces with OABA to hold a collaborative Jamboree to support the common interests of both sister organizations. Because we are all still in the shadow of COVID-19, there was some concern about turn out and participation. Happily, hundreds of attendees made it a rousing success and morale booster for both organizations. Past President Joe Potillo Jr. drove over from West Palm to Naples to participate in the panel “What Can NICA Do 4 Me?” He mentioned the importance of Communication Committees finding solutions to local Joe Potillo, Jr., Past concerns, the opportunities President it gives him to use his voice on behalf of the Industry, the satisfaction of engaging with sister organizations, the fellowship of gathering with longtime friendships, the gratification of accomplishing things like Transfer of Ownership guidelines, the use of benefits to strengthen his bottom line, and the pride he feels for our Scholarship Winners like Grace Owens who also spoke that day. In summary, he reminded all of us that in this time of precarious re-openings, we must not focus on individual trivial wants; we must speak as one voice for the vital labor, supply, and economic needs of our members and for thoughtful service to our Fair guests. Jeff Thornberry, CCE, NICA Director at Large, voluntarily flew from Utah to speak on NICA’s behalf at the Florida Federation of Fairs Jeff Thornberry, CCE, on “The Changing Landscape of Commercial Exhibits.” Director ►► “Riffing” continued on page 10 June 2021 NICA News


grateful cheerleaders for him as he steps up to the plate to assist our success in the coming months and years. While everyone has been negatively affected by Most of you know that in March 2020 I began COVID-19, our fellow Commercial Vendors have walking every day with a group of neighbors… been especially challenged to find events at which I know the world is opening because I am still to sell their wares. Now is a rebuilding time for walking, but now often alone. We are all busy again them. Jeff recapped that Commercial Vendors and on our own schedules. However, the fun part provide entertainment, length of stay, return visits is I always encounter some person who became a and value to our Fair guests. Most importantly, new acquaintance during 2020 walking who wants he reminded us that what we call “space rent” is to stop and visit for a few minutes. As I move not that at all; it is the fee we pay for access to forward in 2021 and beyond, I am looking forward Fairgoer customers and should be priced as such. to walking Fairgrounds all over this country and Hmmm... stopping to visit with you again. I have missed For seven years Rob Webb, Sysco Sales you and realize as I become reacquainted with so Associate in Sacramento, has been providing many of you, how glad I am that we are figuring out caring and professional service for our NICA Sysco this “messy” year together. Marketplace members. In a recent reorganization When next we meet, our Scholarship he has agreed to be the primary contact for all Applicants will be in the hands of our capable and members using the San Francisco, Central CA, caring Readers, we will know who is running for and Sacramento Sysco Houses. This is a huge the 2022 NICA Board of Directors, and we will have challenge and undertaking as we are opening Fairs sincerely paid our respects to the men and women while our supply chains are severely disrupted. He who have died while on duty with the United is deeply respected for his history of transparency States Military. Grateful for Traditions… God Bless and going above the call of duty. We will be patient, America! ▲ “Riffing” continued from page 9 ►►

“Renewals” continued from page 4 ►► Dennis Larson, CFE

Ramsey County Fair White Bear Lake, MN (2020)

Sandra Lewis

Nathan’s Famous Jericho, NY (2015)

Dennis Lilly

Triple ‘L’ Concession Flat Top, WV (1997)

Margaret Lucio

A and M Concessions Jasper, FL (2019)

Tim May

Handy Wacks Sparta, MI (2016)

Jim McKiernan

Grant County Fair Moses Lake, WA (2015)

Bill Morrissey

Fabri-Kal Rocky Mount, MO (2015)

Joe Muldoon

Low N Slow Catering LLC Torrington, CT (2018)

Carol Lundgren

Jeffery New

James Malmquist

Dolores P Llanes

Nikis Concessions Murrieta, CA (2017) Key’s Koncessions SW Ranches, FL (2014)

Pat Marsillo

Pat Marsillo Concessions, Inc Hamburg, NY (2019)

New’s Concessions GOLDSBORO, NC (2019) Santa Clara County Fairgrounds FMC San Jose, CA (2019)

Jessica Patterson

Robbeloth Concessions Inc Riverview, FL (2019)

Brandon Petree

Kenny Smith

Phil Poorman

Phil Teague

Marcy Poorman

Jessica Underberg

Michael Rafflo

Stephen Vartanian

Louis & Claire Concessions Austin, TX (2017) Mr. Sticky’s Inc. Antes Fort, PA (2014) Mr. Sticky’s Inc. Antes Fort, PA (2014) Mikey’s Food Service Gibsonton, FL (2019)

Carl Ratermann

Rocken Graphics Gibsonton, FL (2012) Hummel Group, Inc. Wadsworth, OH (2013) Erie County Fair Hamburg, NY (2014) Vartanian Concessions Management Murrieta, CA (2016)

Ole Mexican Food / Raterman & Associates St. Louis, MO (2015)

William Webster

Terri Shell

Dave Westrum

Michael Short

Terry Young

TnT Concessions Norwalk, IA (2016) Michael’s Surplus Concessions Stryker, OH (2014)

Webster Enterprises Spring, TX (2017) Westrums Quality Foods Delano, MN (2014) JT’s Stovetop BBQ Company West Union, OH (2011)

Thank you to all 77 Renewal Members for your continued support. In 2021 all of the Renewal Members’ names will be placed in the drawing for the $2,000 Gift of Travel. See page 33 or the back cover for more details. “Together We Can!”


June 2021 NICA News



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

Our Condolences to the Family & Friends of Charles Cox, CCE On behalf of Concessions by Cox and the Cox Family it is with great sadness that we have to inform you of the passing of Charles (Charlie) Cox, CCE. “As a lifelong Concessionaire Charlie supported every aspect of the Fair and Festival industry. He was a mentor to so many in our business and would help anyone at any time. We will all miss Charlie!” said Daniel Bullen, Ohio Fair Managers Association, who shared his passing with NICA. Charlie had three brothers, Harold Robert (Edna) Cox, Paul Cox both who predeceased him, and his brother Donald (Huguette) Cox. Charlie is survived by loving wife, Stacy Cox and his son Galen Cox; his children Dawn “Trinkett” (Randy) Angel, Deborah (Greg) Cox-Roush, Garth (Cindy) Cox, and Teresa (Jeffrey) Cox-Hickey and their devoted mother and Charlie’s lifelong friend, Patricia Ann (Litz) Cox. With his college degree in teaching, Charlie took pride and made it a priority to share his knowledge and work ethic with future generations. Knowing that was his passion, the Cox Family has chosen to start the Charles G. Cox Ohio Fair Managers Scholarship Fund. To support this wish, In lieu of flowers, donations may be made at the following link: shorturl.at/ajmuP. A visitation was held on Friday, May 14, 2021. View his full obituary and share your tribute message at https://legcy.co/3hfXdlt. As one of the first NICA Members to receive a CCE Designation in 1999, we are honored to present his Statement of Communications and Management Philosophy on page 12 of this issue. ▲

New NICA Sysco Marketplace Contact for Northern California Rob Webb, Sysco Marketing Associate, is now the primary contact for NICA Sysco Marketplace users in Northern California, including Sysco Houses in Sacramento, San Francisco, and Central California. Rob most recently participated in the NICA Sysco Marketplace Steps to Success Webinar, “Jump-Starting Your Fair Season,” featuring voices from NICA, Sysco, and Source1 Purchasing, where he shared his knowledge in areas of enrollment, ordering, and more. During the webinar, Rob stated, “We want to have due diligence in helping you run your business and helping make your business be successful.” When reached out for an additional comment, he added, “My job is to serve people and I welcome the opportunity to work with new folks. At the end of day I want to see your businesses thrive. I want to earn your trust and I will commit to serving you.” Rob Webb can be reached at (916) 893-6664 or webb.robert@sac.sysco.com. Sysco has launched a new Customer Care line to assist in all of your day-to-day account needs, such as placing a regular order, placing a will call order for pickup, changing an order date, canceling an order, and more. Contact Sysco Customer Care at customer@sysco.com or 1-800 SYSCO CS (797-2627). ▲ ►► “Announcements” continued on page 22 June 2021 NICA News


Thoughts From a This month’s Statement of Communications and Management Philosophy is from Charles Cox, CCE, Concessions by Cox of Ohio, Inc., from Columbus, OH, one of the first CCE Designation Recipients:

Charles Cox, CCE

Concessions by Cox of Ohio, Inc. CCE Earned in 1999 A deciding factor in how well a company succeeds lies in the communication between management and their employees. In order for communication to be successful within the Concession company, management must first learn to keep it simple, remain open and honest, and have written communication with the employees. The number one key to effectively communicating with employees is to keep it simple. The more complex a statement, the more others can read into what is being said, and perhaps misconstrue the initial statement. Management should be brief and to the point in all that they are asking of the employees so as not to confuse and clutter the remark. Secondly, management should keep the lines of communication open and always remain honest with the employees. One should

remain open to comments and suggestions from employees, because within the workforce, may lie some very good ideas. The management should always remain honest with the employees so that they will reciprocate the honesty in their work, and communication with the management. Finally, written interaction is equally important when communicating with employees. If a member of management has a written form to back up what they have already verbally stated, perhaps, the employees will be more likely to understand and follow through with each task at hand. Additionally, written communication aids in lack of confusion between management and employees. As well as helping with the confusion, written communication also helps to reiterate what has already been spoken. In today’s Concession Industry, communication is the key. Without fortuitous communication between management and the employees, success lies far out of reach. To obtain a good rapport with employees, management should remember three basic principles, simplicity, honesty, and openness, as well as a written contact with the employees. If managers in the Concession Industry can abide by these three principles, then the “sky is the limit” in all of their business ventures. ▲

Q: “So, How Do I Get My CCE?” The Certified Concessionaire Executive Program was developed to recognize the professionalism of Concessionaires, with the title representing a deep understanding and respect for the Fair and Festival business and indicates that the titleholder will perform with the highest level of professionalism. Before applying, the applicant must have a minimum of seven years as a fulltime 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, OABA and/ 12

June 2021 NICA News

or WFA. The applicant must then complete an 11page questionnaire, which uses a point system to determine their level of qualifications and industry involvement. They are also required to submit a 150-200 minimum word personal philosophy of communication and management as it relates to the fair industry. The applicant must send the application, supporting materials, and $90 administrative fee to the NICA Office. Visit the CCE website today for more information, as well as the downloadable CCE Application: www.nicainc.org/CCE ▲

Member’s Voice The greatest part of NICA is the Membership! The Membership’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 been continuing their survey of responses from Renewal Members. Fred Wiemer, Uncle Fred’s Foods of Racine, WI, views himself as an “independent thinker” and describes his family business as a “grab joint,” serving Philly cheese, hamburgers, hot dogs, and corndogs. He and his wife Carol also spend time each winter working in a photo business at Florida Fairs and events. Like many other Vendors, the Wiemers were hit very hard by the Pandemic, but Fred states they “keep on going.” He adds that he played “hermit for months,” but now his family “got their shots” and are ready for the new season. “We are trying to get back in the groove; our sales last year were zero. I didn’t go out and sit on any street corners, but I guess I could’ve.” He views his relationship with NICA as one of “camaraderie and comparisons, to see how we are doing compared to others and to see what’s available.” He realizes that “we all need to work together!” He adds: “Frank Parnell always worked on me to become a member when he was just getting going with the organization and finally we decided to join.” Fred started in the business with his first popcorn wagon in 1960: “That was a genuine wood stand!” He grew up on a chicken farm and showed

Uncle Fred’s Foods offering a variety of tasty Fair staples

chickens at the Fair. “I was looking for a job to do when I wasn’t showing chickens, so when I was 13, 14 or 15, I started hawking popcorn, cotton candy, and so forth at the grandstand and I got 10% of the gross, and I thought I was worth more than 10% so I convinced my dad to buy me a $500 popcorn wagon in 1960 when I was 16. I did five Fairs that year.” He then went to college and sold popcorn on the weekends, before becoming a teacher for 30 years on his time off from the Fair each year. He soon added to his menu and in the mid-70s, Fred even starting working in the arcade business, just as Pong hit the scene. “Being in it for so long, your circle of friends is made up of the people you have known for many years.” He states that he still sees people that he worked alongside in the 60s. Before 2020, his typical route included Fairs and Events throughout Wisconsin, Illinois, and Michigan, with the photo business at events in South Florida. “We started doing Fairs again this year because we got the vaccine.” His favorite events include Boone County Fair in Illinois, and he is looking forward to working again. “Keep in mind, ►► “Member’s Voice” continued on page 14 June 2021 NICA News


makes the most use out of his Pepsi discount, working most recently with his local bottler and Pepsi Representative in Wisconsin. Since they I am the guy in the back ‘kibbitzing’ with everyone haven’t ordered since before the Pandemic, Fred else while my kids are running the stand.” His three said, “When I called in they said they didn’t have us children, Jeff, Chris, and Julie, “all work in the food anymore, but our Rep. reinstated us.” He explained stand” and they all share the money depending on that other wholesalers, outside of NICA, often were who works. “I am the chaser. Right now I am sitting not able to reinstate his account due to inactivity. down deciding what kind of order I’m going to make As for the NICA News, he prefers the print edition: at Fare Foods; I wonder what I bought from them “It gives an idea of what’s going on and I think it’s two years ago!” pretty well written.” Inside and outside of his business, he uses his Fred ends on a reflective note: “In our age, skills in electronic work and troubleshooting: “I’m should we be out there or should we not? We enjoy a person that if a fryer is not working, I try to figure the camaraderie!” His advice for the Membership? out why it isn’t working.” He relates that people in “Move on and get the show on the road! Let’s get our Industry have some sort of talent where they somewhat back to normal. I think that can happen don’t say, “Poor me, what do I do?” They say, “Let’s without jeopardizing yourself or others. People are get it fixed and let’s move on.” He adds, “If you don’t spending their stimulus money and I think things have those skills and you need to hire everything to are going to come back stronger than ever!” get done, you are probably in the wrong business.” The NICA Office plans to continue to reach He states that the Food Show is one of the out to our Renewing Members throughout 2021 NICA Benefits he enjoys the most: “We have the and beyond. If you hear from us, we’d love to opportunity to see what’s on the cutting edge of know what’s on your mind! If we haven’t called or product development.” Besides Fare Foods, Fred emailed you yet, we’ll be in touch soon. ▲ “Member’s Voice” continued from page 13 ►►

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Kathy Ross, CCE, Past President, Jeff Ross, CCE, Ross Concessions, Jennifer Giordano, CCE, Foundation Treasurer, Richie George, CCE, Past Board, and Vincent Nelson, CCE, 2nd Vice President, receiving their CCE Awards in 2019

The CCE Program

An Application, An Investment and An Honor Jessica Gottsche, East Council Coordinator The Certified Concessionaire Executive (CCE) Designation is one of the most prestigious honors that the National Independent Concessionaires Association can bestow on a member. The CCE Program was developed to recognize the professionalism of Concessionaires and the title of CCE represents a deep understanding and respect for the Fair and Festival business and indicates that the titleholder will perform with the highest level of professionalism. This prestigious designation is awarded only after a detailed application process has been successfully met.

Bary Bunts, CCE, East Council, receiving his CCE Award at the NICA General Membership Meeting in 2020


June 2021 NICA News

Sandy Class, CCE, President, and Carmel Dyer, CCE, Director, receiving their CCE Awards in 2019 from Kathy Ross, CCE, Past President

Since 2000, NICA has awarded 74 Certified Concessionaire Executive Designations. NICA’s current president Sandy Class, CCE, is particularly proud of the CCE Program, In Sandy’s own words, “The CCE Designation is like receiving a scholarship to our Fair Industry. The application may be lengthy, putting all of your achievements down on paper. It’s a merit award based on your life accomplishments within the Industry. All members should strive for this, a goal in life for this Industry and as member of NICA.” Sandy recently invited Bary Bunts, CCE, to speak to the attendees about the application process and the value of the

Tom Hodson, CCE, Director, receiving his CCE Award from Jack Woods, CCE, Past President

designation, while attending the Movin’ Forward Rally at the Florida State Fair. We recently met with a few CCE-designated members to talk about the program, and who want to offer advice to other members considering filling out the application. Each of them will offer different and valuable suggestions that can help you on your journey to earn a Certified Concessionaire Executive Designation. When Bary Bunts, CCE, first reviewed the application, he was unsure if he met the qualifications. He decided to take the application deadline, and work backwards, marking out the entire year, for his activities, his convention attendance, and Industry presence, and then matching those items to the CCE application, realizing he did, in fact, qualify. Bary noted, “I definitely had hesitations at my first look at the application, but documenting my entire season, and then finalizing before the deadline really helped me, rather than waiting until the end of the year, and trying to remember all that I did.” Bary received his CCE Designation in 2020 at the NICA Business Expo in Tampa, FL. Tom Hodson, CCE, received his designation in 2002, as one of the first recipients of the honor. Tom was inspired by Past Board Members Kevin McGrath, CCE and Gayle McGrath, CCE to apply, and has never regretted it. “Look to someone for support and inspiration, and even for help in pulling information together that you may have forgotten,” is a great piece of advice from Tom. Life as a Concessionaire requires support from others, and so does the CCE application. As Tom put it, “It all can blend together, so look to your fellow

Kim Barr, CCE, Director, receiving her award from Dan Lusenhop, Past President, during the NICA Membership Meeting at the 2019 WFA Convention

Concessionaires for help in remembering.” In 2019, Kim Barr, CCE, received her own designation during the NICA Membership Meeting at the WFA Convention after applying in 2018. Kim remembers, “The first time I filled it out, the Executive Director called when she received it and explained to me that I didn’t quite have enough points to qualify! It opened my eyes, I took a look at how I was contributing to this Industry and made many changes and reapplied the following year and had more than enough points to qualify.” Kim also thought about what advice she could offer a new applicant, and shared this: “I would tell everyone to step back, take a look at what you are doing for your business and our Industry, and make changes. Also, just fill out the application and it will put it in black and white. Then make an assessment of what you need to do to accomplish the CCE, because it is truly an honor to see that designation after your name in our Industry.” Whether you have considered applying for the CCE Program in the past, or are thinking of applying in the future, we hope that these stories will inspire you to open the application and submit it for consideration for the CCE Class of 2022. “Together We Can!” ▲ For more information on the Certified Concessionaire Executive Program, how to access the application, and steps on how to submit your CCE application materials, and an example of a written Statement of Communications and Management Philosophy from one of our earliest CCE Recipients, view page 12 in this issue. June 2021 NICA News


Labor, Wages & Tips Rey O’Day, Executive Director

insurance, rent, deposits and miscellaneous fees for utilities and RV spaces. All of which are worthy Several months ago, Western Fairs Association of discussions and articles, but the focus of this one is the current labor shortage. Here are some asked me to produce a session titled “Building a information, ideas, and tips (yes “that” comes up Minimum Wage Workforce.” At the time I had soft, later too). fuzzy feelings about it: hire people who smile and look you in the eye, teach them specific duties How will Unemployment Payment using visuals and on the job training, keep them Provisions Impact the Current Pool of with appreciation, and hire more than you need. Now our businesses are chomping at the bit to Available Workers? open! Who knew we would not be able to convince While unemployment rates are lower than people to show up to be interviewed or sign up to they were at the start of the pandemic last year, be hired for suitable work!?! Why? Because some as of this April some 16 million Americans (1 in are hesitant and fearful for a variety of safety and 10 workers) were still receiving jobless aid. There health reasons including contracting COVID-19; are different patterns of how many weeks it can numerous cite a lack of childcare; a number have be collected and there are now provisions that left or retired from the hospitality industry; many include additional compensation for someone want easy, clean work; and countless think working earning a mixed income from a traditional job and part-time or full-time interferes with their ability to employment as a contractor. sit at home collecting more unemployment than A few days after Montana reported they would earn working. OOPS!! Now what? its withdrawal from all pandemic-related Currently many of you are working alone, with unemployment programs on May 4, the US family members and volunteers, or with borrowed Chamber of Commerce called for an end to the employees or owners from other stands because $300 weekly Federal bonus because it discourages you unable find labor to hire. Those that are workers from taking jobs. 24 other states are working are performing the functions of several ending participation in the $300 weekly Federal because of COVID-19 layoffs and the current labor bonus checks starting as soon as June. Some of shortage. This raises many questions like What is them will even offer incentives to find work. the monetary minimum wage today? (See page 20 Those states that choose to still participate in for the answer.) What defines the work skill level of the program will continue until Labor Day, Sept. a minimum wage employee? How can we compete 6, granting the Federal bonus on top of what the successfully in the hospitality and entertainment state pays as well as the other program provisions. marketplace for the same workers? How much can On May 10 President Joe Biden reaffirmed the you afford to spend to hire each worker? How do guidelines for receiving Federal unemployment you change your operation to use fewer employees? insurance. “We’re going to make it clear that anyone We are on a three-legged stool of rising labor collecting unemployment who is offered a suitable costs, rising cost of goods in broken supply job must take the job or lose their unemployment chains, and rising location expenses such as benefits,” Biden said. “That’s the law.” The New 18

June 2021 NICA News

York Times reported that the Biden Administration asked the Labor Department to make sure unemployed workers cannot continue to draw benefits if they turn down a suitable job offer. Note: information in this section was provided by cnet.com, Personal Finance by Oscar Gonzalez and Laura Michelle Davis on May 31, 2021.

Where do we Locate Employees? Jenni Fraser has tried Craig’s List only to find most do not show up. Several have successfully tried employment agencies that specialize in temporary or seasonal labor; though some observed they are expensive and the workers unreliable. Networking with past employees often finds friends, neighbors, or community group networks like teams or churches. Social media is foolish not to use and foolish to count on right now. San Mateo Event Center and County Fair CEO Dana Stoehr suggests that Fairs and Vendors share a job fair and ads. She points out that, “Fairs have the land, and the Vendors have what the guest wants so it is a win for all to be adaptive to our partners needs rather than compete with them for the same work force.” It appears that those who have applied for H-2B workers are beginning to receive a few of their requested workers. Collaborate with fellow, trusted Concessionaires so as to share/or trade each other and each other’s employees based on route and event dates.

tools they use work. Train them to be successful. Create recognition hoopla for good customer service. Provide collectible fair pins. Reward with gift cards. Provide clean uniforms. Provide pocket-sized “know your neighborhood” cards so they can answer frequently asked questions easily. Say Please and Thank You Often! Role model responsible, honest, and kind behavior. Be fair, organized, and consistent with rules and procedures. Pay more than minimum wage. Pay them a completion bonus. Pay on time. Teach skills and concepts that will be useful in life. Fire when you must and be understanding when you need to be. Provide water. Be the boss but be a good boss. Say Please and Thank You Even More Often!!

To Allow or Not Allow Tips?

This has become the topic for review during this labor crunch. I first encountered it in a conversation at the Erie County Fair during a Communication Committee meeting. Then a Concessionaire approached me to discuss it at the Florida State Fair. It also came up during the minimum wage panel discussion. Some Fairs have a laissez-faire philosophy about tips, and they are collected freely. Other Fairs do not allow tip taking at all. And there are Fairs that allow employees to accept tips, but do not allow them to actively solicit tips in any manner, including tip jars. Philosophically the thought is that because event food is expensive, the price How Do We Entice Workers to Apply? of the food item should include the cost of the While there is a minimum wage chart that service employee wage… the guest should not be makes some states more attractive than others on asked to augment the pay of the employee. I have page 20, the current minimum wage is whatever it even heard it said that it is tacky and harassing to takes to convince someone to work for you. Many solicit tips at food stands. Except where alcohol are using bonuses: an interviewing bonus, a hiring is involved and then there is a double standard. bonus, a completion of time agreed to bonus, an Culturally, people simply tip servers for pouring employee referral bonus, etc. Travel expenses them a drink. are being requested by interviewees and being Concession owners also have opinions about granted. Some want shorter hours, and some want collecting tips: collect them where you can, do longer hours… be flexible. Create a food allowance. not collect them where it is forbidden, or conceal Dominic Palmieri, CCE observed “I have won a the collection of them. Many Concession owners lot of good will with free pizza.” Free employee believe their employees are more productive and parking. Separate employee entrance. Pay more provide better service to the guest when tips are than minimum wage. allowed because they know they must in order How Do We Motivate Workers to Return to to receive a good tip. It is a friendly competition

Work During the Entire Run of the Event? Say Please and Thank You! Make sure the

►► “Labor” continued on page 22 June 2021 NICA News


The Year in Labor Minimum Wages Rise in 2021 The call for an increase in minimum wage has been a hot topic for many years, with many labor groups, private citizens, and others demanding a raise to at least $15 to coincide with inflation and other costs of living. The current Federal minimum wage is $7.25, having been increased last in 2009. From state-to-state it varies, with some increasing their minimum wage above the Federal level, while others equal it or have none on record. In 2021, more than twenty states have seen increased minimum wages for workers. Most of these changes were effective January 1, 2021, though states including Connecticut, Nevada and Oregon will see increases later in the year. Florida will join them in September, thanks to a ballot measure passed on Election Day 2020. Five states (Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, and Tennessee) have no minimum wage, so they default to the Federal minimum of $7.25. The District of Columbia has the highest minimum wage at $15, with many states approaching it in the coming years. The following table summarizes current state minimum wages in 2021 vs. 2020:

Minimum Wage Breakdown by State State

















$14.00 1 8

June 2021 NICA News





$13.00 2









$10.00 2



$5.15 3
















$14.00 rate is for CA employers with 26 or more employees. Employers with 25 or less employees have a minimum wage of $13.00 per hour.









$12.75 8










Rhode Island






South Carolina





$11.75 4

South Dakota

















$10.08 5

























West Virginia





$8.75 2 6




New Hampshire





$5.15 3

New Jersey


$12.00 7

GA & WY: Employers subject to the Fair Labor Standards Act must pay the $7.25 Federal minimum wage


$11.75 applies to MD employers with 15 or more employees. Employers in MD with 14 of fewer employees must pay a minimum wage of $11.60 per hour.


New Mexico



New York



North Carolina



North Dakota






$10.08 rate is for large employers in Minnesota (with annual gross revenues of at least $500,000). Small employers have a minimum wage of $8.21 per hour.



$8.75 is for Nevada employees who are offered health insurance. Nevada employees who are not offered health insurance must receive $9.75 per hour.


$12.00 applies to NJ employers who are non-seasonal and with 6 or more employees. Seasonal employees and those working for business who employ 5 or fewer employees must receive $11.00 per hour.


Statewide minimum wages apply in areas that are not governed by a higher, local minimum wage ordinance. New York City and Portland Metro are examples of areas—like California—which have local minimum wage rates that exceed the statewide minimum.





CT: Effective 8/1/21; FL: Effective 9/30/21; NV & OR: Effective 7/1/21.


June 2021 NICA News


Committee (read tips on page 28) where mutual solutions are adopted. Besides collaborating on mutually beneficial hiring events and ads, use amongst employees. Other Concession employees analytics to consider shorter or longer event hours have their opinions as well. Grab a Pepsi cup, hand so that everyone is maximizing employee hours write “tips” on it and keep it going until somebody with strong guest attendance. How many event stops it. days provide the best bottom line—remember that The discussion today is that if tips are needed profit is made in strong daily attendance not in the to entice and keep employees who want more than total event attendance. $7.50 or $15 an hour (depending on the state) to Work on creature comforts and engaging work, it motivates customer service, helps keep activities that stretch length of stay for more prices down, and the public seems to be in a customer satisfaction and higher per-capita generous mood to provide them. sales. Mike Bradley says, “tired feet go home.” Is it For me, it has required some changing my necessary to have minimum or maximum pricing on mind on the topic. If tips are part of what it takes items? Too many promotions become confusing, to incentivize a labor force to come to work, frustrating, and ineffective to everyone… choose then soliciting and accepting tips needs to be carefully. When signage is fun, functional, and clear, officially approved. That being said, then please employees and guests feel less stressed and more use an attractive receptacle and a professionally confident. While labor is short can ordering be done made sign that says something like “tips are by QR code, or at kiosks that send orders straight to appreciated… thank you.” Take the tackiness out the kitchen? Would it help to simplify menus? of it and make it look like it visually belongs at the We now know we are building a minimum stand. Moreover, wherever, or however tips are wage workforce using whatever creative, ethical, allowed, there are ethical and procedural matters legal, and necessary tools it takes to convince that must be made noticeably clear in writing to all someone to show up and work for your company. the employees, supervisors and Fairs involved. Work collaboratively with each other and your fairs, knowing that “Together We Can” find The Ways Fairs and Vendors Can solutions for this event reopening hiccup. You are Work Together entrepreneurially creative, and please know, this too shall pass. Keep Moving Forward! ▲ Invest time in developing a Communication “Labor” continued from page 19 ►►

“Announcements” continued from page 11 ►►

Congratulations to the Siggins & Waterbury Families! NICA Members Michelle Siggins and Jeff Waterbury, Sunshine Concessions, welcomed their newborn baby boy, Thomas Wells Waterbury, on April 6, 2021 at 12:15 AM. He weighed 8.8 lbs and measured 21” long. Michelle comments: “We’re calling him Wells!” Welcome Thomas Wells Waterbury to the NICA family and congratulations to all. Enjoy every moment! ▲

Scholarship Applications are Now Being Graded All qualifying scholarships were in by the June 1st deadline; they are now off to be graded by our dedicated group of anonymous Scholarship Readers. They will be making the hard choices choosing the best candidates for the 2021 NICA Foundation Scholarship Program and will be submitting their final decisions to the NICA Office in July. Each Applicant will be contacted with his or her status when the results are in. This year’s winners will be announced in an upcoming issue of NICA News. Good luck to all our Applicants and thank you to our Readers! ▲ 22

June 2021 NICA News


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June 2021 NICA News

Check it Out!

Discovering the Features of Our Website Greetings members! Over the last few years since we launched our new website, we have heard our members’ experiences regarding their usage of our website and have realized that some of the website’s features have not been used as much as others. We want to make sure that you can use the website to its fullest extent, so here are a few of its hidden features that you may not know about. If you visit www.nicainc.org you will have instant access to all things NICA on the top navigation bar, whether it is the current list of leadership, our Bylaws, the Peerto-Peer Resource Center, NICA Benefits, Membership Application Did you know? The QR Code and Communication Committee on page three brochures, the CCE Application, of each NICA NICA Now! emails, the latest News issue issue of the NICA News, or the allows you to login page to access your Online visit our website just by viewing Member Account. it with your Although most of your camera app on benefits can be accessed by most devices! using their corresponding account number on the back of your member card, calling the NICA Office, and/or following the guides in your NICA Benefits Booklet, some of our programs,

The Online Member Account page allows you to view the Membership Directory, pay your dues, access the Benefit Signup pages (on the left), update your account, and more!

You can access most of our features from the main page

including Coca-Cola, Dell, Fiserv, Goodyear, NICA Sysco Marketplace, and Pepsi each require a unique online signup process. Each of these benefits has a dedicated website with interactive forms that you can complete at anytime; the submission is sent directly to the benefit’s representative to get the activation process started immediately. You can access the Benefits menu from the main page, or from the Benefits link list on your Account page. If you still prefer to complete your applications the old fashioned way, we also offer the option to download the forms or request them from the NICA Office. Note: Each of the benefit signups require you to sign in with the email/username you supplied when you joined NICA. If you do not have an email or need assistance, contact the NICA Office today. NICA Members, once logged in, also have the option to change their contact information, pay their dues, change their billing preference (online/print), post to the Event Calendar, access and share job postings, share pictures, update their status (like Facebook), view their Member Directory, and more. Aside from accessing it on our website, you can also download the MemberPlus app on your phone. We hope this overview of some of our website’s features will help you navigate a bit easier.“Together We Can!” June 2021 NICA News


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June 2021 NICA News

Getting to Know Your

Regional Council Members We had the chance to interview the East Council’s very own Ryan Collmer, based out of Cape Coral, FL. His responses are below: What is the name of your company and what products do you sell? Our company is Meatball Factory LLC; we sell out of multiple stands, sausage sandwiches, turkey legs, shishkabobs, chicken pitas, steak sandwiches, fries, chicken tenders, blooming onions, lemonade, pizza, funnel cakes, fried oreos, elephant ears and mini donuts. What is your annual route? Our annual route takes us to Fairs in Florida, Indiana, Massachusetts, and South Carolina: • • • • • • • •

South Florida Fair, West Palm Beach, FL Florida State Fair, Tampa, FL Miami-Dade County Youth Fair, Miami, FL Howard County 4-H Fair, Greentown, IN Elkhart County 4-H Fair, Goshen, IN Indiana State Fair, Indianapolis, IN The Big E, West Springfield, MA South Carolina State Fair, Columbia, SC

How long have you been a NICA Member? I have been a NICA Member for two years now. Is your family active in the business? My wife is Nichole Pacifico Collmer who was

Ryann Collmer, East Council, with his wife Nichole Pacifico Collmer, and daughters Isla, Estella, and Ava

born and raised in this business by her parents Louie and Vicki Pacifico. She is very active with me in this business along with our three children. Estella (19), Ava (14) and Isla (8). They love to work and enjoy being a part of this Industry. What inspired you to join the NICA East Council? Jessica Gottsche is the one who recruited me and has brought me on as a Council Member this year. I am very thankful she brought me on, as we have worked together in the Fair setting and now are working together through the Council. What do you hope the NICA East Council accomplishes during your tenure? I hope we can accomplish all the goals that are set by us Council Members and especially bring some more unity within our business. As we start on a new path of unknown this year I believe we can all come together and make it better than it ever has been. Rain or shine the business has survived and now we must add Pandemic to this phrase and show “Together We Can” and we will survive! We appreciate your responses Ryan! What is the best way for a NICA Member to reach you?

The best ways to get in touch with me are at The Meatball Factory’s turkey leg stand during a typical year at the Miami-Dade County Youth Fair deliplace@msn.com or (239) 691-7497. ▲ June 2021 NICA News


Communication + Education = Solutions Gentry Miller, East Council “NICA is dedicated to strengthening relationships with the Fair, Festival, and Special Events Industries through effective communication, education, benefits, leadership and solutions.” As I travel the country and talk with Concessionaires about NICA and what issues are most dear to them, I consistently hear the same group of issues. These issues include duplication of products, policing of contracts, and various other items we Concessionaires consider the basics. This isn’t a new trend. NICA was founded 28 years ago with these topics as its focal point. However, despite years of effort, and becoming one of the most respected organizations in the Fair Industry today, we haven’t completely resolved our initial issues. Sure, a lot of our larger Fairs understand this and have adopted various policies to enforce them, but many Fairs, especially smaller ones, have not. We’ve all seen it happen. A new Concession Manager is hired, often times with little or no background in the actual Concession Industry, and they come in with an agenda of their own, usually even believing they are improving their Fair. They have some space open up and bring in the very first application they received, another cotton candy stand, because they have to fill the space. This upsets the five cotton candy Vendors who have been there for years, and those Vendors add a new product such as corn dogs to offset their losses, and this sparks a chain reaction for obvious reasons. We as Concessionaires know this, and so do most of our seasoned Concession and Fair Managers. Yet, 28 years after NICA was founded it is still happening! We, as an organization, have done a lot to combat this problem, and have had a great amount of success. We have created Communication Committees, we’ve discussed it at round tables, we’ve had our Executive Director and Board Members talk about it as they travel to Fairs, and we as Concessionaires have brought it up with our Fair Management in personal conversations. Even then, this is still one of the largest concerns for Concessionaires. 28

June 2021 NICA News

Being a Concession or Fair Manager isn’t easy. Most people don’t dream of growing up to be a manager. There are very few college degrees that can benefit someone in this field, and of the folks who go into those degrees, very few will end up on our Fairgrounds. It seems the problem is simple—a lack of education in the proper field. Fortunately, there is one place you can go to learn to be a Fair Manager. The IAFE offers the Institute of Fair Management. The Institute covers a variety of topics including safety, competitive exhibits, agriculture, carnivals, and even food and beverage. We are fortunate enough to have the food portion taught by our very own Rey O’Day, Executive Director. Rey leads a practical and information packed course that educates managers about what to look for in a quality Food Concession Operation. The Institute of Fair Management has been a rousing success and below I have highlighted a few ways that NICA can expand upon it. 1. Send a delegation through the Institute of Fair Management to find ways to enhance the criteria and do a feasibility study into our own coursework. 2. Create our own coursework with some form of certification that focuses specifically on common issues a Concession Manager may encounter. 3. Create a handbook or other literature available for reference to solve common problems a Fair may run into relating directly to Food Concessions.

Finding new ways to communicate our principles more often and more efficiently is a personal goal of mine, and something I intend to continue passionately working for in the years to come. The best tool we have at NICA though is you. If you have made it to the end of this article then you have what it takes to fix the issues facing us as an Industry. If you are a Concessionaire ask your Fairs to create Communication Committees. If you are a Fair Manager then give your Concessionaires an opportunity for Communication Committees. If your Fairs already have Communication Committees then be active on those Committees. Bring up the things that need to be improved, and take time to point out the things your Fairs are doing right. Go to your State Association and Zone Meetings. Take a trip to the IAFE, WFA, or NICA conventions. Be present, attentive, and most of all active. We have a great amount of issues facing our Industry, and we are the only ones that can fix them. For more information on Communication Committees, contact the NICA Office or view our Peer-to-Peer Resource Center at www.nicainc.org/resources for the brochure. ▲

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Proudly Distributed Through Fare Foods • Call 800-651-1601 For More Information • www.farefoods.com June 2021 NICA News


From the Camera Roll...

Greetings from the Board’s Spring Workshop in Las Vegas: Jeff Thornberry, CCE, Director, Rey O’Day, Executive Director, Kim Barr, CCE, Treasurer, Sandy Class, CCE, President, Vincent Nelson, CCE, 2nd Vice President, Don Delahoyde, CCE, Past President, Tom Hodson, CCE, Director, Carmel Dyer-Pittroff, CCE, Director, Kelly Grout, Director, Kathy Ross, CCE, Director, Phil Delayhode, Director, Jacqueline Bradbury, CCE, Secretary, and Daryl Whicheloe, CCE, 1st Vice President

Gentry Miller, East Council, Lewis Harvell, Harvell’s Roasted Corn, and Greg Miller, CCE, Foundation Vice President, at the Jamboree, held at the South Florida Fair, supporting NICA and OABA

Danny Alfonso, Manatee County Fair, Vicki Chouris, South Florida Fair, Jim Ward, Pasco County Fair and Florida Federation of Fairs President, and Terry Hatchley, Hardee County Fair and Florida Federation of Fairs 1st Vice President met with Concessionaires about reopening and the Industry

Kathy Ross, CCE, Director, Jim Ward, Pasco County Fair and Florida Federation of Fairs President, Rey O’Day, Executive Director, and Sandy Class, CCE, President

Rey O’Day, Executive Director, meeting with Gabriela Diaz, Program Manager, Emma Ryder, Sr. Director of Program Development and National Accounts and Anais Veiga, Project Manager, at Source1 Purchasing’s headquarters


June 2021 NICA News

Congratulations to Rusty Groscurth, Super Dog, and his family on being named Associate Member of the Year at the Florida Federation of Fairs Convention

Cheryl Reas, daughter of Olivia and Larry Orme, and her husband Dennis, with Cliff McInness, who has been with Carousel Foods for 32 years, and Jimmy Garner, who has worked for Carousel Foods since he was eight

AJ Ross, Kathy Ross, CCE, Director, Jeff Ross, CCE, Ross Concessions, and Marcus Leturno, Citrus County Fair, at the Florida Federation of Fairs Convention Fun Shoot

Sandy Class, CCE, speaking during the YPI Tailgating BBQ event, sponsored by NICA


St. Louis, MO 63103 | 800-325-7666 | www.riosyrup.com Distributed through Fare Foods 1-800-651-1601

June 2021 NICA News


MEMBER CLASSIFIEDS 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 no matter what the need! Contact us at (813) 530-4750 or communications@nicainc.org to learn more.

Outside Sales Representative Fare Foods is currently seeking an OUTSIDE SALES REPRESENTATIVE. The ideal candidate will process orders and solicit new qualifying business. You will also be required to assist drivers with customer deliveries and customer needs.  • • • •

Full time position Computer skills required Excellent customer service skills a must Candidate will be required to travel (company vehicle provided) • Previous Amusement/Carnival or food service experience preferred • Generous benefit package

Apply today! If you want to become a part of a fast growing family owned food service company, this job is for you! Please send a resume to sharsy@farefoods.com. Visit us online at www.farefoods.com or call 1-800-651-1601. ▲

Restaurant Building & Business For Sale MARKET DEVELOPMENT: With this current asset remaining relatively inexpensive, in this 1st quarter, NOW is the time to take advantage of this great investment. With Markets rebounding with a strong rapid recovery, Investors are moving onward and upward and looking right through the current wall of worry and focusing on where the economy can go, versus the current state of the economy. They are seeing a future of desirable profitable results. Snatch it up, don’t get left behind! Turnkey, Well Established, Profitable, Yearly Blue-Ribbon Winning State Fair located Business, Special Events, including continuous “Drive-Thru includes 2160’ Air-Conditioned Permanent Fair Food” called “Taste of the Fair.” Building, Equipment, Supplies, Inventory, Indoor Call Theresa at (561) 386-1709 or email Seating, Take-Out Window, servicing Fair and theresa@tcjohnsonrealty.com. ▲

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, communications@nicainc.org, or www.nicainc.org/advertising for additional information on sizes, prices, bulk rates, and more!


June 2021 NICA News

800-658-1652 • 620-342-6354 • fax 620-342-8910 www.fanestils.com All Meat Hot Dogs 10# Box:

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


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

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

Renewal Members ($2000 Gift of Travel) For a complete list of Renewal Members, eligible for the $2000 Gift of Travel, view our Contest page online at www.nicainc.org/contests

Referrals: General Membership Cameron Murray.................................................................. 1 Ron Porter............................................................................ 1 Mike Schantz........................................................................ 1

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

Chicken Hot Dogs 10# Box:

Referrals: Board of Directors

Pre-Skewered 6” (10/1) Hot Dog Pre-Skewered 10” (6/1) Hot Dog

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

2021 Membership Contest Leaderboard*

Sandy Class, CCE................................................................. 2 Thomas Hodson, CCE.......................................................... 1 Regular unstuck Hot Dogs are available.

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


Distributed by Fare Foods • 800-651-1601 • farefoods.com

*Listing as of 4/30/21. See back cover for rules.

Follow Us Online! Visit www.nicainc.org or search NICA on social media for the latest announcements, news, and pictures.

June 2021 NICA News


Since 1947

Email us at customerservice@mrgsmeats.com or call 660-646-3600 to order samples. For over 70 years we have offered only the highest quality meat products.

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

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


INSURANCE PROGRAM BUILT WITH Exclusive rates and coverages Developed with concessionaires

member benefit

IN MIND Doing business in 48 states Work with industry experts

Property | Fleet | Liability | Workers' Compensation 800.860.1060 | 330.335.2521


June 2021 NICA News



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: nica@nicainc.org • Website: www.nicainc.org

Date: #: q Member Renewal


First Name:

Last Name:

Name of Business: Physical Address: Mailing Address:

City :

City :

Primary Phone Number :





Cell / Secondary Phone Number :



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

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


Cash q






Guest Services

Credit Card #:

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






Security Code:

Money Order q


American Express



Expiration Date:


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

Beneficiary : _________________________ Phone : _____________

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 • June 2021 Issue


Profile for NICA Inc.

June 2021 NICA News  

June 2021 NICA News  

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