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Contents • November 2019 Articles & Features

Events & Contests

04 This Month’s New & Renewal Members 05 President’s Message 05 Director’s Voice 07 Member Benefits Spotlight 08 Rey O’Day Named Executive Director 09 Association Announcements 10 Thoughts from a CCE 11 Member’s Voice 16 2019 Election Results 20 NICA’s Social Presence Continues to Grow... 21 Meet NICA’s Advisory Committee 23 Getting to Know Your Regional Council Members 25 From the Camera Roll 26 Food & Beverage Concession Trends 34 The Forgotten Feature: Commercial Exhibits 36 A Guide to Communication Committees

12 NICA Business Expo & Fare Foods 2020 Food Show Information, Hotel Reservation Link & Exhibitor Form 18 Join Us in San Antonio 24 5th Annual Fair Partners Shootout 31 Don’t Miss Your Chance! 41 Coca-Cola Membership Contest 42 2019 Events Calendar

“Together We Can Champion Change!”

AdvertiSers 39 Allied Specialty Insurance 29 Brakebush Brothers 02 Coca-Cola 41 Fanestil Meats 33 Fare Foods 32 First Data 22 Hummel Group 19 JKJ Workforce 17 K&K Insurance 38 Member Classifieds 39 RJ Schinner

22 Schantz Manufacturing 32 Soda Parts Express 30 Sysco 42 Tastemaker Foods 40 Whirley DrinkWorks!

Dedicated to strengthening relationships with the Fair, Festival, and Special Events Industries through effective communication, education, benefits, leadership, and solutions The National Independent Concessionaires Association, Inc. is a Florida Corporation with an Editorial and General Office located at 1043 E. Brandon Blvd., Brandon, FL 33511 • Off ice: (813) 438-8926 • Fax: (813) 803-8460 • Online: The information contained in this Publication is based upon sources believed to be reliable. Readers should not act without professional advice. Cover to Cover © 1993-2019 NICA, Inc. All Rights Reserved. See you in San Antonio! November 2019 NICA News


This Month’s Newest Members! Bryan Blair

York State Fair York, PA

Ryan Collmer

Meatball Factory LLC Cape Coral, FL

Robert Greene

House of Flavours, LLC. Port Huron, MI

Taylor McKnight

Reno’s Fish & Chips, Inc. Vista, CA

Welcome to our 4 New Members! See page 41 for the 2019 Coca-Cola Membership Contest Leaderboard. “Together We Can!”

This Month’s Member Renewals Stacey Barona

Maria Costis

John Giordano

Amber Kapuscinski

Rick Beaudrot

Fran Crone

Kenneth Giordano

Brian Keller

Kurt Bechler

Gary Crutchfield

Kelly Grout

Karen Ketchell

David Belcher

Phillip Delahoyde

John Harrington

Tony Ketchell

Giant Ride, Inc. Roseville, MN (2015) The Butcher Shop Inc. Columbia, SC (1995) Bechler’s Fun Foods Bad Axe, MI (2009) The Eatery Huts, LLC and Footsie Wootsie Princeton, KY (2014)

C & C Concessions, Inc. La Verne, CA (2015)

SW Florida & Lee County Fair C & C Concessions, Inc. North Fort Myers, FL (1997) La Verne, CA (2013) Crutchee’s, Inc. Sumner, TX (2012)

Jackie DeRamus

Russell DiPasquale

Audio Innovators Riverview, FL (2010)

Sweet Cheeks, LLC Maricopa, AZ (2013)

Family-A-’Fair’ Food Service, Inc. Hamburg, NY (1993)

Michael Broad

Chuck Dugan

Chesapeake Food Concessions Baldwin, MD (1993)

Irene Dugan

Pork Chop Express Adairville, KY (2013)

Chris Forbing

Erie County Fair Hamburg, NY (2012)

Sweet Cheeks, LLC Maricopa, AZ (2013)

Jacqueline Bradbury

Broad Concessions Boynton Beach, FL (1994)

Julie Broetsky

Broetsky Foods, Inc. Fountain Hills, AZ (1995)

Michele Brooks

Crescent City Amusement Slidell, LA (2017)

Thomas Burns

Grand Rapids Popcorn Co. Comstock Park, MI (2007)

Extreme Food & Beverage Ukiah, CA (2011)

Jack’s Fries Ware, MA (2014) Harringtons Greenhouse, Inc. Ellsworth, WI (2012)

Brian Bradbury

Lakeside Concession Shawnee, OK (2006)

Chuckwagon Alta Loma, CA (2007) Chuckwagon Alta Loma, CA (2007) Forbing Concessions Ft. Wayne, IN (1996)

Dennis Fraleigh

F & W Concessions, Inc. Rhinebeck, NY (1993)

Dale Hershberger

David Higginbottom

J. Keith Hoover

Jeff Horbowicz

Robert Hutchins

Rainbow Concessions dba Blue & White Concessions Yucaipa, CA (2007)

Jim Johnson

Jacqueline Cammarano

Mark Frazier

Johnson Concessions / Southern Tier Show Salamanca, NY (2017)

Kevin Coe

Charles Giordano

James Judkins

Costas Constantinou

Jennifer Giordano, CCE

Erie County Fair Hamburg, NY (2013)

Patty Wagon Anchorage, AK (2011) Grecian Delights Flushing, NY (2011)


Olympic Kitchen Grosselle, MI (2001)

November 2019 NICA News

Frazier Fair Foods New Madison, OH (2003) C & C Concessions, Inc. La Verne, CA (2007) C & C Concessions, Inc. La Verne, CA (2007)

JKJ Workforce Agency, Inc. Harlingen, TX (2017)

Am-2-Da-Ber Concessions Quartzsite, AZ (2012) Florida State Fair Tampa, FL (1993) A. W. K. Ent. Inc. Milford, PA (1995) A. W. K. Ent. Inc. Milford, PA (1995)

Dennis Lilly

Triple ‘L’ Concession Cool Ridge, WV (1997)

Schuyler MacPherson

Ten Pound Buns / SDM Concessions, LLC Long Beach, CA (2011)

Vince Martino

Santillo’s, Inc. Naples, NY (2010)

Emilie Morrison

E.M. Enterprises Lake Wales, FL (1999)

Jose Navarro

Fun 4 A Day Rialto, CA (2016)

Kevin Patterson

Red Barn Productions Navato, CA (2018)

Jerry Phillips

Action Food Peoria, AZ (2011)

Deborah Powers

Debbie’s Concessions, LLC Lumberton, NC (1994)

►► “Renewals” continued on page 8

President’s Message Kathy Ross, CCE, President

“To do more for the world than the world does for youthat is success.”­ — Henry Ford In 1993, the newly formed NICA Board had its first faceto face Board Meeting at the IAFE Convention in Las Vegas. Thus, our long history together began. Today, we are invited to provide a session and continue to have one of our face-to face Board Meeting there. As we prepare for the IAFE Convention, I realize it is much more than just a session and a meeting. On Sunday, December 1, 2019, 1:15-4:15 PM, NICA’s Merchant Task Force will partner with the IAFE Concessions and Commercial Exhibits Committee to lead a workshop symposium to discuss the challenges facing the Commercial Exhibit sector of our Industry. This open forum will be looking for solutions that generate future success to the ever-changing landscape of Commercial Exhibits. This interactive session

will be moderated by Rey O’Day, NICA Executive Director, Pam Simon, Minnesota State Fair, and James Romer, North Carolina State Fair. We hope our Merchant Vendors and Commercial Managers will join us for this session. Our next duty is a great opportunity to share NICA updates with all those in attendance. IAFE is divided into Zones designed to represent specific regions of the United States and Canada. A NICA Director will give a NICA update at each of the eight Zone meetings that occur on Monday morning. This is a chance for us to share our achievements this year, our events at the IAFE, and invite the attendees to the NICA Business Expo and Fare Foods Food Show in Tampa, FL from February 3-5, 2020. All conventions have a networking facet and this one is not lacking in that area. Each night there is a Happy Hour event; NICA is proud to sponsor the Tuesday, December 3rd event. After a jam-packed day of education, this event offers the

►► “Message” continued on page 7

Director’s Voice

Sandy Class, 2nd Vice President

have been planning, corn dogs, cotton candy on a stick, their favorite rides and just making summer “Happy Summer Season memories. It’s just what we do: smiles, laughter, End” and “Happy Turkey Day!” and memories. November is a grateful month; I relish the Summer, the many miles, hosting we all have many things to be the Florida Federation at the Wisconsin State Fair, thankful for. I am reminiscent the Councils hosting fundraisers and rallies, the of the days in June when it’s setup and tear downs, moving from point A to B time to head North, escaping safely, and seeing our family in a new city and the muggy, rainy afternoons, Fair. November brings many things to a close: and saying a few prayers that it’s time to roll our equipment in to the barn, we have no major storms to worry about. For the winterize, and start planning for a new season. Southeast, it is the beginning of hurricane season, The iron gets painted, some trailers go to sleep and for us, it’s the beginning of many great County while others may get a face lift. Some of us travel, and State Fairs nationwide. from State Conventions to the IAFE Convention Our members travel far and wide; County and in San Antonio, swapping stories and learning State Fairs are the heart of every child’s memory. Young or old, the Fair is in town! Oh, the love! ►► “Voice” continued on page 6 The smell of the barns, a favorite concert they November 2019 NICA News



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


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

Director Elects Vince Agnifili, CFE, CCE 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

“Voice” continued from page 5 ►► what we can do better in 2020. Communication is the success to any great endeavor! For all things I am thankful for: our NICA Members, Fair personnel and my family and friends. If it wasn’t for all these moving parts that mold our Industry, the Fairs would be just a distant memory. I look forward to seeing everyone in Florida; the NICA 2020 Business Expo in February will be bigger and better than ever before, and I encourage everyone to attend. And we can’t forget the Showmen’s Club in Gibtown with their Annual Super Extravaganza and Trade Show. It’s time for the reopening, swapping summer stories and the hopeful talk for the return for our H-2B labor. They too will return home, swapping stories with the families they have left behind and hopefully they can return to America. Yes, the many things that mold our Industry to be the Greatest Show on Earth. We all make it happen—it’s just what we do! We all can make a difference and together we will! I wish all of you a happy and healthy holiday season. ▲ 6

November 2019 NICA News

West Council

Office & Membership Manager : Linda Frisco

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

Northeast Council

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

SOUtheast Council

Samantha Fairlie Thomas Hodson, CCE Mike Kramer Gentry Miller Kelley Myers

Jeff Ames Kim Barr, CCE Jacqueline Bradbury 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!

Attention Members! Do you need our help?

Is your Fair in search of the next big thing, a unique item, or even some all-around help for your Fair in the realm of Concessions, Commercial Exhibits, or Straight Sales? Alternatively, are you a Concessionaire or Vendor who needs to sell equipment or in need of staff? Whatever the need—we can help! We will also replicate your listings online at to maximize views. We can provide an excellent resource to both sides of the Industry; your ad has a maximum limit of 50 words, with the option of including a photo. Pricing is flexible and starts at only $25 an ad; bulk rates and other promotions available. Contact us by email at or phone at (813) 530-4750 to learn more!

“Message” continued from page 5 ►► attendees a place to gather to relax and do some networking before heading out to dinner. Plan to join us that evening from 5:45-7:00 PM. On Wednesday’s schedule, NICA is offering an educational seminar on “What Makes Fairs Affordable?” With rising utility costs, rising food prices, rising rents, rising ride prices, rising gate prices, rising parking prices, rising deposits, rising labor costs, rising government fees, rising security fees, and rising technology costs, our Fair Guest Affordability is at RISK. This session will offer some ideas and brainstorming opportunities to find solutions for a shared and real challenge. Our Executive Director Rey O’Day is moderating this session from 3:15-4:00 PM. The NICA Advisory Committee, sponsored by R.E. Smith, meets at a luncheon event during the Convention. This Committee is an invited group of Fair CEO’s and Concession Managers that gather with the NICA Board of Directors to discuss concerns, successes, trends, and thoughts that are mutual to both Fairs and Concessionaires. Many great ideas have come from this gathering and we look forward to this year’s meeting.

If that isn’t enough to keep us busy, there are a multitude of educational seminars, committee meetings, and trade show booths to visit. Please stop by and visit us at the NICA booth in the registration lobby of the Convention. This year our week ends with a face-to-face meeting of the NICA Board of Directors. My hope is to recap our experiences at the Convention and bring solutions to the concerns of our members. I want to thank my Board in advance; I appreciate their dedication to the Industry and our members. They are successfully doing more for the world than the world does for them. “Together We Can!” ▲

Member Benefits Spotlight Would you like to save on the beverages you serve each year? Every NICA Member who is a food and/or beverage Vendor is automatically eligible for a great discount program from CocaCola, providing exclusive national pricing available from most Coca-Cola bottlers nationwide. To get started, complete an application online at or fill out a W-9 form and create a list with your route, with each venue and their dates outlined; include any established bottler contacts you may have. If you do not send your information via our website, email your W-9 and route list direclty to the following three emails to get the process started: 1. 2. 3. Note: Registration can take up to six weeks.

Once your application is approved, you must connect with our Coca-Cola Representative Lexie Gentleman at or (813) 344-9593 at least three weeks before an event to ensure that you receive your special discount pricing. For a list of updated prices, as well as detailed instructions for each application step, make sure to visit today! 2020 prices are typically announced before the new year; we will forward you the latest pricing as soon as it becomes available. ▲ November 2019 NICA News


Rey O’Day Named Executive Director The NICA Board of Directors recently announced that Rey O’Day has been named Executive Director effective October 1, 2019. Rey O’Day previously served as NICA’s Executive Manager of Councils with responsibility for NICA Regional Council activities, the NICA Sysco Marketplace Master Distribution Agreement and the facilitation and implementation of NICA’s long and short-term Strategic Goals. She was also the 2016 Inductee into the NICA Hall of Fame. Rey is no stranger to the events industry, as she teaches “Principles of Food and Beverage” and “Guest Services” for the IAFE Institute of Fair Management, serves as an IAFE Trustee on the IAFE Education Foundation, participates on the WFA Industry Standards Committee, and

Advertise Your Business in

instructs and mentors students in the University of California–Riverside’s Event Management Program. She is a frequent speaker and trainer at Industry gatherings. “Rey’s diverse Industry experience, proven leadership, professionalism and vast knowledge of all facets of the Industry make her the ideal Executive Director for NICA,” stated NICA President Kathy Ross, CCE. “I am honored to direct the work of NICA with our Board, staff, membership and industry partners by being ‘dedicated to strengthening relationships with the Fair, Festival and Special Events Industries through effective communication, education, benefits, leadership, and solutions,’” stated Rey O’Day.▲ Do you have any questions or comments for Rey? Contact her at or (951) 315-6623


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!

“Renewals” continued from page 4 ►► Robert Pugh

Gulf Stream Gibsonton, FL (2009)

R.D. Ryle

Jay Rounds

Ryle / McKinney Food Services Hughes Springs, TX (1995)

Brett Rubert

Seivers Concessions Grove City, PA (2013)

Penny Ryle

Family A Fair, Inc. Hemet, CA (2008)

Jake’s Foods LLC Goshen, IN (2017) Parnell Foods, Inc. Belvidere, IL (1996) Ryle / McKinney Food Services Hughes Springs, TX (1996)

Tim Seivers

Celia Smith

Dale Smith, CCE

Family A Fair, Inc. Hemet, CA (2008)

Jeremy Solem

Douglas Thomas

Earl Strickland

John Uhl

Troy Stroh

Richard Valentine

Stephen Swika III

Fred Wiemer

Stephen Swika III

Tim Yoder

Solem Concessions, Inc. Rochester, MN (2016) Eagle Concessions, Inc. Candler, NC (2003) Destroy Productions Valley Center, CA (2018) Pies N Cakes Scott Township, PA (2014) Pies N Cakes Scott Township, PA (2014)

Utter Delights, Inc. Canastota, NY (2018) Century Industries, LLC Sellersburg, IN (1993) Jac & Do’s Pizza Tiffin, OH (2003)

Uncle Fred’s Foods Apollo Beach, FL (2008) Elkhart County Fair Goshen, IN (1993)

Thank you to our 66 Renewal Members for your continued support! Have you renewed your NICA Membership this year or would like to know when your membership is due? Check your status online by logging into your Online Member Account at or contact the NICA Office at (813) 438-8926 or today! “Together We Can!”


November 2019 NICA News


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

Get Your 2020 Hotel Rooms While They Last! The 2020 NICA Business Expo and Fare Foods Food Show is just on the horizon. The special discounted rates are $144 plus tax for standard rooms. The entire hotel was contracted until September 15th. After that date, rooms have been based only on availability. If there are any remaining rooms, they must be booked no later than January 3rd, 2020 to receive these special reduced rates. If you are interested in upgrading your room, call Audrey Poole at (618) 542-2155. See page 13 to learn more. ▲

Deadline for Pepsi Rebates is Approaching! Are you planning to submit for your Pepsi rebate this year? The deadline to submit it is November 30th. Rebate forms are available in the “resources” area of your Online Member Account, at, or by contacting the NICA Office. If you need assistance, contact us at (813) 438-8926 or today. ▲

Calling All Contributers—Submit Your Content! We love to hear from our NICA Members on such subjects as life on the road, the work of the Concessionaire, member announcements (births, weddings, etc.), food trends, transportation issues, and more! We also welcome any footage of any television series episodes you may have participated in for Food Network, the Cooking Channel, and other outlets for use in NICA’s convention compilations. Send your stories, photos, videos, and anything else to for consideration. You can also utlitize our submission tool at ▲

First Timer’s Scholarships Awarded for IAFE Convention Have you always wanted to attend the WFA and/or NICA Conventions but just haven’t committed to it? Whether it be because of expense, timing or any other reason, NICA is here to help get you there! It is with much excitement that we share this Scholarship Opportunity for up to five current NICA Members. Visit or see page 31 in this issue for scholarship amounts and an application. ▲

Do You Have Any Changes for the 2020 Directory? Do you have any changes for your online and directory listing for the 2020 Membership Directory? We will be sending out reminder emails to all members, and physical mail to all members who do not currently have an email to remind you this month. If you have changes, please login to your account at, email, or call us at (813) 438-8926. If you have any address changes, we will also update your NICA News mailing address for future issues. ▲ November 2019 NICA News


Thoughts from a This month’s Statement of Communications & Management Philosophy is from NICA Past President Tim O’Brien, CCE & Justine O’Brien, CCE, O’Brien’s Food Service:

Tim O’Brien, CCE

CCE Earned in 2000 “My personal philosophy comes from something I learned as a child and use in my personal life, as well as my business dealings: the Golden Rule—’Do unto others as you would have done to you,’ or in my own words, “treat em’ like you want to be treated.” To me, that means treating fellow Concessionaires, Fair Management, the public, purveyors, and the help in the most courteous and professional way possible. I like to think we are all an extended family looking out for the greater good of everyone involved in the Fair Industry, trying to give the public a fair deal, clean places to eat and a good constant quality product (the Fair, Rides, Food, and Games) in hopes that they will return in the future. As technology moves our industry and the rest of the world farther and farther into the future, nothing will be able to replace good old fashioned hands-on customer service. A computer will never be able to serve a person a corn dog or treat that person like I would like to be treated—with a kind word and a smile.” ▲

Justine O’Brien, CCE CCE Earned in 2000

“I did not grow up in the Concession Industry. However, my Mom and Dad owned a meat company and I learned from them that hard work, friendliness, and being as helpful as possible would take me far in anything I chose to do. Oddly enough, growing up in the Industry my family

Justine O’Brien, CCE and Tim O’Brien, CCE, O’Brien’s Food Service

chose prepared me for the Concession business. If a grocery store, big chain, or little ‘mom and pop’ called my Dad on a Sunday morning because they were running out of the advertised special, we would load up the family, head to the plant, load a truck, and deliver it. If a church group, the K of C, or a local restaurant called on a Saturday night for more chicken, and my Dad knew he didn’t have it, he would call other meat markets in the area and find the product his customer needed. There are other meat purveyors just like my Mom and Dad who were willing to help each other out, even though they competed with each other for the same business in town. As you can see from these examples, I was able to apply this same philosophy I learned from my family to the Concession 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: 10

November 2019 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. Keith Hoover, Pork Chop Express from Adairville, KY, states that he has a very strong relationship with NICA and that NICA works hard to communicate what’s happening in the business, such as identifying the latest food and beverage trends. When he first got started, he specialized in ribeye steak sandwiches; now he runs four trailers: the ribeye trailer, a grab, a seafood trailer, and a Keith Hoover’s ribeye trailer BBQ trailer. He describes himself as a “newbie” in the business, although he just finished his 17th year. He got his start by renting a Royal Crown drink trailer from his local RC distributor. His father owned an IGA grocery store and the town it was in had a Strawberry Festival where he sold ribeye sandwiches, pork chop sandwiches, burgers, and drinks. Keith remembers, “After that event I told my dad I believe I can make a living doing this so I bought my first trailer and hit the road.” His route keeps his business in Tennessee and Kentucky; he feels that his events are “all are special in their own way,” but if he had to choose one, his favorite is the Festival that started it all. He mentions that he uses the Sysco benefit and the Airgas discount, which “pays for my NICA membership every year just from the savings from CO2 alone.” He prefers to read the printed NICA News because he is “old school.” What he likes best about the Fair Industry is the relationships formed from being out on the road. “Some guys I only see once a year but every year we catch up

An example of one of Keith Hoover’s food trailers offering a variety of Fair staples such as corn dogs, fries, and more!

on what’s been going on and have been doing so for many years. Also, most people in the business will lend a hand helping others.” He went on to describe a situation where a fellow NICA Member was helping another member: “It was like day four of a nine day Fair when a fellow trailer owner was installing a new fryer in one of his trailers. His wrench slipped, severely injuring him, with him having to be transported to the hospital. I get to the Fairgrounds after this happens and go to see if I can assist the family in finishing the install when I see Rodney Spivey, Spivey’s Southern Grill, had beat me to it and already getting it installed so they could open that night. What other business do you know of, that would help each other like we do?” His message to the NICA Membership is to “be there for your fellow Vendors; this business is tough enough as it is. Lend a helping hand when one is needed. I know I’ve needed help many times and have had someone there to help, and have tried to help anyone that I can in return.” This is certainly valuable advice! Thank you for your responses Keith! The NICA Office plans to continue these surveys throughout the new year and beyond regarding your membership, use of benefits, experience in the Industry, and more. If you hear from us, let us know what’s on your mind! ▲ November 2019 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


November 2019 NICA News

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


SheRaton tampa BRanDon hotel To reserve your hotel accommodations you must book your room through the online reservation site. Visit either site below for more information.

www.FArEFoodS.Com/EvENtS King Single / Double Bed Room.................$144.00 (plus tax) Breakfast vouchers available for $14.50 per person, per day (inclusive of tax & gratuity) for each guest in room. You will only be charged when voucher is redeemed. Vouchers provided at check-in. (Redeemable at Panfilo’s Restaurant)

If you have questions/issue with the reservation process please call or email Audrey (618) 542-2155 • *Rooms are based on availability. RESERVAtIoNS muSt BE mAdE No lAtER thAN JAN. 3, 2020 to receive these special reduced rates, Room rates revert to full price after JANuARY 3, 2020. Credit card required to reserve room. November 2019 NICA News


NICA Business Expo & Fare Foods 2020 Food Show Vendor Setup: Feb. 3rd, Noon - 4 pm • Food Show: Feb. 3rd & 4th, 5 pm - 9 pm

EXHIBIT SPACE APPLICATION Please Select a Sponsorship level

 Platinum ........ $7,500  Gold ................. $5,000

 Silver ............... $3,000  Bronze ............ $2,000

Return completed form by november 15, 2019 to: Fare Foods, p.o. Box 407, Du Quoin, Il 62832 Phone: (618) 542-2155 • Fax: (618) 542-4798 E-mail: All payments must be made in full by December 27, 2019 or booth space will be forfeited.

Company name ________________________________________

list products/services to be exhibited:

Contact person _________________________________________

_____________________________________ _____________________________________ _____________________________________ _____________________________________ _____________________________________ _____________________________________

phone _____________________ Cell ______________________ address ________________________________________________ ____________________________ City _______________________ State_______ Zip ___________ e-mail:__________________________________________________ ☐ Master Card

☐ Visa

Credit Card No. __________________________________________ Expiration Date:__________________________________________ Signature _______________________________________________

name Badges: Please print first and last name of individuals working your booth

_____________________________________ _____________________________________ _____________________________________ _____________________________________ _____________________________________ _____________________________________

Credit card payments accepted, *3% Processing Fee Applies


November 2019 NICA News

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

SPONSORSHIP OPPORTUNITIES q Annual Gala Entertainment ..................................................................$1,500 q Opening Ceremony Champagne Toast ................................................$1,500 q Annual Gala Open Bar / Cocktail Hour ................................................$1,000 q Food Show Refreshments ....................................................................$1,000 q Food Show Ribbon Cutting ..................................................................$1,000 q Board Luncheon .......................................................................................$800 q Past Presidents Luncheon ......................................................................$650 q New Member Goodie Bag ........................................................................$500 q Welcome / Registration Refreshments ..................................................$500 q Annual Gala Decorations .........................................................................$250 q Educational Workshops (No Limit) .........................................................$250 First Name: ____________________ Last Name: __________________________ Company: ___________________________________________________________ Phone: _____________________________ Email: _________________________ Address: ____________________________________________________________ Payment Type: q Cash q Check q Credit Card CC #:________________________ Exp: ___ /___ Code: ______ Signature: ________________________________________ All Sponsors will receive their company name and/or logo on the NICA Website, in the Convention Schedule booklet and General Membership Meeting program, and on the signage at the Registration Desk, Food Show Lobby, General Membership Meeting, and Hospitality Night. Submit your sponsorship application by email to, by fax to (813) 803-8460, or by mail to NICA, 1043 E. Brandon Blvd. Brandon, FL 33511. November 2019 NICA News


2019 Election Results This year’s election has been a very exciting race, with nominees vying for the three open spots on next year’s Board of Directors. Each newly elected Board Member will start their term beginning in February 2020. We thank all Voting Members and Board Nominees for their participation in this year’s election! The Director Elects are Vince Agnifili, CCE, CFE, Jacqueline Bradbury, and Lee Stevens.

Vince Agnifili, CCE, CFE

Oasis Aqua Massage • Nuevo, CA “Adaptation may well be the best catch word to define today’s challenges facing Concessionaires. Concessionaires are having to adapt to changing government regulations and compliance demands, personnel issues, competition from online sources, decreasing margins, market uncertainty, rising expenses, management changes, and the ever present threat of the X-factor... adapting to adverse weather conditions. My background as both a Concessionaire and as a Fair CEO provides me with a unique perspective, as I am sensitive to the challenges that each group faces. We should work collaboratively, Fairs, Festivals, Special Events, and Concessionaires, to insure the future success of each other. Since all groups face almost exactly the same challenges we should take a new approach to addressing how we can adapt, overcome, and thrive as business partners. I firmly believe we should examine how we can increase attendance at events, while controlling the costs for the event’s customer, which includes both the attendee and the Concessionaire. Education of Concessionaires and Fair decision makers is a critical component to this process and more needs to be available in this area. Based upon historical trends, NICA’s relationships with the Industry, advocacy, programming, benefits and membership will continue to grow and flourish. NICA will continue to work in concert with related associations such as IAFE, OABA, and WFA to achieve its stated mission: Dedicated to strengthening relationships with the Fair, Festival and Special Events Industries through effective communication, education, benefits, leadership, and solutions. Looking for solutions from a collaborative perspective has the potential to yield valuable action steps for stakeholders to improve Industry practices. I believe that I can bring that unique perspective to the NICA Boardroom. ‘Together We Can’ achieve the mission!”

Jacqueline Bradbury

Sweet Cheeks, LLC • Maricopa, AZ “In this complex world we are faced with more than one challenge; three come to mind: the scarcity of temporary labor and H-2B concerns that put our businesses in jeopardy, new Fair Managers that do not know the Fair business, and exclusive sponsorships for which the Concessionaire and Fair Guest pay. The only way challenges are overcome is through communication, education, and action. I will help build more Communication Committees, invite Fair Managers and Supervisors to visit more Fairs, and encourage all of us to continue attending roundtables, workshops, and conventions so we can better understand concerns from many viewpoints and find mutually beneficial solutions that we put into action. 16

November 2019 NICA News

In the next five years, I believe that NICA will continue to gain New Members, collaborate with Fairs, provide benefits that improve our bottom lines, be a bigger part of the Industry, and accomplish something that no one has even thought about today. To get us there, I will plan membership drives, be open to new ideas, not fix what is not broken, listen to members, be able to answer questions about NICA programs, and work as a team where ‘Together We Can’ be a bigger voice in the Industry!”

Lee Stevens

Julees, LLC • Gibsonton, FL “I am honored to have this opportunity and I shall do my best to uphold the goals set forth in NICA’s mission statement. I feel that a major challenge facing our Industry, although there are several, is the aging out of many Concessionaires over the last few years and the hard and difficult time they have trying to sell or hand down their business that they have built up for many years. To overcome this challenge, I will continue a dialog with Fairs and Committees to engage in an open discussion about the way or ways that they would and could be comfortable with a new ownership of an ongoing operation and ensuring that all parties agree that the business remains at least the same or improved upon. I think that in five years, NICA will be more visible on the midways around the country. We will get there with the influx of new and younger members in NICA. We have the chance to educate them and have them get excited about being an active member. I see more get togethers and open discussions at our different events, and continuing our membership drive throughout my term. ‘Together We Can!’”


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November 2018 NICA News


Join us in San Antonio The 129th IAFE Annual Convention and Trade Show is December 1–4, 2019 at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center in San Antonio, TX. The theme is “Champions of Change”—register today at or in person at the event. Here are a handful of events during the week that we invite you to attend:

Sunday, december 1 • 8:00 — 10:00 AM: Principles of Food and Beverage IAFE Institute Course: An introduction to the principles and role of Food and Beverage service at Fairs and Fairground facilities that suggests ways to create a • 6:00 — 8:00 PM: Raisin’ for a Reason— Wagons successful environment for the Fair and the and Whiskey: Enjoy a social evening full of wine, Concessionaires. Learn to work together spirits and food while supporting a great cause. for a high level of Guest satisfaction and Auction proceeds benefit the IAFE Education financial return. Other key points covered will Foundation which supports the Institute of Fair include Contract models, Vendor selection, Management. LDR Room. placement, menus, and layout, business needs of successful Mobile Food Operators, pricing, Monday, december 2 new technologies, trends, and the “front line” • 9:15 — 10:00 AM: Zone Meetings. A team of role of Concessions. Presented by Rey O’Day, NICA Directors will speak at each session. Executive Director. Room 221 B/C/D. Zone 1: Room 301 B/C; Zone 2: Room 221 A; • 1:15 — 4:15 PM: The Changing Landscape of Zone 3: Room 302 A; Zone 4: Room 225 B/C; Commercial Exhibits: While Fairs and Expos Zone 5: Room 221 B/C/D; Zone 6: Room 302 B/C; have featured commercial exhibits from their Zone 7: Room 301 A; Zone 8: Room 225 D. inception, they are experiencing a business • 10:15 — 11:45 AM: Think Like an Inventor – The environment that requires “Champions of Mindset and Motivation to Spot Opportunities, Change.” Generational shifts in buying habits, Take Initiative, and Embrace Change: “It’s not coupled with direct competition from the my problem.” “It’s not my job.” “I wouldn’t internet, are altering the way patrons engage know where to start.” “I can’t.” “I won’t.” “I with Fair Commercial Exhibit offerings. quit.” Imagine inventors saying these kinds Session participants will discuss and of phrases. What if those inventors STOPPED analyze current practices and share ways thinking, creating, and solving? Terrifying, right?! to reimagine and promote their Commercial But this is exactly what’s happening in YOUR Exhibit programs so they will thrive in teams, organization, and maybe even in your today’s business context. Plan to attend this own mind every single day. Finding opportunities interactive session regarding the future of to “invent” starts with just one little word and Commercial Exhibit offerings. Presented by it ends with collaboration, teamwork and an IAFE Concessions and Commercial Exhibits attitude of ownership. Learn how you and your Committee and the NICA Merchant Task Force; organization can turn the tables on your moderated by James Romer, North Carolina • performance by simply knowing how to think like State Fair Manager, and Rey O’Day, Executive an inventor. Presented by Professional Speaker Director. Room 303 C. Julie Holmes. Room 302 B&C. 18

November 2019 NICA News

• 12:45 – 2:00 PM: Monday General Session. Lila Cockrell Theatre. • 2:00 – 5:30 PM: IAFE Trade Show: Walk through the aisles of nearly 300 Exhibitors. Find a partner in all things Fair and make sure to stop by the NICA booth located in the Registration Lobby!

Tuesday, december 3 • 8:30 – 10:00 AM: Tuesday General Session. Lila Cockrell Theatre. • 10:30 – 11:15 AM: Legend-Led: The Changing Partnerships Between Fairs & Carnivals: Soak up knowledge from Industry Legends and have a chance to ask them questions. This discussion-based session is a great opportunity to meet those established individuals you’ve been watching throughout the years. Presented by Jim Sinclair, CFE, Minnesota State Fair, and Gary Slater, CFE, Iowa State Fair. Room 303B.

discussion with Advisory Committee participants that discusses shared topics of interest. • 3:15 — 4:00 PM: What Makes Fairs Affordable: Rising utility costs, rising operating costs, rising food prices, rising gate prices, rising parking prices, rising ride prices, rising rents, rising deposits, rising labor costs, rising government fees, rising security fees, rising technology costs, etc. What do they all have in common? Collectively, they put Fair Guest Affordability at risk. Come hear some ideas and be ready to brainstorm some solutions for a shared and real challenge. Presented by NICA. Rey O’Day, Executive Director moderates a group of Panelists including Jennifer Giordano, C&C Concessions, Kevin McGrath, The Best Around, and James Romer, North Carolina State Fair Assistant Fair Manager. Room 221 A. • 5:15 — 7:00 PM: Champions Awards and Reception. Lila Cockrell Theatre.

Thursday, december 5

• 11:45 AM – 12:30 PM: Social Media Networking Session: Come join this moderated • 8:30 AM — 1:00 PM: NICA Board of Directors Meeting. ▲ session with other attendees interested in utilizing social media for their Fair. Kicking off with a networking activity, you are sure to walk away with new ideas and a network of peers. Moderated by Kathy Allen, South Carolina State Fair, and Abby Suchomski, Tennessee Valley Fair. Room 220. • 1:00 – 5:30 PM: IAFE Trade Show. Stop by the NICA booth located in the Registration Lobby! • 5:45 — 7:00 PM: Happy Hour Sponsored by NICA: At the end of a jam-packed day of networking and education, come together with other attendees at the happy hour before heading out to dinner. Includes drinks, snacks, live musical entertainment, and a series of Concessionaire video spots. Stars at Night Ballroom 2 & 3.

Wednesday, december 4 • 8:30 – 10:00 AM: Wednesday General Session. Lila Cockrell Theatre. • 10:00 AM – 1:30 PM: IAFE Trade Show. Stop by the NICA booth located in the Registration Lobby! • 12:30 – 2:00 PM: NICA Advisory Committee Luncheon. NICA Board of Directors hosts a November 2019 NICA News


1000 980

NICA’s Social Presence Continues to Grow... 960 940 920


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Follow and like our page at:

Jessica Gottsche, Social Media Coordinator Social media continues to be one of the most popular ways to stay connected to those close to us. While we may be separated by thousands of miles, for weeks or months at a time, social media provides a mechanism to stay updated, stay in touch and stay close, in real time. Businesses and organizations also use social media as a tool to connect with customers, clients, members and supporters. NICA’s social media presence has grown over the last several months, and that growth and activity continues to grow.

NICA’s Facebook Followers Break 1000

Twitter is the go to social network for breaking news, quick updates and sharing informative clip important to users and their followers. NICA’s 300+ Twitter followers learn about important NIC access to retweets from the Association that provides industry-related news updates.

to retweets from the Association that provides Industry-related updates. Twitternews - Number of Followers

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Twitter follower growth trends over the course of 2019; follow us online at @NICAInc

Find us on Twitter at: @NICAInc

Facebook has over 2.37 billion individual usersSocial worldwide. The social network also NICA’s Presence Continues to Grow... NICA’s Instagram Has the Largest Growth employs 37,000 people, who adopted the Social media continues to be one of the most popular ways to stay connected to those close to us. While we may Instagram is a photo and video sharing social mission, “to give people the power to build be separated by thousands of miles, for weeks or months at a time, social media provides a mechanism to stay by Facebook, Inc. On Instagram, updated, stay in touchand and stay close, inthe real time. Businesses and organizations also use socialnetwork, media as a toolowned to community bring world closer together.” connect with customers, clients, members and supporters. NICA’s social media presence has grown over the last visually capture a moment in time a user can At NICA, we are continually growing our own several months, and that growth and activity continues to grow. and share it with their followers. Still one of the Facebook community, with over 1,080 followers Facebook has over 2.37 billion individual users, worldwide. The social network also employs Instagram 37,000 people, who and video sharing social network, owned by Facebook, Inc. On Instagram, a u is a photo fastest-growing social networks in the world, as oftheOctober. We aretheusing social and network adopted mission, “to give people power to the build community bring the world closer together.” At NICA, capture a moment in time and share it with their followers. Still one of the fastest-growing social n NICA isis capitalizing on the growth, andriseseeing a followers, with o we continually growing own members, Facebook community, with over 1,080 followers. We areworld, using the social NICA capitalizing on the growth, and seeing a dramatic in Instagram toareconnect withourour wherever they network to connect with our members, wherever they may be. Our work can separate us by when thousands of miles, dramatic rise in Instagram followers, with only we began tracking and using the network, to nearly 170 today. may be. Our work can separate us by thousands but Facebook keeps us connected and “next door.” four followers when we began tracking and using of miles, but Facebook keeps us connected and Instagram - Number of Followers the network, to nearly 170 today. “next door.” Facebook - Number of Followers 180









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1-Feb 1-Mar 1-Apr 1-May 1-Jun


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Facebook follower growth trends over the course of 2019; follow and like our page at

Follow and like our page at:


1-Jan 1-Feb 1-Mar 1-Apr 1-May 1-Jun


1-Aug 1-Sep 1-Oct

Instagram follower growth trends over the course of 2019; follow us at

Follow us on Instagram by searching:

Twitter is the go to social network for breaking news, quick updates and sharing informativenicainc clips that are important to users and their followers. NICA’s 300+ Twitter followers learn about important NICA news, and have access to retweets from the Association that provides industry-related news updates.

Twitter Growth Remaining Steady

Twitter is the go to social network for breaking Twitter - Number of Followers news, quick updates and sharing informative 315 clips that are important to users and their 310 followers. NICA’s 300+ Twitter followers learn 305 about important NICA News, and have access 300

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November 2019 NICA News

Have you taken a moment to find us on social

Have you takenAdd a moment us on network social media? Look us up can on the share pages provided, and add media? us to tofind your so we network, so we can share your information, retweet your breaking news and like your business’s p your information, retweet your breaking news, and videos. We love seeing our members at their best all year, and sharing your success and stories fro like your photos and videos. We love seeing our you on Social!

members at their best all year, and sharing your success and stories from the road. See you on Social! ▲

This map of the continental United States shows the location of this year’s Advisory Committee participants. The variety of Fairs represented across the country gives a valuable insight on nationwide trends, topics, and ideas that help shape NICA’s perspective on shared concerns and goals. We hope that the discussion benefits all in attendance!

Meet NICA’s Advisory Committee Rey O’Day, Executive Director

NICA has been dedicated to strengthening relationships with the Fair Industry since its inception. One of our long time traditions is engaging in a conversation with our Advisory Committee over a meal during the IAFE Convention. This year the Advisory Committee Luncheon will be on December 4th. But did you even know we had an Advisory Committee? And who are they? They are a group of Fair and/or Vendor Managers from across the country who agrees to meet once a year with our Board of Directors to discuss concerns and ideas pertinent to our Industry. Each one of them serves a three year term. It is how I was introduced to NICA; I served as a member of the committee from 1999—2001 and then again from 2005—2007. It is where I developed career long friendships with people who believed “Together We Can!” and began learning the intricacies of the Fair Industry. This year’s Advisory Committee participants are: • • • • •

• Renae Korslien, CFE, CEO, North Dakota State Fair • Melanie Linnear, VP of Food Service, State Fair of Texas • Dan Mourning, General Manager, New Mexico State Fair • Jeremy Parsons, CFE, CEO, Clay County Fair (Iowa) • James Romer, CFE, Assistant Fair Manager, North Carolina State Fair • Scott Suchomski, CFE, CEO, Tennessee Valley Fair • Nancy Smith, CFE, General Manager, South Carolina State Fair • Jessica Underberg, CFE, CEO, Erie County Fair (New York), IAFE Chair

This year we will be discussing Safety and Security, Links Between Food and Agriculture, Vendor Logistics, Strengthening Community Relationships Together, and whatever else comes up. Bob Batista, CFE, Director, Western Idaho Fair NICA News will be introducing you to them Shari Black, CFE, Chief Programs Officer, individually throughout the coming year. A Wisconsin State Fair special shout out to R.E. Smith for sponsoring Gene Cassidy, CFE, President and CEO, Eastern this event for many years and to our Board for States Exposition—“The Big E” keeping this tradition alive and well. I often say Vicki Chouris, CFE, CEO, South Florida Fair and that “everything I know, I learned from someone Palm Beach County Expositions else.” That is what the Advisory Committee is all Kent Hojem, CFE, CEO, Washington State Fair about. ▲ November 2019 NICA News


focused on


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636.940.8400 22

November 2019 NICA News

Getting to Know Your

Regional Council Members Rey O’Day, West Council Coordinator We had the chance to interview the West Council’s very own Steve Vartanian based out of Murrieta, CA. His responses are below:

What is the name of your company and what do you sell? The name of our business is Vartanian Concessions Management. We sell Dole Whip, churros, frozen novelty items, and assorted bottled beverages.

What is your annual route? Our route is Southern and Northern California, Nevada, Colorado, New Mexico, and Arizona.

How long have you been a NICA Member and who recruited you? Rey O’Day recruited me in 2016 and got me more involved with our Industry.

Tell us about your family—are they active in your business?

Steve Vartanian, West Council, taking a selfie with his wife Julie, daughter Chloe, and son Cole

What is your most valuable NICA benefit? My most valuable NICA benefit is the benefit of all the members coming together as one to help NICA be able to set up various purveyor accounts to help us across all aspects of us conducting business.

I have four children Karly, Noah, Chloe, and Cole and my wife Julie. Recently my family has been becoming more involved as we expand and it has been wonderful having them on the road with What inspired you to join the West Council and what do you hope it accomplishes? me. I was inspired to join so we can achieve common goals and help steer our wonderful industry through the hardships coming our way now and in the future. I believe we are constantly evolving and changing and need to help each other in many different aspects so we stay strong, relevant, and viable. I hope we continue the open lines of communication with all the people in our Industry through our Committees and Workshops, and continue to bring understanding and change where needed to better our futures in this business that we are lucky to be a part of.

We appreciate your responses Steve! What is the best way for a NICA Member to reach you? Steve Vartanian’s Dole Whip stand in action!

The best way to contact me is through email at or (760) 525-8063. ▲ November 2019 NICA News


From the Camera Roll... Rey O’Day, Executive Director, Dominic Palmieri, Past President & Rocko Russell, Treasurer

Jay “Rocko” Russell, Treasurer, and Rey O’Day, Executive Director, with the Southeast Council’s Gentry Miller, Josephine’s Glazed Donuts, his wife Emily, and their daughter Vera

Marlene Pierson-Jolliffe, State Fair of Virginia Executive Director, with Rey O’Day, NICA

Meet Jerry Damon a visually impaired artist from the Coachella Valley in Southern California who makes bracelets as his livelihood. He loves all things related to Fairs and visits them throughout the entire season. Here is a photo of him holding his 2019 LA County Fair winning ribbons for the art pieces he submitted. Also notice his collection of fair pins on his lanyard. Collecting fair pins is something we Fairgoers love to do. NICA thanks Jerry for being a generous donor to NICA projects like our Scholarship Program!

Executive Directors on the loose at the LA County Fair: Rey O’Day, NICA, and Greg Chiecko, OABA

Jeff Brick, the Big Kahuna, at the Erie County Fair

Kris Ryan, K&R Concessions, with Rey O’Day, Executive Director

Pam Daneker, State Fair of Virginia Concession/Exhibit Space Rentals, with Rey O’Day, Executive Director

Jerry and Monica Urick, Urick Concessions visiting with Gretchen Schulenberg, Sysco Indianapolis, during the Indiana State Fair

Rey O’Day, Executive Director and Liz Waxstein, WFA Meetings and Trade Show Manager, eyeing a bucket of crab legs at the Alaska State Fair

Samantha Fairlie, Southeast Council, and Rey O’Day, Executive Director, at the State Fair of Virginia

Ron Smith, Past President and NICA Hall of Fame Recipient, welcoming all to the Indiana State Fair November 2019 NICA News


Food & Beverage

Concession Trends Jim Sinclair, Deputy General Manager, Minnesota State Fair

It’s an economic truism that a business cannot remain static. It can grow and evolve, but if it never adjusts as its market changes, it will die. Companies (and their leaders) who allow themselves to become complacent in any aspect of their work will find the competition passing them by. What’s more, no company will succeed in the future if it depends on what it learned and how it operated in the past. For the holiday season this year, Starbucks released a unique drink: the Juniper Latte. Arby’s has served up duck and venison sandwiches, Sonic offered up pickle juice slushes last summer, Shake Shack attracted long lines for its eel burger in New York last year, and a couple of foods to hit New York City recently are the smoked watermelon “ham” and smoked cantaloupe burger at Duck’s Eatery. As the trend cycle moves faster and younger generations seek out new experiences, it’s becoming even more important for every Food/Beverage Concession Operator to pay attention to the next generation of food, beverages, and flavors. That said, following are some things Fair Food/Beverage Concession Operator may wish to put on their radar and watch for in the year ahead. Around two billion people already eat crickets, mealworms and other insects, and studies suggest the market for edible bugs will be worth up to $1.2 billion by 2030. Chicken strips have long been a consumer favorite, and the double-digit growth in chicken strip servings has come from product innovation. This proves that when you take something that consumers already love, elevate the form and deliver value, you have strong potential for growth. Eggs are getting more interesting and adventurous... cured and shaved egg yolk, egg 26

November 2019 NICA News

pies, yolk jam and smoked eggs are gaining popularity. Rice is a staple that is moving into the spotlight propelled by everything from the bowl trend, which often relies on rice as a base, to an exploration of heirloom rice; e.g. fried rice tots made from jasmine rice. Target recently launched seven varieties of almond milk-based ice cream under its Archer Farms private label and research from Global Market Insights shows that the global non-dairy ice cream market will hit $1 billion by 2024. Globally inspired and ethnic foods, according to Statista, are expected to grow at retail from $10.9 million in 2013 to $12.5 million in 2018. Among Whole Foods’ 2019 trend predictions is flavors from the Pacific Rim. The Specialty Food Association’s Trendspotter Panel believes one of the biggest trends for 2019 will be a regional shift that will see products embracing street fare-focused flavors from Latin America, South America and Africa. Mexican, Asian, Eastern Mediterranean and Middle Eastern flavors should also be on the radar. For example, booza and dondurma, sometimes called Arabic ice cream, has a stretchy, almost taffy-like texture that keeps it from melting in the hot sun, and it’s ten times as rich as gelato. XO sauce may be the new Sriracha with its rich, complex flavors like dried seafood, chilies and ham that lift up other flavors in a dish. Bing, a Chinese crepe born on the streets of Shanghai, is showing up and gaining ground in the US as a handheld. Customized, whether through fillings or inclusions in the batter, make the bing a great addition to breakfast, lunch or on snack menus. Similarly, flatbread is on the rise, thanks in some measure to fascination with all the flavors coming out of the Eastern Mediterranean, along with a serious boom in hummus. They’re exceptional vehicles for adding flavors to the dough and different versions of sharable

flatbreads offer opportunity by topping them with various intriguing flavor combinations. Whether puffy and doughy or crispy, thin and cracker-like, flatbreads are not only ideal partners for dips and spreads, they’re finding their way into unique sandwiches, sharables and handhelds, because they’re easily stuffable, convenient and portable, with limitless possibilities. Plus, they’re extremely popular with millennials. Plant-based foods are on a growth track. Future Market Insights is forecasting annual growth in plant-based protein foods taking the form of burgers, cheeses, seafood, pork, chicken and even eggs through 2028, driven in part by a rise in vegetarian, vegan and flexitarian diets. And Whole Foods Market has named plant-based foods one of its top trends for 2019, because those who don’t eat only vegan or vegetarian are exploring plant-based snacks, crave something different and may just want to take a break from meat. Fusion Foods like queso, the dish of melted cheese, spicy chilies and chorizo, offers opportunity by infusing various other intriguing flavor sources and combinations. Likewise, according to the National Restaurant Association’s “What’s Hot 2019 Culinary Forecast” reflecting contemporary consumer cravings in tandem with emerging societal dining trends, gourmet lemonade was ranked third among top trends in non-alcoholic beverages, and specialty iced tea ranked fifth. Operators are creating iced tea with fruit, herbal and floral infusions, such as peach, mango, hibiscus or pomegranate. Beverages, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic, that deliver more flavor are also making their mark. Ingredients in beverages like carrots, beets, turmeric, ginger and/or blueberries, deliver on the promise of a fantastic flavor experience all while promoting everything from digestive health and mental clarity to stronger immunity. And consuming low-ABV drinks is said to be an opportunity to access flavors and textures that you might not otherwise have been able to achieve. Plus, they allow you to enjoy these beverages in greater quantities and over longer periods of time. Non-alcoholic mixed drinks are a hot trend right now, as Americans are increasingly conscious about what they put in their mouth and are more focused on maintaining a healthy

lifestyle. 1 out of 10 people are interested in seeing mocktails in more bars and eateries. They’re on the menu at Starbuck’s Reserve Roasteries, juice giant Ocean Spray is in the game with a mocktail product line that includes a cranberry-peach Bellini and sangria, and Bar None is a new line of cocktail-inspired, non-alcoholic bottled beverages from Coca-Cola that comes in varieties such as ginger mule, Bellini spritz, dryaged cider and red sangria. Younger customers aren’t drinking as much as older generations are (millennials drink less alcohol than Gen-Xers, and centennials/ Generation Z drink less than millennials). Dry January, a movement launched in the United Kingdom in 2014, is gaining traction with multiple generations in the US and January 13-19 was the first ever National Mocktail Week, but even after January, non-alcoholic drinks have been trending upward. According to the global market research firm Mintel, 13% of consumers agree that mocktails are a good alternative to alcoholic drinks, with younger women their target market, and 45% of millennials would give up alcoholic beverages in order to improve their health. Starting in February, packages of Bud Light have prominent labels showing the beer’s calories and ingredients, as well as the amount of fat, carbohydrates and protein in a serving. The brand’s research shows that younger drinkers, in particular, want to know what’s in their beer. Craft Beer sales in the US were on track to rise 5% this past year, hitting a new record, and the number of craft breweries was set to grow 20% to more than 7,000, according to the Boulder, Colorado-based Brewers Association. (Craft brewers are defined as small and independent, producing less than 6 million barrels annually.) There were 2,252 brewpubs in the US by the end of 2017, up from 1,308 five years ago, and 85% of drinking-age adults now live within 10 miles of a US craft brewer. What’s more, the economic impact of the US craft beer industry is $76 billion, and the number of jobs generated by the US craft beer industry approximates 500,000. Globally, craft beer sales are on track to book 12% annual growth through 2022.

►► “Trends” continued on page 28 November 2019 NICA News


In 2017, Taco Bell created its Cantina concept, with plans to open about 300 of the locations that serve beer along with the chain’s Mexicaninspired menu. Starbucks has also experimented with craft beer and the chain’s new high-end Reserve Roasteries concept includes a full bar boasting local beers.

digestive discomfort and eating “gluten-free” as a tool linked to weight management. As consumers reexamine their diets, foods that promote gut health are coming to the fore, including healthy fats, collagen, resistant starch, fermented items and foods free of grain, dairy and markers of industrial production. In pursuit of wellness, consumers are exploring a diversifying landscape of foods and beverages that promote energy and good digestion.

Health and Wellness

Beyond food/beverage menu, operationally...

“Trends” continued from page 27 ►►

Technology in the form of cashless Carnival Midways at Fairs are a reality. How soon will we see self-service electronic kiosks for ordering food/beverages, especially given the current labor environment; i.e. shortages of employees and increased minimum wages? Social media presence for your company and products can be a free or low-cost and efficient way to generate buzz that will grow your business. For example, Facebook is an excellent social media tool for building an audience. As of 2018, 68% of US adults use a Facebook account; including 81% of those ages 18-29, 78% of These facts should give us cause to question... those ages 30-49, 65% of those ages 50-64 and • Are portions too large and are we over-serving 41% of those 65 and over. It gives followers an Fair guests? opportunity to send you questions and direct • Are we serving guests over-sized portions just messages, post photos and share stories to to maintain a higher retail price? create excitement about your products/services • Do Fairs and Food/Beverage Concessionaires and presence at the Fair. (Tips: posts with photos have a responsibility to promote healthy food or video that encourage comments and sharing alternatives? typically perform the best, and Facebook can be • What is the potential “fallout” if they don’t? especially helpful in reaching an older audience.) Twitter is a great place to post short updates, 92% of American adults believe digestive photos and communicate directly or broadly with health is important to their overall health, a 2017 potential customers. As of 2018, 24% of US adults Health and Wellness report finds that consumers used a Twitter account; including 40% of those are adding nutrient-dense foods and beverages ages 18-29, 27% of those ages 30-49, 19% of promoting good digestion to their diet, and 38% those ages 50-64 and 8% of those ages 65 and of consumers say they are consciously adding above. (Tips: Twitter can be especially helpful in probiotics to their diet. This is evidence of the mainstream interest in probotic-rich cultured and reaching a millennial audience, but you only have 280 characters to work with.) fermented foods, such as yogurt, kombucha and Instagram is also a platform to share photos fermented vegetables, that contain gut-friendly “good bacteria.” Kombucha, once an exotic, fringe, and is a great place to show your food and product photos. As of 2018, 35% of US adults use home-brewed probiotic beverage has become an Instagram account, but that number is rapidly readily available and is consumed for both increasing. 64% of those ages 18-29, 40% of digestive wellness and pleasure across all types those ages 30-49, 21% of those ages 50-64 and of consumers. 10% of those ages 65 and over use an Instagram Similarly, “gluten-free” has seen widespread appeal because of connections consumers make account and millennials are particularly active on Instagram. between eating gluten-free to remedy general Irish playwright George Bernard Shaw once said, “There is no more sincere love than the love of food,” but some of the statistics we’re hearing are staggering; e.g. more than 2/3 of the US population is overweight or obese. Adult obesity rates were 45% in 2016 and predicted to be at 50% by 2030, plus the International Diabetes Federation is predicting one in 10 adults will have diabetes by the year 2030. In addition, childhood obesity, diet–related health diseases and heart disease are on the rise and the obesity epidemic is expected to continue plaguing the US.


November 2019 NICA News

Snapchat, Linkedin, Google My Business, etc. are also some of the many viable and useful social media tools available for your use, and you should look into which of them make the most sense for your business. Two examples of the Minnesota State Fair’s use of social media are for its New Foods and Specialty Brews and Beverages announcements each year. The New Foods announcement is posted on three platforms; i.e. Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Facebook reach (the total number of people who saw the posts) was 880,934, Twitter impressions (the total number of people who saw the tweets) was 121,247, and Instagram reach (the total number of people who saw the post at least once) was 59,286. The Specialty Brews and Beverages announcement is posted once on three platforms; i.e. Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Facebook reach was 187,110, Twitter impressions were 26,309 and Instagram reach was 17,920.

Equipment What’s with the “outsized” Food/Beverage Concessions with extremely high marquees and/ or big fronts? Do such “oversized” Food/Beverage Concessions work, what advantage(s) do they offer Concession Operators and what do they offer the Fair? Theme and “Eatertainment” can be equally and possibly more effective than size. A theme or story related to your Concession, creating a narrative, whether it’s completely made up or with elements of truth, is a great way to garner attention, tell customers what a Concession is all about, as well as get a footing and grow a new Concession. A new backstory can also do the same and offer a fresh start to an old Concession. A history or story provides a guide for the décor, menu items and overall vibe of the Concession. In the context of creating a new or revising an old Concession, it’s great if the main elements of the theme or storyline are accurate and real, and if you can weave that in with imaginary elements that represent fun characters, interesting times and places, the whole storyline can create a background character and shape a fascinating atmosphere. Examples at the Minnesota State Fair are The

Hangar (Food/Beverage Concession themed around historic use of the building it occupies as an airplane exhibit), Coasters (drawing on its proximity to the carnival), Giggle’s Campfire Grill (located in our Northwoods area) and Café Caribe (with its Caribbean menu and vibe). The future will be dramatically different. We can’t stop progress, but we can progress with it, and we need to, because the future is where we will spend the rest of our lives. We must ask ourselves: are we simply doing the same things year after year and expecting different results (which is the definition of insanity), or are we constantly reviewing our products, services, procedures and purpose; reworking, repackaging, reconstituting and redeveloping our product, presentation and programming to reflect the times in which we live and meet current trends? ▲

“Food and Beverage Concession Trends” was originally presented at the NICA 2019 Business Expo as a Panel-led discussion.

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November 2019 NICA News


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Don’t Miss Your Chance!

Apply for the 2019 First Timer’s Convention Scholarship Today! Have you always wanted to attend the WFA and/or NICA Conventions but just haven’t committed to it? Whether it be because of expense, timing or any other reason, NICA is here to help get you there! It is with much excitement that we share a new Scholarship Opportunity for NICA Members! Up to five current NICA Members will receive $500 towards travel expenses (transportation and hotel) and basic attendee registration covered by the Organization hosting the Convention selected. Below are the criteria and obligations required for each Convention:

NICA Business Expo Criteria • • • • • • •

Must be a first-time attendee to the Convention. Must be a current NICA Member (annual dues must be satisfied if due). Winner of Scholarship must submit proof of registration for desired Convention. Must be available to assist NICA and/or Convention host during the Convention. Must submit an article of Convention experience to NICA News. Must be currently active in the Outdoor Amusement Industry. Must be referred by current NICA Member.

WFA Convention Criteria • Volunteer for WFA at the WFA Convention. • Participate in post-Convention interview.

When is the Submission Deadline? The deadline is November 15th for the WFA Convention and December 15th for the NICA Business Expo and Fare Foods 2020 Food Show Go to or cut out and complete the form below to apply! Mail your completed form to NICA at 1043 E. Brandon Blvd. Brandon, FL 33511 or scan and email it to before the deadline to qualify. ▲ &



2019 First Timer’s Convention Scholarship Application Fill out the following application to the best of your ability; incomplete applications may be disqualified. Name: _______________________________________ Company : Address: Phone: ______________________________________ Email: Current Membership: q NICA q WFA

Convention Choice: q WFA Convention q NICA Business Expo

Have You Attended the WFA Convention previously? q Yes q No Have You Attended the NICA Business Expo previously? q Yes q No NICA Member Who Recommended You Apply for this Scholarship:


November 2019 NICA News



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The Forgotten Feature:

Commercial Exhibits Vince Agnifili, CFE, CCE, Director Elect

The parade of products included offerings from corporate America, local merchants, craftsmen The annual Fair is days and entrepreneurs with their inventions and away from opening the gates: innovations. Commercial Exhibitors entertain social media have been and captivate the consumer with their products, buzzing for months with services and pitches. Fair surveys continually exciting announcements, rank the shopping experience high on the billboards and posters are motivating factor of why Fairgoers choose to everywhere you look in the attend the events. The Fairgoer enjoys browsing community, television and the offerings and loves shopping at shows. Fairs radio spots take over the and Expositions are recognizing that a strong airwaves, press releases are sent out, local Commercial program, in addition to generating media outlets are on the grounds interviewing space rent, is responsible for increasing the length Fair officials, Entertainers, Carnival workers of stay of the attendee. Increasing the length of and Concessionaires and that’s all before the stay of the Guest directly results in increased scheduled press day. spending in other areas, particularly food and So what is all the excitement about at this beverage sales and other event revenue. year’s Fair? In the interest of being transparent, I must • Concerts and Entertainment admit I am a Commercial Exhibitor, but I also have The grandstand arena headliners, grounds had the privilege of serving as a Commercial/ shows, feature acts and of course racing pigs. Concessions Manager and even as a Fair CEO. I • Concessions like to think that I’m equally sensitive to the issues New extreme foods, healthy foods and award facing Fairs and Commercial Exhibitors. winning offerings. Let’s take a look at Commercial Exhibits • Carnival from the standpoint of the Fair and the Exhibitor; The magical, magnificent midway and the new of course, that leaves out the most important rides. component: the Customer. • Competitive Exhibits The Customer is certainly the most important Livestock competitions, youth and adult, the entity in any relationship. If we fail to serve the quilts, projects, baked goods and home arts. Customer, we will eventually fail. The Fair serves • Promotions two Customers and each is equally important, Gate and carnival discounts, special days and the Fairgoer and the Commercial Exhibitor, and other promotions. as such, is responsible for developing a strong marketplace. Without Fairgoers in attendance, Wow! It sure sounds like a great event, but Exhibitors can’t be successful. Likewise, without something is missing? The something is the Exhibitors, Fairgoers feel the show lacks content. Forgotten Feature seldom promoted, yet as Creating and maintaining a positive mix is an traditional as animals and Ferris Wheels. What art and difficult to achieve. Event attendance is is not being promoted are the hundreds of Commercial Exhibits that are the mainstay of Fairs certainly a driving force to the success of Fairs and directly affects Commercial Exhibitors. and Expositions. Fairs, Expos and other selling opportunities Historically, Fairs and Expos have featured can be classified into three general categories and Commercial Exhibits from their inception. The their reputations, positive and/or negative are well Fair was the place to see in person, the latest known by Exhibitors: products and designs as they came to market. 34

November 2019 NICA News

• Thriving Events that have very little or almost no turnover of Exhibitors. Exhibitors want to be at the show and there is a waiting list of quality Exhibitors. • Sustaining Core Exhibitors return to the event each year with natural attrition being the primary explanation for turnover of Exhibitors. There may or may not be a waiting list of potential Exhibitors. • Faltering Lack of applicants, constant turnover of Exhibitors and empty space is a strong indication that the Commercial program and perhaps the event itself needs attention. A couple of simple factors that can contribute to driving traffic to the Commercial Exhibitors includes:

• Location Identification Instead of labeling the building housing the commercial exhibitors with signage such as Commercial Exhibits or the name of the building, consider identifying the building as the Shopping Experience or Shopping Place. It’s fine to get creative with naming, just don’t disguise what is actually inside. Carry this theme throughout marketing and promotional pieces such as maps and programs. Signage should direct the guest to the shopping locations. • Entryways Clearly identify entryways to the buildings, structures and tents. Avoid cluttering entryways with other exhibits or blocking line of site to the entry. Often doors are tinted; this can create the appearance that the building is not open. • Lighting This is probably the simplest and most often neglected detail. Light up the building signage and entryways. Staying open at night requires the dynamic use of lighting as there are numerous other distractions flashing for the guests attention such as Concession stands and the overall glow of the Midway. Considering the lack of attention devoted to promoting Commercial Exhibits in general by Fairs and Expositions raises the question that many continue to ask: “Will Commercial Exhibits survive

as retail shifts to high tech online sales?” The very question needs to be evaluated from various perspectives, but certainly many events are failing to promote Commercial Exhibits as a major feature. Event management’s primary responsibility to the Exhibitor is to provide access to customers. Access to Customers is why exhibitors invest in an event; without Customers, the space is virtually worthless. So who should be charged with promoting Commercial Exhibits and their survival? The promotion of the Commercial program rests squarely on the shoulders of Fair Management adopting the philosophy that a strong program will be a driving force in maximizing the event goers experience and increase overall spending on the grounds. This mindset needs to be passed along to all Departments including Operations, Entertainment and Marketing personnel. Layouts need to be scrutinized to achieve intentional traffic flows. Entertainment features strategically timed and placed can increase traffic flow to Exhibitors. The Marketing Department should make it a point to feature shopping in promotional material and utilize Commercial Exhibitors as a resource with the media. There are very interesting human interest stories that are waiting to be told and incredible products and services to be showcased. Developing a strong program will pay unlimited dividends and establish a positive reputation that will carry throughout the exhibitor community. An event that recognizes Commercial Exhibits as an asset, instead of just space to sell, will attract a better quality of Exhibitor. Mentioning space to sell brings to mind another important factor: the license fee or rent charges combined with all other participation charges such as credentials, parking fees, permits, selling fees, insurance, utilities and internet services. In many cases, events are reaching a tipping point where the Exhibitor can no longer generate a favorable return on their investment of time and money. Each and every Exhibitor takes a calculated risk with each agreement they enter into with the venue, generally outlaying significant dollars, months in advance, for the privilege to participate. They depend on location and the venue delivering attendees to their location. Uncontrollable factors include weather, local activities, similar product

►► “Feature” continued on page 37 November 2019 NICA News


A Guide to Communication Committees Throughout the country, Communication Committees have found success, sometimes in unexpected places: 1. Offered practical training for owners, temporary employees, and alcohol servers in areas like guest services, health department rules, and responsible alcohol consumption. 2. Achieved unprecedented food and beverage per cap growth by working with the fair to increase length of stay. 3. Researched, developed and launched a successful souvenir cup program that is profitable for both Fair and Vendors and increased the Fair’s brand recognition. 4. Raised the guest service score of “completely satisfied” with Vendor customer service from 38% to 64% over a three-year period. 5. Experimented with promotions to find ones that increased revenues and guest satisfaction.

 Guest Experience

Making Blue Ribbon memories is our shared passion.

 Community Public Relations

The Fair’s community IS the Vendor’s community. Let’s both make them better!

WHAT is a Communication Committee?

WHERE can you form a Communication Committee?

A group of Vendors and Fair Management that meets on a systematic basis to discuss and seek solutions that address mutual concerns.

Any Fair or Festival!

WHY have a Communication Committee?  Communication

Concerns are solved by recognition, mutual discussion, and joint effort to solve the concern.

 Shared Knowledge

When we share the observations of our employees, we will have fewer leaks, improved traffic patterns, safer events, and increased profits.

 Impactful Promotions

Collectively design promotions that increase attendance, revenue, and quality of life in the community.

 Trends

Because trends travel, as do Vendors, Vendors are a valuable resource of ideas.


November 2019 NICA News

WHEN can you form a Communication Committee? The sooner the better!

WHO can form a Communication Committee? YOU! Because you care! Vendor Benefits  Communicating consistently means good ideas are shared sooner  Learning how others conduct their business  Keeping costs down and revenues up  Working together as an ensemble, not as competitors  Expecting to make critical choices that are successful is empowering  Conducting businesses more intentionally and conscientiously  Building loyalty and relationships

HOW can you organize a Communication Committee?

ˆˆ Invite Communication Committee members ˆˆ Choose time and place ˆˆ Prepare list of Committee members Ask a NICA Member, the NICA Office, and/or a Fair ˆˆ Decide when to meet: quarterly, during the Fair, off-season, or at conventions Manager to help you organize a Communication ˆ ˆ Develop meeting agenda discussion points Committee. ˆˆ Invite special guests Here are some basic steps for starting your ˆˆ Order refreshments or a meal when necessary Communication Committee: ˆˆ Send reminders leading up to the event ˆˆ Take notes during the meeting ˆˆ Set goals for what you want to accomplish ˆˆ Listen for understanding, not agreement ˆˆ Determine how many members your ˆˆ Distribute notes, comments or suggestions to Committee will have all Fair Vendors ˆˆ Select the representation of one or multiple groups: Exhibitors; Concessionaires; Carnivals; “Together We Can Communicate!” Purveyors

“Feature” continued from page 35 ►► Exhibitors and outside influences that may affect attendance. Commercial Exhibitors can be thought of as risk takers and even entrepreneurs. They don’t work for a paycheck and wouldn’t want it any other way. Exhibitors make participation decisions based upon the possible financial return. Fair management on the other hand has a responsibility to generate a return on the space they have to offer but need to be sensitive in their fee structure or risk the loss of quality Exhibitors. Events also should take into consideration that given the diverse offering of products and services, gross sales vary greatly from Exhibitor to exhibitor. Some merely generate leads, some offer large ticket items, some offer craft type items, and some offer onsite services. Bottom line, the rent structure needs to leave the Exhibitor with the potential to turn a profit. The Commercial Exhibits Manager also plays a vital role in the success of the program. This is one area that there is no substitute for experience. Processing paperwork is a tedious task from start to finish, but handling the contracting side is just the beginning. Soliciting Exhibitors, evaluating applications, the laying out of the floor plan, understanding traffic flows, managing booth designs to conform with rules and placement of Exhibitors takes a level of expertise that comes with time. To be successful the Commercial Exhibits Manager needs training and experience

to be effective in their position. It’s not fair to the event or the participants to expect someone without event experience to manage such a vital component. Commercial Exhibitors appreciate the managers that truly understand what they are doing and the fact that they enforce the established rules equitably. These individuals set forth an expectation and communicate clearly on a professional level with the Exhibitors. Commercial Exhibits will evolve over time; some products won’t survive while new innovative products, and particularly services, will emerge to replace those that have reached the end of their business cycle. Successful events will attract the best of the best in new Exhibitors and existing Vendors will adapt to the changes in the marketplace or meet their imminent demise. Yes, Commercial Exhibits will survive! How can this be said with any confidence? Because since the beginning of civilization there have been marketplaces; it is the human interaction, the treasure hunt, the engulfing pitch, seeing or hearing about the benefits, or just touching the product that entices the purchase of goods and services. Our Fairs and Expositions create the best experiences for the entire family in an entertaining environment. Commercial Exhibits are a valuable promotional feature that have the ability to be much more than a onetime revenue source if recognized as a resource and promoted with purpose. Yes! Definitely yes, Commercial Exhibits will not only survive they will flourish into the future! ▲ November 2019 NICA News


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

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 ▲

Food Vendor Business For Sale Island Noodles is a unique Food Vendor for special events which specializes in “Hawaiian Style Wok-Fired Soba Noodles.” We, Brad and Monica Jensen, natives to Wisconsin, and owner of Island Noodles, present a healthy, entertaining and cost effective alternative for organizers of special events to offer their patrons. Island Noodles has proven to be extremely popular for over 20 years, especially among the health-conscious festival attendees. Currently we operate in over 30 venues annually providing enjoyable results for attendees and organizers alike. We have been operating and growing our business for over 12 years. We are at the point in our lives where we would like to retire and spend time with our children and grandchildren. We are looking to transfer ownership of our well established business to an entrepreneur who is looking to buy and run a mature, secure business with excellent growth opportunity. We have built up our route of events at many high-profile venues throughout Wisconsin, Minnesota and Texas—including some of the largest State Fairs and Music Festivals in the country. There is tremendous growth potential to augment our already impressive revenue streams. This is truly a turn-key opportunity—with an established customer base which only continues to grow—for a serious operator or investment group. Please go to to check it out. There you will find our booth creations, display of the making of our delicious product, our fan base and also schedule of events. You can also go to our Facebook page “Island Noodles WI & MN Inc.” to see for yourself! Photos and videos of the exhibition-style, interactive cooking process is showcased so you can see how Island Noodles comes to life. Please call with questions and to find out more details of owning this established business. An exciting opportunity awairs you! Ahola and Mahalo! Contact Brad at (715) 220-0173 or Monica at (715) 222-7292. ▲

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November 2019 NICA News

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November 2019 NICA News


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2019 Membership Contest Leaderboard* General Membership Fare Foods.....................................................................................4 Nate Janousek..............................................................................3 Robert Poole..................................................................................2 Ralph Berkeypile............................................................................1 Wayne Decker................................................................................1 Jeff Horbowicz..............................................................................1 Ken McKnight................................................................................1 Kim Netterfield...............................................................................1 Vincent Navarra.............................................................................1 Dominic Palmieri, CCE..................................................................1 Pasco County Fair.........................................................................1 Randy Reichert, CCE......................................................................1 Julie Schmidt.................................................................................1

Henry Mitchell...............................................................................2 Samantha Fairlie...........................................................................1 Jan Gary����������������������������������������������������������������������������������������1 Kelly Grout.....................................................................................1 Ryan Long�������������������������������������������������������������������������������������1 Jay Wells........................................................................................1

Board of Directors Kathy Ross, CCE..........................................................................10 Don Delahoyde, CCE......................................................................9 Dan Lusenhop...............................................................................6 Vincent Nelson, CCE......................................................................6 Kim Barr, CCE.................................................................................1 Andrew “Bruno” Broomfield..........................................................1 Sandy Class...................................................................................1 Kevin McGrath, CCE......................................................................1 Daryl Whicheloe, CCE....................................................................1

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November 2019 NICA News


2019-20 Events Calendar

Representing NICA & Its Industry Partners

November 1-3: Maryland Association of Agricultural Fairs & Shows Annual Convention • Frederick, MD 6: Southeast Council Rally at the Coastal Carolina Fair • Ladson, SC 8-9: Colorado Association of Fairs & Shows Annual Convention • Colorado Springs, CO 8-9: Connecticut, Massachusetts, & Rhode Island Fairs Annual Joint Convention • Farmington, CT 13-15: CAFE Annual Convention • Halifax, NS

13-16: Rocky Mountain Assoc. of Fairs Convention • Layton, UT

13-16: Association of Iowa Fairs Convention • Des Moines, IA

18-22: IAAPA Expo • Orlando, FL

25: Christmas Day (Office Closed)

21-23: Dakota Fairs & Celebrations Annual Convention • Aberdeen, SD


28: Thanksgiving (Office Closed)


1: New Year’s Day (Office Closed) 2-4: North Carolina Association of Agricultural Fairs Convention • Cary, NC

1-4: 129th IAFE Convention & Trade Show • San Antonio, TX

2-4: Virginia Association of Fairs Convention • Hot Springs, VA

3: NICA’s Happy Hour at the IAFE Convention* • San Antonio, TX

2-5: Ohio Fair Managers Association Convention • Columbus, OH

*See page 19 for more information.

Visit our calendar at or view upcoming NICA News for updates, changes, additional dates, and more!

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November 2019 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: • Website:

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








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 • November 2019 Issue


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November 2019 NICA News  

November 2019 NICA News  

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