November 2023 NICA News

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CONTENTS • NOVEMBER 2023 ARTICLES & FEATURES 04 This Month’s New & Renewal Members 05 President’s Message 07 Director’s Voice 09 Riffing With Rey 11 Association Announcements 13 Thoughts From a CCE 14 NICA Foundation: GoFundMe Fundraiser Coming Soon! 16 Ask the Candidates 18 Event Information, Topics & Schedule For NICA Marketplace, “Together!” 22 Having a “Leg Up” 26 “The Best Day Ever” in Raleigh 28 Honoring Our Veterans 30 From the Camera Roll


22 Happy Thanksgiving! Learn from a few of our Turkey Leg Experts in “Having a ‘Leg Up’ ” on page 22

32 Save the Date For the 2024 Expo & Food Show: “Tomorrow Starts Today!” 33 2023 NICA Membership Contest

ADVERTISERS 33 Colonel Jim’s 12 K&K 31 Corfu Foods 25 McGowan Allied 29 Cusumano & Sons 15 Mr. G’s 34 Fanestil 31 OA Finance 12 Fare Foods 29 R3 15 Haas & Wilkerson 06 RJ Schinner 25 Heinkel’s 02 Schantz 10 Hummel Group 34 Swanel Beverage 27 JKJ Workforce 29 TasteMaker Read about the East Council’s successful Breakfast Rally by reading “ ‘The Best Day Ever’ in Raleigh” on page 26

NICA is a membership-driven organization dedicated to strengthening relationships with the Fair, Festival, and Special Events Industries through effective communication, education, benefits, leadership, and solutions. National Independent Concessionaires Association, Inc. is a Florida Corporation with an Editorial and General Office located at 1043 E. Brandon Blvd., Brandon, FL 33511 • Off ice: (813) 438-8926 • Fax: (813) 803-8460 • Online: The information contained in this Publication is based upon sources believed to be reliable. Readers should not act without professional advice. Cover to Cover © 1993-2023 NICA, Inc. All Rights Reserved. “All In For the Industry!” November 2023 NICA News 3

This Month’s Newest Members Reilly Berk

Tonya Dedeaux

Jamie Michener

MariBeth Paglia

Terry Cannon

Danielle Dullinger

Marty Miller

Scott Pyle

Charles Chambers

Tyler Flinn

Martin Murphy

Boji Custom Metal Works, Inc. Spencer, IA

Rich Nestor

ChemxWorks Inc San Diego, CA

Berk Enterprises Warren, OH True Frequency Products Mesa, AZ Tracy’s Concessions, Inc. Hughes Springs, TX

Amanda Cornell

Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo Houston, TX

Jack Crowther

Eastern Lighting Inc Missouri City, TX Minnesota State Fair St Paul, MN Barona Enterprises Indianola, IA

Marnie Ide

K&M Concessions Burlington, WI

Brice Linglet

Micheners Concessions St. Joe, AR

General Mills Golden Valley, MN

Alejandro’s Concessions Indianola, IA

Gary Shifren

Murphy’s Snack Events Mt. Washington, KY Kitsap Fair and Stampede Association Bremerton, WA

Chad Smith Smith’s Stratford, IA

Showdemo, LLC Dawsonville, GA

West Coast Innovations International, LLC Oceanside, CA

Mike Newman

Tracy Westmoreland-Duck

Radley Crutchfield

Rachael Lough

Connor Nickelson

Nathalie Zerafa

Crutchfield Concessions Brookston, TX

Jeremy Crutchfield

Crutchfield Concessions Brookston, TX

Ohio Expo Center & State Fair Columbus, OH

Tony Lowery

Sue Sue’s Concessions Montegut, LA

Fruit Caboose Concessions Oroville, CA Barona Enterprise LLC Minneapolis, MN

Tracy’s Concessions, Inc. Hughes Springs, TX We Have Your Flag Mulino, OR

Amber Norman

Am-2-Da-Ber Concessions LLC Quartzsite, AZ

Welcome to our 27 New Members! “Together We Can!”

This Month’s Member Renewals George Atsidakos

Vy Bui

Wayne Decker

Lisa Gallegos

Anibella Barona

Tiffany Burrow-Loushin

Patty Dee µ

Kelly Grout

Christina Benner

Thomas Carnahan

Miami-Dade County Youth Fair & Exposition Miami, FL (1993)

Kevin Coe

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

The Original Minneapple Pie St. Michael, MN (2019) Barona Enterprises, LLC Roseville, MN (2022) Penn Valley Shows Middleburg, PA (2019)

Chance Boeger

Happy Day Pony Ride, Inc. Cherokee, CA (1998)

Rich Brander

Brander Enterprises, Inc. Santa Margarita, CA (2007)

Que Viet Concessions, LLC Fridley, MN (2022) Alameda County Fair Pleasanton, CA (2014)

Carnahan Concessions Stormville, NY (2003) Patty Wagon Anchorage, AK (2011)

Matt Cranston

A & M Concessions River Falls, WI (2019)

Teresa Brander

Joe Cranston

Matt Buchanan

Don Crutchfield

Brander Enterprises, Inc. Santa Margarita, CA (2015) North Carolina Mountain State Fair Fletcher, NC (2011)

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Cranston Concessions River Falls, WI (2019) Don Crutchfield Concessions Brookston, TX (2007)

Future Vision Malabar, FL (2017)

Russell DiPasquale µ

Brandi Ebner

Deschutes County Expo Center Redmond, OR (2022)

John Ford µ

Ford Foods English, IN (1993)

Cruzer’s Cocina Fullerton, CA (2022) Jack’s Fries Ware, MA (2014)

Doug Guinsler

Carousel Concessions Zanesville, OH (1996)

Clayton Hall

Hot Concession Services Inc Waco, TX (2012)

Paul Hansen

Hansen’s Festival Concessions Evansville, MN (2011)

►► “Renewals” continued on page 31 µ 1993-2003

2004-2008 2009-2013 2014-2022

PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE Vincent Nelson, CCE, President I hope this message finds you well as we approach Thanksgiving this November. What are you thankful for this year? I am thankful for NICA! We eagerly look forward to engaging with the Industry at the upcoming IAFE Convention and Trade Show event in Salt Lake City this month, where we’re set to present two workshops that promise to be of great interest and value to both IAFE and NICA Members: “What’s Happening at the Point of Sale?” and “Using Best Practices as a Tool.” I am thankful for the spirit of camaraderie that defines NICA and its members as we collectively went “All In!” this year. We’re not just an organization; we’re a close-knit community of individuals sharing a passion and working together to elevate our craft. Conversations with fellow NICA Leaders, including Past President Dominic Palmieri, CCE and 1st Vice President Kim Barr, CCE, have reminded me of the invaluable knowledge sharing and support that is an integral part of being a NICA Member. Reflecting on NICA’s accomplishments since our last convention, I am also thankful for the significant strides we’ve made. From our interactive Trade Show at our inaugural NICA Marketplace, “Together!” event to the informative educational sessions at the NICA Business Expo and the vibrant NICA Member Gatherings across the nation, we’ve been nurturing strong connections. Our NICA Scholarship Program has grown, our membership base has expanded, and we’ve introduced cost-saving programs through partnerships with organizations like Entegra, Fare Foods, Fiserv, Goodyear, Sysco, and more. By using all of our benefits this year, I realized a NICA Membership, which costs only $150, not only pays for itself but also offers significant savings, making it a sound investment for all members. NICA’s commitment to embracing new technology and innovation has been at the forefront of our efforts. The exchange of ideas

Thankful For NICA

and experiences with Fairs has been instrumental in pushing the boundaries of our offerings. For instance, thanks to the Dutchess County Fair, I created a unique sandwich inspired by their request to add “Flair” at the Fair. This collaboration resulted in a new menu item that resonated with Fairgoers and added value to my stand. Nevertheless, our Industry still faces its share of challenges, with the labor shortage being the most pressing issue this year. Finding the right people for the right positions has proven to be a formidable task. Striking a balance between job demands and employee well-being is crucial for the long-term sustainability of our Industry. Pricing is another concern. The costs of products have been on the rise for years, and we have had to adjust pricing to cover these expenses. It is essential for Concessionaires and Fairs to work collaboratively in addressing these challenges and finding solutions that balance profitability with the Fairgoer’s experience. After NICA visits Salt Lake City, we will see you December 3-6, 2023 for NICA Marketplace, “Together!” in Las Vegas. I’m very excited about the diverse range of topics and discussions awaiting us, including “Sticker Shock,” which will delve into pricing solutions. The event will also feature a keynote address by Jeremy Parsons, CFE, Iowa State Fair CEO, and Past IAFE Chair, as well as our exciting Trade Show, diverse Educational Sessions, and excellent Networking Opportunities. Communication with Fair Management remains close to my heart, as it is pivotal to the Industry’s success. I am confident our range of topics at both of these events will promote a greater sense of communication and understanding between these two parties. Building strong partnerships with Fairs, working hand in hand, and addressing concerns through open dialogue are essential to our shared missions. Together, we can overcome the challenges that our Industry faces and continue to grow and prosper. I look forward to engaging with all of you at these events and working towards a brighter future for which we can all be thankful! ▲ November 2023 NICA News 5


President: Vincent Nelson, CCE 1st Vice President: Kim Barr, CCE 2nd Vice President: Kelly Grout Treasurer: Dan Lusenhop Secretary: Stacey Pittroff-Barona, CCE


Brandy Arredondo, CCE Jacqueline Bradbury, CCE Bary Bunts, CCE Phil Delahoyde Bryan Enloe Jeff Thornberry, CCE Jay Wells, CCE


Daryl Whicheloe, CCE Sandy Class, CCE Don Delahoyde, CCE Kathy Ross, CCE Dan Lusenhop 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)

OFFICE STAFF Executive Director: Rey O’Day

Office & Membership Manager: Linda Frisco

Communications & Marketing Manager • NICA News Editor: Jesse Willard

Tom Hodson, CCE Mark Lancaster Don Kenna Larry Sivori


Office Clerk: Christine Farrell

Bary Bunts, CCE Ryan Collmer Whitney Fraleigh Ryan Hagy Patty Tessari Michael Zdebiak, Jr.

Midwest Council Coordinator: Dennis Larson, CFE


East Council & Social Media Coordinator: Jessica Gottsche

Connie Boesen Sandy Class, CCE James McConnell Richie O’Neil Matt Ribar

West Council Coordinators: Don Delahoyde, CCE Julie Dunn



President: Audrey Poole Vice President: Greg Miller, CCE Treasurer: Jennifer Giordano, CCE Secretary: Rey O’Day Trustees: Kim Barr, CCE Carmel Dyer-Pittroff, CCE Kelly Grout

Michelle Allen Brandy Arredondo, CCE Irene Dugan, CCE Gigi Horowitz Ryan Long, CCE Kara Moederndorfer, CCE Albert Valadez Steve Vartanian Nate Wells

Do you have any questions or would like to get involved with NICA? Contact us at (813) 438-8926 or today! For over 60 years and three generations, RJ Schinner has been a leader in the wholesale distribution of plastic and paper packaging and disposables, proudly serving the food service, supermarket, and sanitation markets as a partner in success. As the largest independent redistributor in the US, our customers benefit from our enhanced flexibility, our quick to market operation, and the advantage we have of not being tied to Wall Street expectations like many of our competitors.


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DIRECTOR’S VOICE Jay Wells, CCE, Director

First, let me re-introduce myself. Hi, my name is Jay Wells, CCE and I own and have operated Wells Concessions since 1982. I am what you would call a First Generation Concessionaire. I am currently a Director on the NICA Board with one more year to go. I am really enjoying my term on the NICA Board of Directors, and I have really learned a lot due to our monthly meetings, calling other Directors, speaking directly with our dedicated Office Staff, networking with other Concessionaires, helping make decisions, meeting our members one-on-one, and communicating with our Executive Director. Before becoming a Director, I was on the West Council for two terms and the Benefits Committee for about six years. I started this article to actually speak about a couple of things, but after getting into it I now realize I only have time for one of our great benefits—Goodyear Tire. We have quite a few benefits offered to our members and are always looking for more: Sherwin Williams, AutoZone, Coca-Cola, Pepsi, CLC Lodging, Ford, Graybar, Goodyear, and Dell just to mention a few. Check out our current Membership Benefits Guide for the most up-todate offerings at If you don’t have a guide, the NICA Office can send one to you either digitally or by mail. Whatever works best! Ask yourself, what is a benefit? Merriam Webster’s definition of “benefit” is “something that produces good or helpful results or effects or that promotes well-being; an advantage.” I ask myself, why would someone choose to use a benefit? My answers are quality goods, making it easier on yourself, the possibility of saving money, or buying something you need or use, from someone you are associated with or personally know, at a great value. Nowhere in the definition does it say free or the lowest cost available in the Industry. Goodyear Tires are a premium product, top tier Class-A tire, made in the USA, and with our National Account a GREAT VALUE.

What is a Benefit?

One usually plans ahead for a particular project, painting your house, purchasing a vehicle, and buying supplies for your business (nacho chips, cups, soft drinks, etc.). I have even planned ahead when purchasing tires on my personal company pickup. I get in and out of it several times every day and pass the front tires, which are right in front of me. But what about the tires on my wife’s vehicle, my RV, my stock truck, golf cart and its trailer, office trailer, and Concession trailers? What about our rolling stock we use once, twice, or three times a year? We all own vehicles that require tires in good working order. They don’t last forever. In the past, we usually attend to our tire problems as they occur, when a blow out or flat happens. Hopefully it’s not catastrophic or in a bad location. Then the questions start: “Do I just fix what I need to get by? How many do I really need? One, two, or a whole set? (None of us keep more than one in the trunk.) Where is the closest town or city where I can find road side assistance? How far to the nearest place to buy a tire? How much will it cost? If only I were home, or a more familiar place, I would know where to go or who to call.” I know, I have been there asking those same questions and you usually end up buying the cheapest fix you can to get you back on the road. After you get back on your way, the questions start up again in your mind, and you think, “Will the remaining tires get me to my next destination? How old are these tires? When did I put them on? When did I check the tire pressure? When did I check the tire depth last? Did I see weather cracking when I changed the flat? So, just how old are these tires anyway? I hope I can make it; I really don’t use this vehicle or trailer that much, so I hope I can make it.” I started adding up the tires I had rolling on the road most of the time: 12 on two pickups, 10 on my stock truck, 8 on my RV, 4 on my bunkhouse, 4 on my golf cart, 12 on my Concession stand, and 2 on my golf cart trailer. Man, I was already at about 50 tires! Then, during my heaviest season, add another 25 for when I am moving every week and don’t have time for tire trouble. November 2023 NICA News 7

I was just speaking with another NICA Member this week who was a professional over-theroad truck driver for many years and is now a Concessionaire. He was telling me how much he appreciated the Goodyear Tire benefit and was very happy with the type of quality for the price it provides. However, he found himself in an area where there was no representation for Goodyear, and the closest Goodyear was over 40 miles away. He did not have the time that week or want to trailer that far with this particular trailer tire in its condition, so he opted to go to a closer dealer and he purchased a single 16” tire for $378. Ouch!! During COVID, I had time to fill and while on the Benefits Committee I began investigating tires as a benefit for our NICA Members. I put out feelers to different tire manufacturers, and in doing so, I met Tim Koeingsfeld, our Goodyear Tire Representative from Missouri. We spent a lot of time over the phone during that year and met four or five times in person to investigate a possible tire benefit for our organization. Goodyear had a Commercial Tire Benefit and a Consumer Tire Benefit, and between Tim and I, we were able to come up with a process that included both for our members. After many months, it came through. This benefit has encouraged me to rethink my tire purchasing philosophy of buying only when needed. I’m getting older and even though my crew can change tires, it slows me down and sends my thoughts in a totally different direction than they should be (my driving time tends to be my quiet time because I am usually alone tends to be the time I can think). It also messes with my allotted driving time allowed by DOT (10 hours driving in 14hour time frame, you know the rules). I’m out more money for road service and at the mercy of the tire shop for what they have on hand if anything. So, I have changed my thinking about tire replacement. I am now proactively replacing tires using our Goodyear Tire benefit. I have also put myself on a tire maintenance regimen where I check tire pressures and conditions a few days prior to each move. This gives me time to fix or replace tires. This can be done by you, a crew member, or by Goodyear, who will come to you depending on the location. Sometimes you may not need a premium tire or want to put a premium product on something that rolls down the road only 30 days a year. Our tires weather rot before the tread wears out and that is 8 November 2023 NICA News

where a lot of the problems start. Goodyear has you covered there also. This tire benefit includes the new Goodyear Marathon tire line as a mid-tier line of commercial tires, which is the same as a top tier Goodyear tire just a few years ago. First, to sign up for the Commercial Tire Program, you need to be a member of NICA and sign up at Then by using the Tire Finder, find the tire you need, and find a Goodyear tire shop that has access to National Accounts (most do but some do not know how). Give them your National Account number and a good charge card for the tires. The dealer then contacts Goodyear directly and asks for the tires you wish to purchase. This charge goes through Goodyear directly, and not the dealer. Then you pay for the installation of the tires to the installing dealer at a pre-determined cost on the National Account. A few days later you will receive an email which includes the invoice for the tires from Goodyear. Did you get all that? This is how NICA Members need to use the program for our Commercial Tire Purchases. “Wait a minute,” you are shouting, “I can’t figure this out. It’s too complicated, there’s no Goodyear store, or they don’t have the tire or tires I need.” Tim came up with a new option for our Consumer Tire Purchases which will be a breeze for those wanting simpler directions and who only need a Consumer Tire. NICA Members can enjoy 20% off Goodyear’s online pricing by going to and using the promo code NICA20 when checking out. Find your tires, schedule an installation, and purchase. They will even deliver your tires for free to your selected installer, or provide tire installation if available. Still confused, don’t know which tire to pick, or you’re not computer savvy? That’s all right! Tim Koeingsfeld, our Goodyear Representative, is here to help at (636) 234-5904. I can be reached at (316) 393-7009 if I can be of assistance too. Remember, our benefits are for you, our members. Please be aware of them and use them to give yourself an ADVANTAGE in your business. If you have an idea for a new benefit, please let me know what you are thinking. It might just be our next new benefit! I hope to see you at NICA Marketplace in Las Vegas, December 3-6, at the beautiful Tuscany Suites where we will learn more about our benefits and have a GREAT TIME! ▲

RIFFING WITH REY Rey O’Day, Executive Director

From now, Halloween night, through the ending of this year, New Year’s Eve, and the joy of a new year, Valentine’s Day—we are in a Holiday Corridor. Our lives are impacted by celebrating loved ones, observing our faith, honoring heroes, changing clocks, making resolutions, laughing out loud, enjoying cherished music, and eating favorite foods. Some of you will work holiday events, some of you will put equipment away, some of you will return home to your neighborhood friends, and many of us will be in convention mode. NICA will be represented at the conventions of Oregon Fairs, Rocky Mountain Fairs, Arizona Fairs, Pennsylvania Fairs, Western Fairs, Massachusetts/Connecticut/Rhode Island Fairs, Midwest Fairs, Minnesota Fairs, Iowa Fairs, and Florida Fairs to name a few. We have a full Board presence at the International Association of Fairs and Events (IAFE) Convention in Salt Lake City. NICA will hold one of our in-person Board meetings and host our Advisory Committee for lunch, sponsored by Ron Smith, Past President, and a discussion amongst a group of diverse Fair Managers and the Board regarding topics current to the Industry like “Safety and Security” and “Multi-year Agreements.” We also have leaders involved in presentations regarding the topics “Vendor Marketing,” the “Value of Commercial Exhibits,” “Changes at the Point of Sale,” and “Using Tools Like Best Practices” for finding solutions or developing procedures. Moreover, I have the honor to teach the “Principles of Food and Beverage” for the IAFE Institute of Fair Management to new and skill-growing Fair Managers and Concessionaires at this convention. All of these conventions remind me that we need to have our voices heard. If we want to be a Voice in the Industry we must believe our voice matters. To do that I am reading, researching, and reviewing my notes from Fair visits in order to compile educational sessions for the convention season. Public speaking is one of the skills I

Our Voice Matters

believe you have to develop to be a leader. I also know it is terrifying for most. To me it is about becoming comfortable with hearing the sound of your own voice, focusing on the persons listening to you rather than focusing on how you feel as the speaker, and creating a style that truly fits you. As you know I like to share tidbits and data that I find along the way. Here is one about speaking. Melissa Mohr, columnist for The Christian Science Monitor, maintains that we should find the good in bad English. She is discussing the use of “um” and “uh.” We’ve all been taught that using these verbal fillers makes us sound ineloquent: “Recently, though, researchers have studied the ways they function as tools for communication. They signal that the speaker is about to say something that requires increased thought, such as bringing up a new topic or choosing among word options. ‘Um’ is more than a sign that a speaker is thinking hard…it cues listeners to expect the unexpected. Experiments have shown that when people hear a sentence such as ‘everyone’s got bad habits and mine is biting my _____.’ they expect the next word to be ‘nails.’ But if the speaker adds an um for example, ‘mine is biting my um, _____’ listeners are primed to expect something other than the usual answer, perhaps ‘tongue’ or ‘pencil.’ ‘Um’ and ‘uh’ also serve as ‘turn transition cues.’ If you simply pause while you are talking, your conversational partner may think you’re done, and jump in. If you say ‘um’ and then pause, they know you haven’t yielded the floor yet.” In other words, don’t let your fear of being perfect keep you from knowing your voice matters. Be your authentic voice, not an echo of someone else’s voice. Which leads me to say, “Register for NICA Marketplace, ‘Together!’ today and be a part of the authentic voice of NICA.” This show is affordable, offers great networking, and is lots of fun! This is also where we will work on solutions to the concerns coming out of 2023 with our Trade Show Exhibitors, Fair Leaders, and each other. November 2023 NICA News 9

Much more than a conference, this event is uniquely tailored to the needs of a vital group of Industry Professionals…Food Concessionaires, Commercial Exhibitors, and Fair Managers who work directly with them. For Instance, because we know that Safety and Security are important topics to all of us this year, we are presenting a session on “Staying Out of Harm’s Way” on Tuesday, December 5th at 9:30 AM in Las Vegas at the Tuscany Suites and Casino. For this session we have invited Buddy Walls, the Safety Director at Carrier Software, who specializes in DOT compliance, and Paul Loftis, Senior Risk Control Representative with Westfield Insurance Companies, who is a specialist in premises loss control prevention to give us practical information regarding safety on the road, safety in our RV living places, and safety in our working spaces. Phil Teague, of The Hummel Group, is making

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this happen for us and will serve as the session moderator. Bring your questions and prepare to make some changes at your Fair or in your Business that will make everyone, including the Fair Guest, safer. Those who have heard me speak know that I always show a slide of the Golden Rule. I believe Fairs are the Customers of Vendors and I believe Vendors are the Customers of Fairs, and together we all share a Customer who is the Fair Guest. That will be the spirit with which we gather. I urge you to invite others within your sphere of influence to attend! Look around you. Who do you work with on a regular basis? It doesn’t matter if they are currently NICA Members, just get them to this show. They will be grateful that you did! See you in Las Vegas from December 3rd – 6th. ▲


ANNOUNCEMENTS Do you have any announcements you would like to share? Contact us at (813) 438-8926 or

Mickey Neck, Ormic Concessions, Has Passed Away We are deeply saddened to share the news of longtime NICA Member Elsa “Mickey” Neck, Ormic Concessions. Our thoughts and prayers are with her family, who shared the following: On Tuesday, October 3, 2023, just four days shy of her birthday, Mickey peacefully passed away with her niece Diana and nephew Terry at her side. She passed to join her Lord in Heaven and late husband of over fifty years and the love of her life, Oran W. Neck, Jr., of the Neck and Rentfro families. As a longtime Business Owner in the Food Concessions Industry and a recognized Owner and Operator, Mickey traveled extensively year-round initially with her husband, then accompanied by her longtime Operations Manager, Rene Lerma, and Managing Coordinator, John Patriarca. Event venues included many annual Fairs and Festivals in such places as the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, the Miami Dade County Fair, the Arkansas-Oklahoma State Fair, and the Minnesota State Fair. Happy patrons were always eager to chomp on the delicious menu of foods from “Mickey’s Grill” including their famous giant Turkey Legs, representing Texas-style fresh-smoked BBQ Brisket Sandwiches, and decades of perfecting their unctuous and savory Beef and Chicken Kabobs that are favorites and popular sellouts every time, everywhere they went. Her business, Ormic Concessions, has been recognized in the Industry and has received many accolades for their quality and special events services achievements and professionalism. They were also franchise owners for decades of the famous novelty ice cream sensation known as Dippin’ Dots Ice Cream. Mickey remained a proud working Business Owner late in her years, being involved in honoring and representing her beloved Mexican heritage and culture, serving her community, and managing her successful endeavors up until her passing. ▲

2023 Hall of Fame Nominations Due November 20th We are holding Hall of Fame Nominations until November 20, 2023: this process is open to all NICA Members in good standing. Don Delahoyde, CCE, Past President (pictured), was the 2022 Hall of Fame Award Recipient. Each Hall of Fame Nominee must meet a level of criteria outlined at ▲

Pepsi National Account Rebate Program is Now Automatic Are you expecting a Pepsi rebate this year? In past years, we have instructed NICA Members to submit their rebate forms, along with supporting documents, by the end of November. According to NICA’s Pepsi Representative Eric Young, this is thankfully no longer the case! If you are buying Pepsi products with your unique Pepsi National Account number, you will automatically receive your rebate via mail or direct deposit. If you have questions regarding this new and improved process, reach out to Eric at or (803) 309-4134 and he will work with you to ensure you are on the program and expecting a rebate. ▲ November 2023 NICA News 11

With over 70 years of insurance expertise, K&K protects concessionaires and vendors with affordable coverage designed for your needs. And when claims occur, our colleagues are here to respond quickly and effectively. Visit our website to quote and buy online. K&K Insurance Group, Inc. is a licensed insurance producer in all states (FL license #L007299, TX license #13924); operating in CA, NY and MI as K&K Insurance Agency (CA license #0334819)

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Thoughts From a This month’s Statement of Communications and Management Philosophy is from CCE Recipient Jan Gary, CCE, Past West Council and Leap of Faith Adventures, Inc. DBA JK Dots: The following are my personal and business mission statements. They mirror who I am and why I do what I do, and how I do what I do. Going through the motions of business and life are never satisfactory to me if I do not keep my focus daily on my mission below. My Personal Mission Statement: Have a passion for life, be prepared, do my best, listen, teach, encourage others to be their best, appreciate the life God has allowed me to live, love and laugh often, and enjoy my family. Company Mission Statement: To sustain growth through education, training of staff and attention to details, empowering staff to make positive memories with our guests, supporting consumer loyalty and our brand, rewarding our employees for best practices behaviors, and taste the fun! Every day has it’s challenges, ups and downs. It is how I attack them that determines the satisfaction I get at the end of the day. With “right” or “wrong” results, if I did my best, the knowledge gained will help me make even better decisions next time. With that in mind, preparation is the best way to get the best in my life and in the workers we hire. Setting the bar of expectation at work allows those prospective employees to determine if they are willing and able to reach those goals or not. Those who are may get hired. It comes down to simply this: “IF YOU DO YOUR BEST, YOU NEVER HAVE TO MAKE AN EXCUSE FOR IT!” And the bar will never have to be lowered nor excuses made for seeing and doing mediocre work. Young people today generally do not understand customer service and customer expectations. With self-service, one does not see someone else providing an experience that engages with the guest, which can create a virtual

reality experience and hopefully a positive memory. So how does one get the most out of life and work? By preparation. During our Employment Orientations, we discuss with prospective employees what our business culture is, what our standards are and what we expect of them—THEIR BEST! We share what I call “The Eight P’s to Success” which if used will help them make more consistent choices with consistently better consequences and they will feel better about the consistency they have created in their life because they have another tool to use in understanding their decisions. These “Eight P’s” are applied during each presentation. 1. Your Philosophy of life determines whether you filter out other points of view or not and learn from others. 2. Have a Passion for what you are about to do or you are wasting your time. 3. Pray about the decisions you must make allowing your mind to process all of your options. 4. Do the Preparation to be the best you can be, or you are wasting your time. Set your goals and objectives. 5. Have the Persistence to read your objectives daily and keep your focus. 6. And the Perseverance over time to reach them, one step at a time. 7. Praise the people who helped you on the way. It will honor them and encourage them to continue to help as it did you. 8. Have the Playfulness to enjoy the journey. Every choice in life is usually followed by another decision caused by one’s first choice. Following these simple guides will help one to make better choices in life with better consequences, all of which are noticed by friends and family, and in your community of influence. ▲ To learn more about the CCE Program and view the application, visit ▲ November 2023 NICA News 13

This year’s generous NICA Foundation Donors included the Pittroff Family, Giant Slide and The Original Australian Battered Potatoes, and Larry McConnell, CCE, McConnell Concessions, pictured here during the 2023 NICA Foundation Spotlight

GoFundMe Fundraiser Coming Soon! Jessica Gottsche, NICA Foundation Liaison

circumstances like accidents and illnesses. From 2010 The NICA Foundation was created by NICA to the beginning of 2020, to oversee and administer an Academic and over $9 billion has been raised on the platform, Vocational Educational Scholarship Program, with contributions from over 120 million donors. foster Development Opportunities and Training GoFundMe was founded by Brad Damphousse Services, and provide a Travel Stipend for First and Andrew Ballester, and the company is based Time Convention Attendees. The NICA Foundation in Redwood City, CA, with offices in San Diego and has successfully established our Scholarship Dublin, and operations in Europe. Program as one of the strongest in the Fair Typically, the platform has been used to help and Outdoor Entertainment Industry. The NICA individuals with medical bills, or to help them Foundation has awarded over 225 Scholarship through a personal difficulty. More recently, it has Recipients since the program’s inception in 1996, been used as a powerful tool for crowdsourcing with the most recent 26 in 2023 awarded a total of and reaching a broad audience while sharing a $45,000. That is a growth of 750% for scholarships fundraising message. awarded and 1400% for the total dollars given This year on the Day of Giving—Tuesday, to support the educational goals of our next November 28, 2023—the NICA Foundation will generation. Of course, the 2023 NICA Foundation launch a GoFundMe campaign to support our Scholarship Program wouldn’t be the same without annual scholarship fundraising drive, supported by our many generous donors, but we still have work letters, phone calls, social media, and more. The to do to build the program for 2024. intent of this fundraiser is to make donating more Many of us have seen or come across various accessible and easier for potential donors, and fundraisers on social media that reach out to to reach out to our social media followers, giving the general public for a variety of causes. One them an opportunity to donate in real time online, of the most popular, and most recognizable is when inspired, at GoFundMe, a company launched in 2010. We hope that you will consider a tax deductible GoFundMe is an American for-profit donation to the NICA Foundation this holiday crowdfunding platform that allows people to raise season. Be a part of our tomorrow and donate to money for events ranging from life events such the NICA Foundation today, because if together, we as celebrations and graduations to challenging start today, tomorrow will be brighter! ▲ 14 November 2023 NICA News

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Ask the Candidates Last month we looked at the nomination statements of this year’s Candidates: Brandy Arredondo, CCE, Noel’s Foods, Sandy Class, CCE, Tavern at the Park, and Phillip Delahoyde, Extreme Food and Beverage. This month we look at each Candidate’s answers to four important questions regarding challenges facing Concessionaires, their solutions to these challenges, and NICA’s future.

Brandy Arredondo, CCE Noel’s Foods • Bakersfield, CA

What is the most important challenge facing Concessionaires today? Fair Management changeover and finding employees. We have seen longtime, experienced management leave without being able to mentor incoming staff, and due to the H-2B shortage, many Concessionaires are understaffed.

As a Board Member, how would you help overcome this challenge? By communicating with Fair Management about our current issues that they may not know about. Also, by offering assistance and ideas when they may need it, as many of us know the grounds better than our own neighborhoods. In regard to H-2B, continuing to support the efforts in Washington and communicating the importance of the program and how it affects all in our Industry.

Where do you see NICA in five years? In the next five years, I see NICA as a stronger Voice in our Industry. As our membership grows and communicates, we will continue to move in a positive direction representing our members.

What would you plan to help NICA get there? As a Board Member, I will help to bring the conversations that matter to our membership to the meetings and conventions, and encourage our members to join or start Communication Committees at their events so we can strengthen relationships with our Fairs, Events, Suppliers, and Sister Organizations.

Sandy Class, CCE Tavern at the Park • Apollo Beach, FL What is the most important challenge facing Concessionaires today? The single most important challenge is labor issues. As an organization we need to continue and support the H-2B labor work force program with our Sister Organizations and offer incentives to returning employees.

As a Board Member, how would you help overcome this challenge? l believe it begins with organizing Communication Committees at your State and County Fairs as well as getting involved with a NICA Council. As a Board Member, I will continue to work with the Board and Fair Management to gain knowledge on both sides of the Industry for a better 16 November 2023 NICA News

understanding of how both Fair Management and Concessionaires think.

Where do you see NICA in five years? It will be one of my goals that NICA will have three times the amount of members that we currently have, ensuring that our organization continues to grow and serves a larger community within the Industry.

What would you plan to help NICA get there? To assist NICA in achieving this goal, I’ll actively promote existing membership benefits while introducing new advantages and incentives to attract and retain new members, strengthening our Industry presence.

Phillip Delahoyde

Extreme Food & Beverage • Ukiah, CA What is the most important challenge facing Concessionaires today? The most important challenge today is having a true partnership with our Event Staff and Management. In a rapidly changing business landscape, fostering a collaborative relationship is vital for achieving success. This partnership requires open communication, mutual respect, and a shared vision to adapt to evolving Industry trends and provide exceptional experiences for Fairgoers.

As a Board Member, how would you help overcome this challenge? If re-elected as a Board Member, I would help to come up with solutions to help all parties work together. This may involve implementing transparent communication channels, creating training programs to enhance skill sets, and establishing feedback mechanisms to address concerns.

Where do you see NICA in five years? Bigger and better then ever! In five years, I envision NICA as a larger and more successful organization, expanding its reach and impact in the Industry.

What would you plan to help NICA get there? To help NICA reach this goal, I will be committed to fundraising, introducing new and innovative ideas, fostering growth, and ensuring the organization’s future.

Attention Voting Members The NICA Office sent out Election Ballots in September to Voting Members. It is NICA’s intent this year to use a “secure online election system that provides a ballot that is accessible, secure and guarantees anonymity.” Members without email, nonworking emails, or those with a shared email address were sent the ballot by mail. If you have questions about your ballot, contact us at (813) 438-8926. All Votes must be in by November 15th to be counted. Thank you for your continued support! November 2023 NICA News 17

Dear Business Owners/Managers, Fair Industry Leaders, Trade Show Exhibitors, and YOU: We invite you to join us this year at NICA Marketplace, “Together!” taking place December 3-6, 2023 at the Tuscany Suites and Casino in Las Vegas, NV. In 48 hours you will network with colleagues, discuss practical solutions, enjoy storytelling, and return enriched. This year’s event will once again feature a non-exclusive Trade Show, Educational Sessions led by hands-on Event 18 November 2023 NICA News

Industry Thought Leaders, and Networking Opportunities that are welcome and comfortable—a place where we all understand we are Customers of each other and “Together” we share a Fair Guest to serve. Book your room at the beautiful Tuscany Suites and Casino in Las Vegas, NV at the low $79 Room Rate, Sunday, December 3rd through Thursday, December 7th with no resort fee ($44 waived), suite sized rooms with included kitchenettes, Free Wi-Fi, and Free Parking! Learn more and register at

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The Beverage Boom Sticker Shock Staying Out of Harm’s Way Improving Performance Working With Open Space Nuts and Bolts of Successful Selling 2.0 What’s Included in the Rent? Propane 101 Have the Rules Changed at the Point of Sale? Making Social Media and Marketing Work For You Accessibility Why Do We Do What We Do? Communicating Changes

• • •

How to Use NICA Benefits Writing Standard Operating Procedures What 250 Years in the Fair Business Can Teach Us Exit and Entrance Strategies Tips to Stay Organized While on the Road Good Things Happen When Vendors and Fairs Work Together Purchasing Tires on the Goodyear Program Is it Time For Multi-Year Agreements? Hear From Our Scholarship Recipients Why the Choices You Make During Move-In Matter Charting a Prosperous Future For Commercial Exhibits

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Sysco-Las Vegas Warehouse Tour, Product Showcase, and Light Lunch (Wednesday, 9 AM) Roundtable Discussions Over Lunch (Monday) Opening General Session Keynote “All In!” Delivered by Jeremy Parsons, CFE, Iowa State Fair CEO and Past IAFE Chair (Monday) Marketplace Trade Show and Happy Hour (Monday) and Lunch (Tuesday) Generation Forward Meeting (Monday) Hall of Fame Reception For Don Delahoyde, CCE, Past NICA President (Tuesday)

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Action Lighting Aspire/Otis Spunkmeyer Beach Cities Berk Boxed Water ChemxWorks Entegra

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Eventeny Fare Foods Fiserv / Clover Florida’s Best Good Source Heinz Holten Meats

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Hummel Group JKJ Workforce The Langlois Company Luxe Retail McCain Foods McGowan Allied

Subject to change; visit and check NICA Now! for updates.

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OA Finance OCC Signs Pactiv Pronto Pup Smithfield Sysco Uncommon USA November 2023 NICA News 19

NICA Directors, Council Members, and Staff at the NICA Marketplace Trade Show Ribbon Cutting

The excited group of NICA Members, Leadership, and Staff on their way to visit Sysco Las Vegas for a facility tour and lunch following NICA Marketplace

Rey O’Day, Executive Director, and Gene Cassidy, CFE, The Big E during the Closing Reception

Daryl Whicheloe, CCE, 2022 Nathan Marcus, West Coast Weenies, President, encouraged attendees to Shari Black, CFE, Wisconsin State answering audience questions in take pictures of each other during the Fair, discussing “Math Problems, “What’s Your Exit Strategy?” General Session and at the event Riddles, and Their Answers”

Daryl Whicheloe, CCE, President, and Joe Cetor, Forever Concession Trailers, calling the trailer winner

20 November 2023 NICA News

NICA Marketplace attendees asked each other “What’s Your Tipping Policy?” during Monday’s packed Roundtable Discussions

Clay Steadham (in his first day on the job with NICA) and Lynn Schepers in the Sysco booth at the NICA Marketplace Trade Show

Sunday, December 3, 2023 2:00 – 6:00 PM: Registration 3:30 – 6:30 PM: NICA Marketplace Hospitality Evening on your own

Monday, December 4, 2023 8:00 AM – 4:00 PM: Registration 9:30 – 10:45 AM: Marketplace General Session featuring Keynote Speaker Jeremy Parsons, CFE and NICA Leadership 11:00 AM – 12:15 PM: Educational Workshops 12:30 – 2:00 PM: Box Lunches (Included) and Roundtables 2:15 – 4:45 PM: Educational Workshops and “How To” Sessions

5:00 – 8:00 PM: Marketplace Trade Show and Happy Hour Reception (Included) Evening on your own

Tuesday, December 5, 2023 9:00 – 11:00 AM: Registration 9:30 – 10:45 AM: Educational Workshops 11:00 AM – 1:30 PM: Marketplace Trade Show and Lunch (Included) 1:45 – 5:15 PM: Educational Workshops 5:30 – 7:00 PM: Closing Marketplace Celebration and Hall of Fame Reception (Included) Evening on your own

Wednesday, December 6, 2023 9:00 AM – 1:00 PM: Sysco Facility Tour

Schedule is subject to change; visit and check NICA Now! for updates.

Register Before the Event to Save $50

Book Your $79 Hotel Room Online

Register yourself and additional attendees at by logging into your Membership Account. You may choose a Member ($169) or Non-Member ($199) rate. When onsite, they will increase by $50 to the $219 Member or $249 Non-Member rates.

Book your hotel reservation at $79 with no resort fee ($44) at by selecting your check-in and check-out dates, along with your occupancy needs. Don’t delay!

Marketplace Registration includes Monday Box Lunch, Tuesday Trade Show Lunch, Trade Show Reception, and Closing Celebration Reception.

Become a NICA Marketplace Exhibitor Reserve your Marketplace Trade Show Booth for $1,095 (two attendee registrations, draped space and Exhibitor ID sign, 8’ x 10’ location, and more included) at

Marketplace Membership Promotion: When registering, add or become a new NICA Member for $100 and you will also receive the $119 Early Bird rate ($80 savings)

November 2023 NICA News 21

Having A “Leg Up” For generations, the unmistakable aroma of sizzling Turkey Legs has been a cherished hallmark of Fairs and Festivals across the United States. These succulent, smoky delights are not just a treat for the taste buds but also a quintessential symbol of the vibrant event culture that defines our nation. The history of Turkey Legs at Fairgrounds can be traced back to the medieval feasts and Renaissance Fairs of Europe, where large roasted meats were served as a spectacle and symbol of abundance. As European settlers brought these traditions to North America, Roasted Turkeys became a prominent feature of colonial gatherings, showcasing the abundance of the New World. Over time, this culinary tradition evolved, finding its way to Fairs and Events in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, where Turkey Legs were not only delicious but also easily portable. Today, these iconic Fairground treats have become an essential part of the American food landscape, captivating the hearts and taste buds of millions. According to Todd Patrick, Entegra, “Turkey Legs are the number one line item for NICA Members. Typically during peak Fair Season, most of the Sysco Houses are bringing truck loads!” In the honor of all things Turkey-related, and just in time for Thanksgiving, we had a chance to speak with a few of NICA’s own Turkey Leg Aficionados about their operations, secrets to success, and how to have a “Leg Up” in the Turkey Business. Wayne Jones, also known as Turkey Leg Jones, has over 25 years experience as a Concessionaire, and his route has taken him from Florida to Washington. He has been with NICA since the beginning and served as a Director in 22 November 2023 NICA News

the 90s: “I was there when it first started and I was one of the first African Americans to join NICA. I had my own legacy at the time—I was the Turkey Man. I tried to make sure that I was always on a different path. When people were going right, I was going left.” He recently moved out of the business, but he is thankful for his time in the Industry. He laughed, “I ain’t retired, I’m just tired!” Over the years, he offered a few different BBQ specialties such as Pork Chops, but Turkey Legs always remained on top. Wayne shared, “I love Turkey Legs, and I always did! I was one of the first people in NICA to really use Turkey Legs as my main product. I smoked Turkey Legs fresh, and I used my own seasonings. Everything I did was fresh from scratch!” To save on costs, he used to buy in bulk before his season and transport his own product: “I had my own truck, so I brought my own Turkey Legs with me. I had certain suppliers that I used because their consistency in size was very important.” Over the years, the biggest change he saw was the popularity of pre-smoked Turkey Legs, but he always preferred to smoke and season them himself. His advice to new Vendors? “Try to find something different, no matter how different. It’s also all about location, location, location. If you are starting out in the business, work smart and not hard. You have to work ON the business as well as IN the business. There is a difference.” Charles Miller, Charlie’s Food Concessions, is Third Generation in the business, starting out on his own 56 years ago in Wisconsin: “I was in the business all my life! I have grandkids working now, which would be seventh generation.” His business focused on a variety of Fair staples such as Sausage, Corn Dogs, Burgers, Fries, and Corn,

but nothing had the same appeal of Turkey Legs. Charles said, “A perfect Turkey Leg has to be tender and it has to be juicy!” He recalled, “When I started out it was almost year-round for me, but then I started taking about four months off from working, for our free time. Actually, there was a lot to do in the Winter time, too! I just got out of the business last year, but I am still on the road since I’m a CDL driver.” Charles and his wife Mary still help out with the family business, but according to them, “We don’t work nearly as hard as we did. However, if anything breaks, we still have the responsibility!” He believes that the largest change happened over the last four years: “One of the worst seasons we had was in 2020. Then we thought we would have bad seasons after that, but then we backed that up with two of the better seasons that we’ve ever had! The tough part was employees.” For anyone starting out, he shared, “You’re going to have a rough couple of years. If you stick with it and do a good job, it will be worth any time you put into it and all the money you had to invest to get started. I’ve really enjoyed the business my whole life, and I still do.” Charles passed the business onto his children, including Amie Petrovic, who owns and operates Charlie’s Food and Fun in the Midwest. She is Fourth Generation on her father’s side and Fifth Generation on her mother’s side. Alongside Turkey Legs, she admitted, “We have a lot of stuff! You have to have a balance of new and old. When you get something new, you usually get media attention and people talking, so your stand might get some extra business. However, it’s the simple things that Amie’s big and juicy Turkey Leg

people come to the Fair to eat—that’s the bread and butter of our business. Those things stick around, and the new stuff comes and goes.” She said that her biggest seller depends on the week: “Things change all the time. Turkey Legs are a big part at State Fairs, but at County Fairs you can hardly sell them at all. We try to just buy what we will sell that week.” She shared, “To have a really good day, you have to make sure you aren’t wasting any meat. It is one of the harder products in that way, because it takes so long to cook. It’s not the same as a Corn Dog. If you have a line and you need more Turkey Legs, it’s too late.” According to Amie, consistency matters. She stated, “Sometimes it is extremely hard to find consistency with product sizing. Some brands are better than others. It’s hard to price a Turkey Leg when they’re all different sizes. We’ve found one brand that was more consistent and I try to only buy that. Through COVID we were having a hard time finding a consistent supplier, but it seemed to be a little better this year.” Amie defined the perfect Turkey Leg as being both big and juicy. She added, “A good Turkey Leg has that smoked flavor and the juice, so they don’t really need any toppings at all. 99% of people look at it and say, ‘Wow, look at how big that is! Let’s get one!’ They seem to like the bigger, the better, but there are lots of things that go into that. We are buying meat by the pound, so if it’s too big, the price has to go up. The quantity of the box had so few because the legs were so big! Ultimately, the customer likes it, and it sells well, but you see that extra meat in the trash later. They can’t eat that much!” Amie’s advice for any newcomers is to “Be ready to learn a lot and to be open to others. Things change every week and as you go to other Fairs and Events, you will be working with different Fair Management and Vendors next to you. When you are willing to work hard, learn from your mistakes, and learn from others, it’s a very fun place to be.” Mike Neal, Jive Turkey’s LLC, has been in the Turkey Business for over 10 years. He joined NICA in early 2023, and is still “learning the lay of the land.” Mike shared, “We started doing Fairs and I fell in love with it. Every time I talk to a Vendor, it is amazing how much information I learn. There is a wealth of knowledge out there, and I learn something new every time I do a show.” His unique business features Turkey with every menu item and the tagline “healthy, delicious, and southerninspired.” He explained, “We sell everything Turkey! November 2023 NICA News 23

Mike’s signature Whole Turkey BBQ on the grill We do Whole Turkey BBQ, Turkey Legs, Turkey Burgers, Turkey Dogs, and many other Turkey-based protein dishes. We get really creative with Turkey, which has helped to create some of the dishes that are very unique at our different Fairs. We also do Turkey Wings, smoked and fried, and I used to sell a Turkey Rib, too. We sell the entire bird!” Mike is based out of North Carolina and primarily travels on the East Coast to Fairs and Festivals while maintaining a restaurant and a squad of Food Trucks at home. Has anything changed since he started? He shared, “Turkey Legs used to be more of a novelty, but we still sell Turkey Legs all year round. I think some of the other creative dishes that we have been able to produce has helped take over the Turkey leg sales. Even though we prepare Turkey Legs in many different ways, with different types of stuffing, just a plain Turkey Leg still outsells any type of modified Turkey Leg by far.” So, what makes the perfect Turkey Leg? Mike said, “They should have a pretty good balance of flavors and it has to have the right salt content. I’ve noticed some brands have a different salt content when compared to others, and it may be a regional preference as well. Once you get past that, the Turkey Leg should have a little bit of a bite to it, but it shouldn’t be too tough. You should be able to pull the meat off the bone. It should have a healthy balance of char and tenderness.” For those just getting into the business, he suggested, “Have a passion for it. To really perform and produce something that is consistent and repeatable at a higher volume really takes a lot of work to pull off the right way. You have to enjoy the work. I think that’s key for me. It takes a lot of work to pull off what we do, but I enjoy it so it doesn’t feel like work.” Wesley Boyd Bierworth, Wesley Stevens Concessions, has over 25 years in the Industry, 24 November 2023 NICA News

and travels a route between Oklahoma and North Dakota along with his partner Steve Salazar and crew. He said, “We have been doing a lot of our shows over and over for years, and we have a lot of locals that come back and like working!” When asked about the Fair Industry, he enjoys meeting new friends and working with Fair Boards the most. Besides Turkey Legs, his business also sells Roasted Corn, Deep-fried Twinkies and Oreos, and Monkey Tails (Frozen Chocolate Bananas): “Just a collection of everything!” Before he started as a Concessionaire he worked as a Carnival electrician. Wesley mused, “I thought, ‘Hey, this is hard work! I wonder if I could be a Food Concessionaire; it’s easier!’ I found out that you do a lot of cleaning. I remember that if you had a trailer in the old days, you only sold Corn Dogs, Cotton Candy, or Funnel Cakes. Now you have to sell 10 different items to make any money!” Since he started, he believes that pricing is the largest change regarding Turkey Legs. He said, “The price is getting expensive on them, just like everything else! We deal with all the different suppliers and make them compete for our business. It seems that if you stay with one, they just keep upping the price. They figure they have you hooked and you won’t shop around. I shop around everywhere. We don’t want to outprice ourselves, which is starting to happen. I think the Fair Industry will always be around, but it’s getting very expensive for the average customer or the family of four.” One thing that hasn’t changed is their Turkey Leg preparation. Wesley said, “We just keep it original. We don’t do anything fancy. We let all the other Vendors do that with their creative ideas. Our Turkey Legs are all frozen and pre-smoked. We do have a roaster and we warm them up to a good temperature in order to serve them. They are nice and tender, big, and not tough or dried out. Sometimes they fall off the bone they are done so well. Everybody at the Fair wants them big!” Wesley believes that those that are new to Concessions should buy an already established business and have money saved up in case they have a bad first season. He joked, “Buy us out, I’m ready to retire!” More seriously, he suggested, “Join NICA and learn from them!” We hope you enjoyed this journey of Turkeysized proportions with us in preparation for Thanksgiving. We are proud to have over 30 members who specialize in Turkey Legs each season, and we hope that their stories give you a “Leg Up” on the competition. “Together We Can!” ▲

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“The Best. Day. Ever!” in Raleigh Jessica Gottsche, East Council Coordinator As has become the tradition, NICA’s East Council hosted a Breakfast Rally at the North Carolina State Fair in October. Over 30 members of NICA came together in the Graham Building’s Hall of Fame Room for a morning of networking, NICA updates, and camaraderie. Also attending were Fair Manager Kent Yelverton, Commercial Space Administrator Letrice Midgett and Assistant Manager Robert Fogle. The theme of the North Carolina State Fair was “Best Day Ever” and we made it that, with the return of a fresh, delicious hot breakfast, and great company. The attendees were given an update on NICA’s accomplishments this year and reminders to register for NICA Marketplace, “Together!”

NICA Past Presidents Russ Harrison, CCE, Greg Miller, CCE, and Joe Potillo, Jr. at the Breakfast Rally in Raleigh

and to start thinking about the NICA Business Expo, “Tomorrow Starts Today!” in February 2024. Attendees of the Rally also came together to raise money, donate to the NICA Regional Council Scholarship, and fill out membership applications. Each year, the North Carolina State Fair Office generously donates a camper spot for the following year as a house prize. In 2023, NICA Past President Joe Potillo, Jr. was the big winner, and decided to donate the spot back to NICA to be auctioned off. Very quickly, the bidding started and rose to $800 for the East Council. Thank you to the North Carolina State Fair and to Joe! Thank you to those who donated prizes for our event, which raised money to support the Council’s activities. Those donors included Victor Products, NICA, NICA East Council, North Carolina State Fair, East Council Member and Director Bary Bunts, CCE, having and Joe Potillo, Jr., Past President. a candid moment with Larry Habeck, TBA Concessions, We had such a good time! The East Council has and North Carolina State Fair’s Leadership including Letrice already reserved our Breakfast date for 2024, and Midgett, Commercial Space Administrator, Robert Fogle, Assistant Manager, and Kent Yelverton, Fair Manager we look forward to returning to Raleigh again. ▲ 26 November 2023 NICA News

November 2023 NICA News 27

Honoring Our Veterans Audrey Poole, Fare Foods

Veterans Honor Flight of Southern Illinois— Mission 11, departed from the Veterans Airport in Marion, IL on the early morning hours of Tuesday, September 26, 2023 en route to Washington, D.C. Crowds from the surrounding areas gathered to see them off. Aboard the flight were two special people, Paul Hodges and his grandson Scott Hodges, Fare Foods Purchasing Agent. Paul is 92 years of age (the oldest Veteran on the flight) and a Veteran of the Korean War. Along with Paul and Scott, there were an additional 200 passengers that included Veterans and their Guardians. Each Veteran was allowed to have one Guardian to escort them on the flight. The Guardians were family or volunteers to ensure each Veteran was able to see the monuments and memorials in Washington D.C. Visits were made to the National WWII Memorial and Korean War Memorial, along with additional stops at other significant locations in the city. The Honor Flight is dedicated to honoring our Veterans with a free trip to Washington D.C. to visit their monuments and memorials. These memorials were built to honor their service, and it is imperative they have the opportunity to see them. Sadly, there were two Veterans that were supposed to be on the Honor Flight, but they passed away before the event. They were not forgotten. The two Veterans were remembered by two flags being placed at the memorials that were visited by the others. Truly a way to honor those 28 November 2023 NICA News

Honored Veteran Paul Hodges and his grandson Scott Hodges, Fare Foods Purchasing Agent

Veterans and their families to let them know they were not forgotten. It was a very special tribute. The tour concluded with a specially prepared dinner for the Veterans and their Guardians before boarding the two-hour flight home. Upon arrival in Marion, IL, the Veterans were greeted by a crowd of over 2,000 people from the surrounding Southern Illinois area. The welcome home arrival was also televised live from our local TV station. What an experience it must have been for these Veterans to have the time of their lives by being honored for their service! Note: Scott Hodges is a Purchasing Agent for Fare Foods. We are so proud that Scott was able to accompany his grandfather on this memorable occasion. Paul Hodges, thank you for your service, as well as all the Veterans around the world. Thank you all for the freedom we have today and for all the sacrifices that our Veterans and their families have made. ▲

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From the Camera Roll...

James McConnell, Midwest Council, Fran McLellan, The Shrimp Shack, and Jay Wells, CCE, Director

Phil Teague, Hummel Group, and Evan Colglazier, Colglazier Enterprise

Rob Rogan, Butcher Boys, and Kevin McCarten, Crow’s Nest, at the New Jersey State Fair

Kate Turner, IAFE Director of Meetings, and Rey O’Day, Executive Manager

Dave Cavallaro, Cavallaro Concessions

If you ever need to promote an event or gathering, let Fred Pittroff, Giant Ride, do the job! Pictured with Steve Vartanian, West Council, and Gary Crutchfield, Crutchee’s

Jeremy Crutchfield, Crutchfield Concessions, Rey O’Day, Executive Director, and Nate Vandewarker, Maverick Concepts

Kirk Slaughter, President and CEO, Oklahoma State Fair

Central Washington State Fair’s Greg Stewart and Judy Buermann (both retired) at Concessionaire Roger Wofford’s Celebration of Life

Have you attended a NICA-related event? Send your photos or coverage to 30 November 2023 NICA News

“Renewals” continued from page 4 ►► David Higginbottom µ Chesapeake Food Concessions Baldwin, MD (1993)

Thomas Hodson, CCE µ The Thomas Hodson Company Homosassa, FL (1993)

Paul Hohenwald

Coasters Oakdale, MN (2019)

J. Keith Hoover

Pork Chop Express White House, TN (2013)

Robby Ingalls

Ingalls Concessions Mason, MI (2022)

Jim Johnson

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

Tony Ketchell

A. W. K. Ent. Inc. Milford, PA (1995)

Adam Lamoureux

Lamoureux Concessions Hayward, WI (2022)

Garrett Ley

Side Door Concessions, LLC Prairie City, IA (2022)

Vince Martino

Santillo’s, Inc. Naples, NY (2010)

Gentry Miller

Josephine’s Glazed Doughnuts North Liberty, IN (2010)

Kevin Peck

Capitol Concessions Carmichael, CA (2021)

Robert Pugh

Scott Shacklett

Brooks Reynolds

Pam Simon, CFE µ

Brett Rubert

Owen Stern

Mike Rutana

Troy Stroh

Samantha Sankovich

Paula Struble, CFE

Amanda Schlatre

Brandon Wood

Gulf Stream Gibsonton, FL (2009) JR’s Southpork Ranch West Des Moines, IA (2022) Parnell Foods, Inc. Belvidere, IL (1996) Rutana Concessions Columbiana, OH (2003) G & G Concessions Baraboo, WI (2021)

Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo Houston, TX (2022)

Tim Seivers

Seivers Concessions Grove City, PA (2013)

OVG Hospitality Pomona, CA (2022) Minnesota State Fair St. Paul, MN (1993) National Food Group, Inc. Novi, MI (2015) Destroy Productions Valley Center, CA (2018) Erie County Fair Hamburg, NY (2013) Carl’s Concessions, LLC Johnston, IA (2019)

Carla Wood

Carl’s Concessions, LLC Johnston, IA (2019)

Thank you to our 50 Renewal Members for your continued support! “Together We Can!”

755 Thomas Drive • Bensenville, IL 60106 P: (630) 595-2510 / F: (630) 595-3884 •

PEOPLE EAT WITH THEIR EYES. Since 2000, OA Finance has financed concession trailers that attract sales. Make your plans, then call us. Mark Walker

Financing Your Outdoor Amusement Dreams Since 2000.

4300 Shawnee Mission Parkway, Suite 200 Fairway, Kansas 66205

Proudly Distributed Through Fare Foods! For product or purchasing information call 800-651-1601 •


November 2023 NICA News 31

32 November November2023 2023NICA NICANews News

2023 Membership Contest Leaderboard* Referrals—General Membership

t h g i one R


WE SUPPLY: • Funnel Cake Mix • Over 35 different • Waffle Cone Mix Flavored Chicken • Corn Dog Batters Breadings to • Soft Pretzel Mix Choose From! • Fritter Mix


Horst Schacht....................................................................... 3 Isabella Barona..................................................................... 2 Jeff Ross, CCE....................................................................... 2 Michael Barr.......................................................................... 1 Chris Bayle............................................................................. 1 Wesley Boyd Bierworth......................................................... 1 Jay Bohannon....................................................................... 1 Andrew Cashman.................................................................. 1 Michael Chambers................................................................ 1 Jeremy Crutchfield................................................................ 1 Tommy Davis......................................................................... 1 Joan Ehlers............................................................................ 1 Jim Fraser.............................................................................. 1 Alexandra Graf...................................................................... 1 David Koepp.......................................................................... 1 Charles Miller........................................................................ 1 Dominic Palmieri, CCE.......................................................... 1 Phil Poorman......................................................................... 1 Kathy Ross, CCE.................................................................... 1 Kyla Reusch........................................................................... 1 Craig Sawyers........................................................................ 1 Gary Shepard......................................................................... 1 Clint Yoder............................................................................. 1

Referrals—Board of Directors Vincent Nelson, CCE............................................................. 6 Jeff Thornberry, CCE............................................................. 6 Daryl Whicheloe, CCE............................................................ 3 Jacqueline Bradbury, CCE.................................................... 2 Bary Bunts, CCE.................................................................... 2 Bryan Enloe............................................................................ 2 Stacey Pittroff-Barona, CCE.................................................. 2 Kim Barr, CCE........................................................................ 1 Jay Wells, CCE....................................................................... 1



Tom Hodson, CCE............................................................... 10 Audrey Poole......................................................................... 1


Gigi Horowitz......................................................................... 3 Albert Valadez....................................................................... 3 Irene Dugan, CCE.................................................................. 2 Ryan Hagy.............................................................................. 2 Amy Ashby............................................................................. 1 Sandy Class, CCE.................................................................. 1 Steve Vartanian..................................................................... 1


1500lbs minimum per product. Shipping available in U.S.

Referrals—Regional Councils

Visit or search NICA on social media for the latest event news, photos, announcements. #TogetherWeCan

*Referral Listing as of 9/30/23. See back cover for more information, rules, and prizes.

November 2023 NICA News 33

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

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


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

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

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

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

Custom Sizes Available with Volume Requirements

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Regular unstuck Hot Dogs are available.

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

Distributed by Fare Foods • 800-651-1601 •

Whatever we do for you...Service is at the core of all we do since 1941!

Premium Fountain Syrups • Real Fruit Juices • Simple Syrup

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Fountain Syrup Dispensers and Ice Machines available for purchase. Talk to your FARE FOODS salesman today or call for details 800-651-1601 34 November 2023 NICA News


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:

City :



Mailing Address:

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 :


ASSOCIATE MEMBERSHIP 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



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


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

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

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


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

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

BUSINESS DESCRIPTION Provide a detailed description of your business, products, and/or services below. This information will be used for your entry in the annual NICA Membership Directory and as keywords to search for your business on the NICA website.

________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________


Food / Beverage


Commercial Exhibitors / Retail / Merchants



Attractions / Entertainment


Cash q

Check q

Money Order




Visa q




Guest Services

Credit Card #:

GENERAL ROUTING INFORMATION List all states / provinces where you conduct your business.


Security Code:


American Express q


Expiration Date:


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

Beneficiary : _________________________ Phone : _____________

Applicant’s signature


Signature of Credit Card Holder q I authorize NICA to charge the agreed amount listed above to my credit card information provided above. I agree I will pay for this purchase in accordance with the issuing bank cardholder agreement.

AUTOMATIC RENEWAL OPTION q I authorize NICA to make automatic renewal payments for my Membership using the credit card information above. I shall update NICA with all changes to payment information or my intent to cancel automatic renewal payments prior to my next renewal month.

National Independent Concessionaires Association, Inc. 1043 E. Brandon Blvd., Brandon, FL 33511 Time Sensitive Mail • November 2023 Issue

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