FBAA Gala in NYC Honors Trio To Benefit Future Industry Leaders

FBAA Gala 2018
FBAA’s board and honorees presented a $20K donation to City Tech’s scholarship fund

Photos courtesy of Ralph DePas

A perfect Manhattan Fall evening served as the backdrop for The Food and Beverage Association’s annual gala. With the guidance of president Steve Gattullo and foundation directors Sean Cassidy and Dan Saalman, The Sheraton New York Times Square Hotel welcomed industry notables.

The Tenth Annual FBAA Gala Dinner Dance benefited the Food and Beverage Scholarship Foundation Inc. Edward Kane of Sheraton New York Times Square Hotel, The Hotel Association of New York’s Niki Franzitta and Daniel Lorusso of Southern Glazer Wine & Spirits headed this year’s roster of honorees.

The top hospitality professional of the year honors went to Edward Kane. He has been a legendary figure at the hotel that he has called home for the past 45 years. Kane is responsible for catering and event space that hosts up to 2,500 people at the Midtown property. The affable hotel executive continues to give back to the community he serves as a member of the Board of the Javits Center and the New York City Sports Development Corp. Kane followed in the footsteps of his father Thomas who was the general manager of the Waldorf Astoria in the 70’s.

FBAA Gala 2018
(L to R) Master of Ceremonies Fred Klashman of TFS, FBAA president Steve Gattullo, honoree Ed Kane of the Sheraton-Times Square and Peter Johnson

Top Industry Professional of The Year, Niki Franzitta of The Hotel Association of New York shared her career path with the large audience. She spoke of her rise through the ranks at Hyatt Hotels where she oversaw all labor relations for the unionized properties in her region which included five New York City hotels. In her role as Vice President of Member Relations and Development for the Hotel Association of New York, she has been to grow membership.

FBAA Gala 2018
Niki Franzitta (c) of The Hotel Association of New York City was feted for her contributions to the industry.

Daniel Lorusso of Southern Glazer’s Wine and Spirits was honored by the association as Purveyor of the Year. Lorusso is responsible for combo on-prem sales. His sense of humor had the room chuckling throughout his acceptance speech. The Johnson and Wales graduate brings a unique background to his position. He began “on the other side of the desk” with F&B posts in Connecticut and then in Westchester County.

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FBAA Gala 2018
(L to R) Honoree Dan Lorusso of Southern Glazer Wines and Spirits flanked by Steve Gattullo and Fred Klashman.

The success of the evening was yet another step in fulfilling a financial commitment by the FBAA to provide scholarship funds to New York City College of Technology, Hospitality, and Management Department.

The Food and Beverage Association of America is a nonprofit, tax-exempt, philanthropic, educational and social trade organization. Its membership encompasses executives in the food and beverage allied industries of the greater New York Metropolitan area. Established in 1956, the Association, formerly Food and Beverage Managers (FBMA), have responded to the continued need for improved standards within the food industry. The Association is accessible to food and beverage executives who wish to network and grow within the industry and has served many members as a career catalyst, presenting opportunities for advancement.

Members contribute their time, knowledge and efforts to Association activities. The Association continues to support organizations such as Meals-on Wheels, The Children’s Aid Society, and National Committee for the Prevention of Child Abuse and Share Our Strength (SOS). The Association invests in the future of the hospitality industry via Scholarship and Awards Programs, offering financial assistance to future hospitality professionals who have demonstrated need and maintained scholastic superiority. In 1997, the Association committed a five-year pledge of $100,000 to fund a learning center in the name of the Food and Beverage Association of America at the Elmer Bobst Library of New York University.

To learn more about the Food and Beverage Association of America, visit their website.