I guess you could call me a Catersource groupie in the days of Mike Roman and Pauline Hoogmoed with Carl Jones running the Catersource forum. I was blown away by my first Conference and the valuable information I gleaned from the plethora of classes offered. Literally building a small insignificant barbeque business into a hugely successful enterprise. Catersource and the help from my Catersource forum buddies were instrumental in this success.
Fast forward to today and I am somewhat surprised by a recent scholarship given to someone whom I feel is an undeserving recipient. First off it was always my understanding that these scholarships are given out to those that needed them and would help struggling catering companies build their businesses. Needless to say, Catersource and those that followed and attended these yearly conferences were invaluable to all of us. I’m passionate about education in whatever fields we choose to follow and Mike Roman filled a void that we all needed in our catering companies.
Bill Phanoff, Jack Milan, and Meryl Snow were my idols and I learned from them and many others as well. When Mike Roman left us we carried on and it was tough, but he left behind some good leaders. Pauline Hoogmoed and Linda Kerber West carried on Mikes vision and traditions as well as Jack, Meryl, Bill, Roy Porter and so many others too numerous to mention, you all know who you are. I was asked to be an Ambassador for Catersource, a role I loved, but had no idea who the corporate people were that owned the show after Mike. I only cared about the education and the attendees, the networking, and everything learned at these conferences.
When the Catersource forum died out a new one took its place. We joined in and shared and kept the education flowing with the help from all of us to run our companies. Jack Milan is the most caring and sharing person I know, as is Roy Poter. I got to know and admire both. Mary Crafts was also a big influence. So many of you on here helped me and others to grow, absorb and learn how to run successful companies.
In the middle of this new direction was a little kerfluffle with a new ‘catering forum’ that decided to not only censor some long-standing members of Catersource but also block them from the site altogether. I was one of those members. I was helping Jack Milan at his Edible Spoons booth and posted on that site for all to come and visit me there. NO ADVERTISING allowed on that site. Before I could take down my post I ended up being blocked along with many others, I was in good company though and the ICA Forum welcomed me with open arms. The buzz site forum and the gal that runs it was certainly not shy about photobombing the Catersourcve Conference, posting pictures with her buzzy bees, and leaving them in prominent places getting as much exposure for her site as possible. This entailed extra work for some of the Catersource people to remove her ‘advertising’ from these spots.
This all happened more than a few years ago and most may not remember, but I and others will never forget. The pictures we shared on that forum were never taken down although it was requested to do so. The buzz gal did not attend Catersource after that and hasn’t since then. Now she is being feted and rewarded as a new Scholarship winner and I’m at a loss to understand this. I have not been to the conferences since the pandemic hit but I do know from all my colleagues that the conferences have had a decided downturn in attendance with the tradeshow being a shadow of what it once was. Maybe it’s time for a change and an overhaul of the whole show. Giving this scholarship to someone that has undermined and disrespected Catersource and those that invested themselves in this conference, is not acceptable.
I am posting this because it needs to be said and if it’s taken down so be it.. I’m only speaking about what has happened in past years, so it won’t happen again.
Catersource groupie for over 20 some odd years
Former Catersource Ambassador, speaker, volunteer, and entrepreneur
copyright March 6th 2022