2019 FCSI TA Symposium

Ladies and Gentlemen, start your engines! We’re ramping up to Symposium 2019 and you won’t want to miss this fast-paced event! The opening party kicks off Tuesday, February 5 at Andretti Indoor Karting & Games. Join your FCSI colleagues for a night of racing, bowling, gaming, and catching up. Wednesday will be a full day of stimulating education and networking at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando.


Tuesday, February 5

7:00-10:00 pm – Opening Party – Andretti Indoor Karting & Games

Wednesday, February 6

7:30-8:30 am – Breakfast & Opening Comments

8:30-9:00 am – FCSI Update

9:00-10:00 am – Opening Keynote: Green Flag – Do You Really Know Your Customer?

You just sent off the proposal, but do you really know who the client is?  Join our opening keynote Sam Richter as he tells you why Every YES Begins with a Know.  Using his proprietary search algorithms, Sam will show you web secrets you never thought possible for finding new leads, creating marketing lists and understanding decision makers.  Find the prospects who fit your desired profile and learn more about the individual so you’re building a meaningful connection (without seeming like a stalker).

No matter your technical ability, you will leave with new ideas that you and your team can put to immediate use.

Presented by: Sam Richter

10:00-10:15 am – Networking Break

10:15-11:15 am – Breakout Sessions

Shifting Gears for Success – Why Every Firm Needs a Succession Plan

Succession planning is a critical element of any strategic plan, so that any potholes or detours can be strategically navigated. Many small firms overlook the need for a Strategic Plan.  Whether your firm is cruising along or shifting gears fast and furious, a strategic plan is a valuable resource to help guide you and your firm on the road ahead. This session will provide an overview of the planning process, identify elements of a strategic plan, and explore how and why succession planning is critical through tips and tricks and real-life experiences.

Presented by: Kathleen Held, CPSM; Katie Petrovich, CPSM; Sharyn Yorio, FSMPS, CPSM

Under the Hood – Tackling the Big Challenges of Commercial Kitchen Energy Efficiency and the Role of Ventilation Hoods

Clients are facing big challenges related to labor shortages, food waste, utility costs and, coming soon, electrification, decarbonization and heat stress regulations. It’s imperative that consultants stay informed about the latest research on kitchen equipment and systems that can provide the most effective design solutions and satisfied clients. The Food Service Technology Center’s David Zabrowski will share the latest findings from the FSTC’s research on kitchen ventilation and heat gain, hot water systems and dishmachines, high efficiency appliances, and induction technologies.

Presented by: David Zabrowski

Tech in the Fast Lane – Using Technology in Foodservice

Technology in the kitchen is changing rapidly, improving safety, efficiency, and overall profitability. Foodservice facilities are modernizing at record speed to create more fluid and effective operations. From Bluetooth temperature sensors to robots flipping burgers (yes, it’s really possible!), HR apps and more, foodservice operators are embracing the technological revolution with incredible results. This session focuses on inexpensive opportunities to use technology to save money, save time and improve operations.

Presented by: Jay Bandy

11:15-11:30 am – Networking Break

11:30 am-12:30 pm – Breakout Sessions

Catch Me if You Can – The Future of Food

We all get hung up on blueprints, equipment specifications, and the basics of kitchen design and operations management from time to time, but it’s easy to forget what brought us there in the first place – the food!  It’s important to know what food trends are on the horizon so you know what’s in store for future commercial kitchens.  This session will explore everything from snackification and flexitarianism to plant-based and cultured meat.  We will take a look at food system challenges and talk about how we can begin to build spaces that truly meet the physical demands of the new foods, supply chain, and even growing and processing on site.

Presented by: Joe Schumaker, FCSI

Building Your Pit Crew – Racing for the Client

Projects today have many players, so much so that it can become difficult to identify the client. With multiple constituents – and often not all on the same page – how do consultants today know they are truly benefiting the end user? Especially if the end user is not paying for the consultant’s work directly. This session will take a look at best practices for navigating the mine fields of diverse opinions, especially when the person writing the consultant’s paycheck might be the least agreeable to the consultant’s views. A design consultant, an MAS consultant, an operator, and an architect will join together on a dynamic panel to address these obstacles and help you avoid detours and keep projects on the right track!

Presented by: Moderator Karen Malody, FCSI, Teri Kidwell, David Kutsunai, Russ Benson

Rev Your Engines – Revit Tips & Tricks to Help You Take the Lead

Revit can seem incredibly complicated, but this session will allow you to take the lead from three users who know how to win the race, whether you are just getting started with Revit, or struggling to take on the next level.  Our three presenters will share their tips, tricks, and frustrations with you to help you become a more proficient user.

Presented by: Jennifer Murphy, FCSI; Chris Huebner, Tim McDougald

1:45-2:00 pm – Networking Break

2:00-3:00 pm – Breakout Sessions

Smoke your Competition – Thinking Outside the Kitchen 2.0

If you liked “Thinking Outside the Kitchen” with Ken Schwartz, FCSI in 2015, you’ll love this 2.0 session with him. This session will demonstrate how to design one of a kind, unique tools for clients that are efficient and effective. Thinking Outside the Kitchen 2.0 will touch on how to propose a vision, design and present these visions, and get your ideas accepted by the client.

Presented by: Ken Schwartz, FCSI 

Closing the Gap – Designing a Dining Experience for Generation Z

What is Generation Z looking for in a foodservice and dining experience?  Gain a deeper understanding of who Generation Z is and how this generational cohort will impact the world of foodservice and dining. This generation of consumers and customers has unique preferences on communication, use of technology, and perspectives on the world which will play a role in how they engage as consumers. This session will also provide a brief overview of the generations that come before Generation Z and how we can use the information we know about Generation Z to design foodservice experiences that align with their interests and viewpoints.

Presented by: Meghan Grace

If You Ain’t First, You’re Last – Be Fearful of Mediocrity

Foodservice concepts that are not committed to continued improvement are losing ground to those that are. You can’t win by idling in neutral – you are either moving forward or getting lapped. This session takes a look at why being profitable today may not mean successful tomorrow, why good enough really isn’t, and how we can help our Clients create a plan that engages management and staff in a culture of continuous improvement.  We will discuss how operators are using the latest trends in mastering the 3 M’s that avoid Mediocrity – Menu, Management, and Marketing. We will explore ways technology has impacted each of these areas improving communication, staff training, product handling, and management’s effectiveness of daily operations.

Presented by: Chris Tripoli, FCSI

3:00-3:15 pm – Networking Break

3:15-4:30 pm – Closing Keynote: Checkered Flag – How Well Do You Know Yourself?

During our opening keynote, Sam taught you how to dig deeper into the web to research potential and current clients, create marketing lists, and discover data to make your firm more competitive.  NOW, what happens when we flip the script?

In our closing keynote, Sam will showcase a few FCSI members and their companies. Learn what others will see when they go searching for you and how to create a better profile of yourself and your firm.

Presented by: Sam Richter

5:30-7:30 pm – NAFEM Opening Party
Hyatt Regency Orlando

Schedule Subject to Change

Registration Details*

Attendee Type       Registration Rate      
Consultant Member* $299
Consultant Additional Attendee** $199
Consultant Non-Member $549
Corporate Member / Non-Sponsor $1100
Corporate Member Sponsor  Contact Penny
Corporate Non-Member $2100
Spouse Opening Party Only $99

*The rate for Emeritus members is $99. Students, if you are interested in attending the Symposium, contact Penny.

**Additional consultant attendee(s) must be from the same firm and must register at the same time.

Fillable Registration Form

New Grant Opportunity for Consultants!

Thanks to the generosity of the FCSI Educational Foundation and FCSI’s corporate members, we are offering 10 grants, each valued at US$500, to offset some of the costs of attending the 2019 FCSI TA Symposium. Grants are available for first-time attendees of the Symposium, or a consultant who did not attend the 2015 or 2017 Symposium. The intent of this grant is to encourage emerging consultants to attend the Symposium together with their principal(s) where they can expand their knowledge, extend their network and be encouraged to become actively involved in the Society.

2019 FCSI TA Symposium Grant Application


Thank you to our Sponsors!

Sponsor the Symposium Now


Sponsor a First-time Attendee of the Symposium for $250

Help a first-time attendee consultant attend the Symposium by matching one (or more!) grants offered through the FCSI Educational Foundation for $250 each. Qualifying consultants will receive a $500 grant to help offset Symposium registration, travel and lodging.

Click here for details and to help sponsor an attendee.

Thank you to our Matching Grant Sponsors

KCL  4 Grants
Polar King 1 Grant
Thermodyne 1 Grant






Channel Manufacturing

Meiko USA

Polar King International


About the NAFEM Show




Welcome to a show that reveals the inner workings of foodservice success. Browse exciting products from 500+ of the world’s leading equipment and supplies manufacturers. Meet and learn from leaders across all foodservice segments and see the trends that are just around the corner. One thing is for sure: awe-inspiring innovations and light-bulb moments await!

FCSI Consultant Members can register at no cost using the code FCSI19. Register Now


For questions about the 2019 FCSI The Americas Symposium, contact Kimberly, Penny Sydney or Wade via email or by phone at 309-808-2165.