2019 FCSI TA Symposium

The FCSI The Americas Symposium 2019 broke previous records for attendance, with more than 170 consultants and nearly 150 Allied members heading to the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida.

Taking place in the days prior to the NAFEM Show ’19, at the same location, the attendees were treated to a full day’s program, all centered around an ‘Accelerate’ racing theme of educational keynoters and breakout seminars, along with great networking opportunities and a whole heap of fun in between.

Michael Jones reports from a record-breaking Symposium that put members’ education at its heart.

Click here for the full recap

Education Sessions & Presentations (when available)

Photos of the Symposium

Videos from Symposium 

Thank you to our Sponsors!


Symposium Schedule

Tuesday, February 5

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

Wednesday, February 6 – Orange County Convention Center – South Concourse

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?

Presentation Unavailable – Contact Charlotte Raybourn for questions about his presentation

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

Click here for the Presentation

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

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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

Click here for the Presentation

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

Click here for the Presentation

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, Debbie Lohmeyer

Due to circumstances beyond our control, this session has been canceled – Building Your Pit Crew – Racing for the Client

It has been replaced with: 

Rely on Your Pit Crew – Can We Talk?

Advice and anecdotes from seasoned FCSI Professionals

Presented by: Christine Guyott, FCSI, RD; Kristin Sedej, FCSI

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

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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

Presentation Unavailable – Contact Ken Schwartz for questions about his presentation

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

Presentation Unavailable – Contact Meghan Grace for questions about her presentation

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

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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?

Presentation Unavailable – Contact Charlotte Raybourn for questions about his presentation

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


Thank you to our Matching Grant Sponsors!

American Recruiters 1 Grant
KCL  4 Grants
New Age Industrial 4 Grants
Polar King  1 Grant
Thermodyne  1 Grant


Thank you to our Symposium Sponsors!











Channel Manufacturing

Hestan Commercial Corporation

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.