2021 FCSI TA Symposium



The FCSI The Americas Board of Trustees met on August 5, and made the difficult decision to cancel the 2021 Symposium scheduled for later this month. While we won’t see you in Orlando, we’re looking forward to seeing you in Montreal, April 21 – 23, 2022. Information about sponsorship, registration refunds and other Symposium items will be sent out shortly.


Join us on Tuesday evening, August 24 and Wednesday, August 25 at the 2021 FCSI TA Symposium, which takes place just prior to the start of the NAFEM Show.

We’ll begin with a rewind to the good times with a party at SeaWorld on Tuesday evening. Wednesday will be a day full of education and networking. Let’s get back together and mix it up before NAFEM ’21 begins!

Thank you to our sponsors for supporting Symposium!

About the NAFEM Show


Symposium Schedule

Tuesday, August 24

7:00-10:00 pm
Opening Party — SeaWorld Orlando

Wednesday, August 25
Orange County Convention Center – West Concourse

8:30-9:00 am — Breakfast & Opening Comments

9:00-10:00 am — Opening Keynote: The Future of Foodservice

Presenter: Mike Lee

Mike Lee will examine the consumer behaviors and innovations that are shaping the Future of Food, and their implications on foodservice businesses today and tomorrow. The Future Market tracks 16 macro trends in food that are disrupting every part of the supply chain, from farm to fork. We will explore a selection of the most salient trends that are shaping how foodservice producers and consumers will need to operate into the next decade.

We will also examine the mindset of 21st century eaters and how their needs and values are shaping our food landscape. Using the three key value lenses of the 21st Century Eater—experience, sustainability, and health–we will explore what the future of food and foodservice might look like and how companies need to use logic, emotion, storytelling, experience, and flavor to create the foodservice experiences of the future to serve increasingly demanding eaters.

10:00-10:15 am  — Networking Break

10:15-11:15 am — Breakout Sessions

Lights – Camera – Action! Video Marketing Deep Dive

Presenter: Erik Haviland and Matt Martinez

Video shorts and clips are the new norm when it comes to marketing.  Unlike text heavy emails, videos can capture the attention immediately to promote your message.  Come join us as we walk you through how easy it is to film and publish short videos using cameras and mobile devices to market yourself and your firm.

Get Connected – Exploring Connectivity in Commercial Kitchens

Presenter: Kerri Fitzgerald

Most of today’s discussions about connectivity are centered on data and primary operations recording, such as food safety, recipe development and processing specific to individual pieces of equipment or limited inter-connectivity of data usage.  This session will concentrate on the actual control characteristics, needs and approaches necessary for standardization and platform development that will join the restaurant operator with building and energy management systems in meeting financial, sustainable, energy efficient, and labor reduction goals.  Through a discussion of global developments in IOT and AI of governmental and corporate policies affecting connectivity, including movement toward smart cities, smart buildings, and maximization of smart utility infrastructure and renewable energy, attendees will glean the complexities of a truly connected commercial kitchen.

Help Wanted – Managing Labor Issues

Presenter: Juan Martinez, FCSI, PhD PE

Automation is coming – for some, it’s already here.  In the meantime, until it becomes  mainstream, restaurants still have to manage labor challenges.  This session will address many questions you may have about labor in the foodservice industry – How do you determine how much labor you really need? How do you schedule labor? How do you manage a shortage of labor resources? How do you manage labor dynamically – as the business shows up… or doesn’t?!

11:15-11:30 am — Networking Break

11:30 am-12:30 pm — Breakout Sessions

Automation, Robots, and the Eye in the Sky

Presenter: Joe Schumaker, FCSI

In this session we will explore what is possible in the future and what is available today in the fields of robotics and automation.  We will discuss and present participants with useful and actionable information on things they can implement in their consulting practices and push the envelope in what is possible in commercial kitchens today and into the future.  From time and temperature sensors in the ceiling to dishwashing and coffee robots, we will push the envelope and get you thinking about what is next in our industry.

Putting on Your Own Oxygen Mask First

Presenter: Peter Shankman

Designed for today’s startup culture, Peter leads an engaging and truly needed conversation on the world of the startup-entrepreneur, and how it could secretly be killing you. Entrepreneurship is an exciting road, but a lonely one as well. In this honest and open talk, Peter shares his successes, his failures, and what he needs to do every day to make sure he stays on track and doesn’t wind up imploded on the side of the road.
Valuable takeaways:

  • Five must dos each morning that equate to success
  • The top ten habits of repeatedly successful entrepreneurs
  • How to take care of your brain and body in eight minutes per day
  • Why being open about what you do is actually more beneficial than not sharing
  • How to build your trusted support system

Exploring New Channels of Distribution

Presenters: Tarah Schroeder, FCSI and Sojo Alex

We are starting to see new channels of distribution in the industry or ways that operations can increase sales with less cost. These new channels are due to the increase in snacking, use of mobile phones, higher labor costs and labor shortage, and overall high construction costs to satisfy the “I Want It Now” culture. The new channels of distribution include expanded order/pay, delivery, new vending, micro-markets/mini-kiosks, and expanded grab-n-go.

12:30-2:00 pm — Lunch

2:00-3:00 pm — Breakout Sessions

Point of Sale and Mobile Ordering

Presenter: Chris Bigelow, FCSI, CFSP, Paul Frascella, and Tarah Schroeder, FCSI

How have the last 12 months changed the way customers order food?  Come talk about the shift in customers’ expectations when it comes to ordering delivery, takeout and online menus. We will review the latest tech including POS Systems and online and mobile ordering, discuss the ongoing costs, and compare solutions.

Revit Standards Review

Presenters:  Ted Doyals, FCSI; Laura Lentz, FCSI; and Joe Schumaker, FCSI

The FCSI Revit Task Force has been working diligently over the past year to review and revise Revit standards for the industry.  Sit down with a few members of the task force to learn about the changes and the methodology behind the updates.

Tax Advantages for Consulting Firms

Presenters: Jon Tucker

Are you getting all of the tax credits you deserve? Join Jon Tucker to learn about the many credits you, your company, and possibly your clients should be taking advantage of this year.

3:00-3:15 pm — Networking Break

3:15-4:30 pm — Closing Keynote:Economy of the Next 50 Years

Presenter: Peter Shankman

The days of begging for likes are over. The customer economy is all about doing likeable things. As the network gets smarter and smarter, it’ll know your favorite places before you do, and share those with the world – when the world is looking. So, if your friends are looking for a restaurant in New York City, and you live there, it’ll show them the places you hangout, automatically, because logic suggests that if you go there a lot, you like the place, and your friends usually like what you like. What does this mean for your business? It means that it’s time to start focusing on the customer experience – Without that, no amount of advertising, marketing, or SEO will save you. Join Peter as he shares his thoughts on:

  • The five rules of the customer economy
  • Why speed matters
  • How to stay “top-of-mind” in every customer’s mind, from beginning to end
  • How millennials, as well as Generations Z and Alpha are consuming content, and how you can get in front of them




Diamond Level








Interested in becoming a sponsor? Learn more about sponsorship opportunities!

Conference Planning Committee


Sojo Alex
Brett Daniel, FCSI
CPC Chair
Stephanie Gilbert
Brent Hall, FCSI Kathleen Held Danielle Mason
Tim McDougald Kyle Schwartz Tara Schroeder, FCSI
FCSI The Americas Staff

Wade Koehler, CAE


Penny Price


Amy Stark, CAE


About the NAFEM Show

The NAFEM Show gives you the opportunity to meet the people and see the products that can help your business move forward.

From the world’s leading E&S manufacturers to foodservice professionals from around the country – this is the place to be if you’re in the foodservice industry.

FCSI Consultant Members can register at no cost using the code FCSI21. Register Now


For questions about the 2019 FCSI The Americas Symposium, contact PennyWade, or Amy via email or by phone at 309-808-2165.