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2021: FCSI regional chairs look ahead

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As we start 2021, the regional chairs of FCSI The Americas; Asia Pacific; and Europe, Africa and Middle East share their thoughts on the new year

Eric Norman FCSI, chair, FCSI The Americas

Looking back at 2020, we reflect on what has been one of the most difficult years that most of us have ever experienced. We had a front row seat on a rollercoaster of events that have touched everyone on a personal and business level. If anything, the pandemic and the subsequent events have taught us that we are more connected than we realized. The impact of the pandemic has reached every corner of the globe so it is fitting that we finished the year with a special global edition of FCSI’s Foodservice Consultant.

The entire foodservice industry is continuing to bear the brunt of this global event. Last summer provided some opportunity for outdoor dining and new creative ways to connect with customers. We are now faced with the reality of the winter months and raging virus numbers.

There is some good news on the horizon though, as vaccine rollouts are underway across the world and we can start to see beyond this challenging time. Hopefully, we will soon take steps to getting things back to normal.

The Holiday season was very different last year but I wish the best for all of you and your families. I am looking forward to this New Year and am hopeful we can all connect in person soon.

 

Mario Sequeira FCSI, chair, FCSI Asia Pacific Division

What a year 2020 was. It impacted our lives, our businesses, and our world in different ways.

Most importantly it has given every one of us the opportunity to stop and think about who we are, what we do, why we do it. And we can also consider what are the most important matters we need to focus on moving forward.

There are three important attributes that have resonated with me and I would like to share them with you as we look forward to this new year with quiet confidence.

Collaboration: Our FCSI family within each division and globally gives us the amazing opportunity to collaborate with true professionals, constantly sharing our experiences so we can deliver best-in-class outcomes for our clients.

Diversification: the saying: “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket” rings truer than ever. With the ever-evolving needs and expectations of our clients, diversification permits our businesses to remain relevant and sustainable.

Good health: This is by far the biggest, most important  lesson we have learned. Maintaining both our physical and mental well-being gives us the best chance of success and – together – making our world of better place.

 

Remko van der Graaff FCSI, chair, FCSI Europe, Africa, Middle East

As I write these words, there is a second lockdown in Europe, the US presidential election is behind us and we move into 2021.

Just one year ago I was enjoying a two-month vacation with my wife in Australia, New Zealand and Bali. I was blessed that we could take this great trip. One year later and we live in another reality.

Although it is difficult to look into the future, I hope that as we start the first quarter of 2021 the sun will shine for all of you. I hope everyone is healthy and safe, and that you and your family can connect.

Meanwhile we continue to meet each other via Zoom meetings and in digital webinars and are connected as much as possible. I have joined several FCSI events around the world and the FCSI EAME board has never been as connected as we are now. We have weekly meetings to set up digital events, we invest time in the Middle East area and are discovering new local units in the Eastern Europe. The FCSI EAME Conference in Paris has been rescheduled from April 2021 to June 2021, depending on the pandemic.

I would like to say thanks to all of you for your interest in FCSI EAME in this past year and I hope to meet you face-to-face in 2021.