Specialty Food Magazine

Summer 2020

Specialty Food Magazine is the leading publication for retailers, manufacturers and foodservice professionals in the specialty food trade. It provides news, trends and business-building insights that help readers keep their businesses competitive.

Issue link: https://www.e-digitaleditions.com/i/1256204

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Page 34 of 91

Specialty Food Association Names Bill Lynch Interim President Bill Lynch has been appointed the interim president of the Specialty Food Association by the SFA's board of directors. Lynch, who has 20 years of experience with the Association, will take over the leadership position as the contract expires for the current president, Phil Kafarakis. Kafarakis will assist Lynch over the coming weeks to take over leadership duties. "The Specialty Food Association and its members have held a special place in my heart for the last 20-plus years. I am passionate about this organization and its members and am honored for the opportunity to lead this talented staff while working alongside a dedicated Board to help our members build their businesses and prosper," said Lynch in a statement. "The SFA has a solid foundation from which to grow and a loyal community where we see many opportunities that play to our strengths in delivering more value to our members." Lynch joined the SFA in 1999 as operations manager for the Fancy Food Shows. Since then, he held several roles before being named vice president of engagement & experience. He is well-recognized in the specialty food and trade show industries and currently serves on several boards and committees in New York and San Francisco. "We have great confidence in Bill's leadership and expect to benefit from his decades of experience in senior leadership roles across multiple areas of the business including membership, trade shows and events, customer service and office operations. We again thank Phil for his numerous contributions to SFA, and wish him the very best in his future endeavors," said Charlie Apt, SFA board vice chair & chair elect, in a statement. SFA Cuts Costs, Refunds Exhibitors The Specialty Food Association refunded or extended credit for future Fancy Food Shows to the vast majority of its Summer Fancy Food Show exhibitors (81 percent) a month after announcing that the show, which had been scheduled for June 28-30, would not take place as planned due to COVID-19-related events outside of its control. "We knew that our members would have problems with cash flow and liquidity so we immediately moved our organization around to plan for the refund issuing process so that it would be very fast," said Phil Kafarakis, outgoing SFA president, who noted that the majority of exhibitors sought refunds as opposed to show credit. "We made it clear that we would honor their spot in a future show and there wouldn't be changes with priority points," he added. The SFA launched an extensive outreach campaign and established a Refund Center on specialtyfood.com, when it made its show cancellation announcement on April 13. Once an exhibitor indicates its preference for a refund or credit, they receive a phone call from someone on the membership team acknowledging their request. A second call is placed to exhibitors once the refund or credit has been issued electronically or when their check has been mailed. "The exhibitors who we've heard from so far received a call from SFA staff within hours of their request and in most cases their credit or refund was processed within a few days," said Bill Lynch, SFA's interim president. Business Continuity, Risk Mitigation The SFA has also provided relief by launching two free webinar series focused on helping industry stakeholders navigate business disruptions during the pandemic. "We started with our Ask the Expert: Business Continuity and Risk Mitigation Planning series since we realized that a lot of members would be having challenges with business activities," said Ron Tanner, SFA vice president of education, government, and industry relations. More than a dozen free webinars have focused on topics such as CARES Act Grants and Loans for Small Businesses, Relief During COVID-19: SBA Programs that Can Help, and Insurance Considerations Related to the Pandemic. A second series, called Working with Buyers: Rise to the COVID-19 Challenge, has featured weekly presentations and Q&As with buyers from Di Bruno Bros., The Fresh Market, and Zingerman's. "Those are really letting members know what's going on, what's selling, how they're stocking shelves, how they're caring for employees, and if they're still looking for new products," Tanner said. The SFA is also planning a virtual event for late summer/early fall 2020 that will focus on product categories and buyer and member engagement. Show Cancellation The SFA has a good relationship with Javits' leadership and was receiving weekly updates about SPECIALTY FOOD SPECIALTYFOOD.COM ASSOCIATION NEWS

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