Simon Frost CFSP, UK manager of Wexiodisk UK has been confirmed as the new chair of the Catering Equipment Suppliers Association (CESA) at the CESA 2014 annual conference held at Heythrop Park Hotel last week.
Culminating in a gala dinner, Frost was sworn in during CESA's annual general meeting held after a successful conference including speakers: David Smith, economics editor of the Sunday Times; Peter Backman, Emma Read and Nicola Knight of Horizons, futurologist Mark Stevenson and conference chair Steph McGovern, business journalist for BBC Breakfast News.
Taking over the role of chair from predecessor Nick Oryino, Frost said his focus will be on increasing the awareness of CESA as an industry body. "My goal is to focus on our our extremely successful training programmes, including the CFSP and our tri-education scheme with CEDA and the FCSI.
"It's also important to highlight the important, albeit, un-glamorous work we do with the European Federation of Catering Equipment Manufacturers (EFCEM) on global challenges including legislation."
The focus of the conference "the future is bright" was echoed throughout the conference day with positive messages from all speakers, including a tongue-in-cheek positive "spin" from the closing keynote speaker Gyles Brandreth, TV presenter and former conservative MP for the City of Chester.
The gala dinner was attended by CESA members and their guests and included the presentation of the FCSI's sustainable equipment award to Glenn Roberts, managing director of Gram UK for the significant temperature developments of the Superior Plus 72 cabinets.
Meanwhile, David Smithson, CEO of the Winterhalter Group of Companies was named the winner of The Caterer/CESA Outstanding Service to the Catering Equipment Industry Award for 2014.
Smithson grew up in Bournemouth, and completed an HND in Hotel Management at Bournemouth Polytechnic. Following various roles in the kitchens of Gothenburg in Sweden and 18 months in France to further his knowledge of wine, he came back to the UK where he was employed by one of the first celebrity TV chef's, Keith Floyd.
Having been a CESA Council member for many years he became chairman in 2001 and helped to grow the association and embrace other organisations such as the FCSI, CEDA and the HCA.
Smithson initiated the first joint conference with the FCSI in 2001 and was the chairman of the Marketing Committee and the Exhibition Liaison Committee.
In 2004 he instigated the purchase of the Classeq brand which has grown from strength to strength.