November 2008


SFM Announces 2009 Hennessy Traveler

The John L. Hennessy awards are presented to the Air Force installations, in single and multiple facility categories, having the best food service program in the United States Air Force.Special recognition is also given to the outstanding overall food service program for the Air National Guard (ANG) and the Air Force Reserves (AFRS).Each year, SFM is privileged to have the opportunity to send a representative to participate in these on-site evaluations. These evaluating teams determine the winners and are comprised of members from the Society for Foodservice Management (SFM), the National Restaurant Association (NRA), the International Food Service Executives Association (IFSEA) and the Headquarters United States Air Force Food Service staff. The Hennessy Program also allows the sharing of valuable information between the sponsoring associationís travelers, recognized leaders in the civilian foodservice industry, and base-level food service personnel. 

Art Ritt.jpgArt Ritt, A Ritt Corporation, will join the team this year as the Hennessy Traveler for SFM. He will be traveling for six weeks to Air Force installations in every part of the world to determine winners of the prestigious and historic Hennessy trophies. Art Ritt is a founding member of SFM; the first elected Associate Member to serve on the Board of Directors, and was an active member on numerous committees during his active membership. 


Art's operational experience includes graduating from NY City Community College in Brooklyn with an Associateís Degree in Culinary Arts, interning at the
Waldorf Astoria Hotel and Food and Beverage Operations for Hilton Hotel, before starting a career in Consulting & Executive Search exclusively in the Food & Hospitality Industry.  Art is a veteran in both industry and the military as well.He was opening Chef of the famous Doral Resort in Miami, Florida before being drafted into the Army, where he was a Government Food Inspector attached to the U. S. Army Veterinary Corp.


In 1999, Art took an early retirement and sold his company, Ritt Ritt & Associates.  Since 1999 he has traveled close to 200,000 miles as a volunteer for all branches of the Military Services for their coveted awards program in food service. He also serves on numerous associations as officer and board member.

Art hold numerous awards and certifications within industry; Certified Food Executive (CFE) by the International Food Service Executives Association (IFSEA) and has been presented the American Culinary Federation (ACF) Presidents medallion and the Research Chefs Association (RCA) medal.In 2009, he will be inducted into the Academy of Chefs as an honorary member.Art is a dedicated and active member of the Hennessy Travelers Association and its educational foundation.This group of past travelers annually organizes unique educational events for Air Force Food Service professionals.

Art is looking forward to this honor to represent SFM this coming year as their Hennessey traveler.  Art departs for his journey in January so please join us in wishing him safe travels!