The award honors the late Mickey Warner, the father of the NAC Concession Manager Certification Program and one of the greatest innovators and educators of the concessions industry. The 2016 award will be presented at the NAC Concession & Hospitality EXPO July 21 in Minneapolis.
Charlie Neary oversees Spectra Food Services & Hospitality’s operations in the Western half of North America and coordinates with the Regional Vice Presidents and local management to facilitate best practices. With three decades of experience and a long list of professional accomplishments, the secret of Charlie’s success in food services is a unique combination of entrepreneurship and tireless dedication to developing lasting relationships with his colleagues, clients, and company.
Charlie’s career quickly saw him climbing the ranks, from working concessions at the Greek Theatre in Berkeley, California, for Filmore Fingers before ultimately serving as their Director of Concessions. Ultimately, Charlie’s strong business sense led him to start FanFare Enterprises, the successful food service company he co-founded with fellow Spectra Food Services & Hospitality’ VP Nick Nicora. In 2001, FanFare merged with Spectra Food Services & Hospitality.
A San Francisco native, Neary attended the University of California, Berkeley & San Francisco State University, majoring in Business Administration.
Past recipients include: Shelly Feldman of Shelly Feldman Associates (2002), Walter Dunn of the Coca-Cola Company (2003), Frank Liberto of Ricos Products Company (2004), Jeremy M. Jacobs of the Delaware North Companies (2005), Chris Bigelow of Bigelow Companies (2006), Phil Noyes of Proof of the Pudding (2007), Ken Young of Ovations Food Service (2008), Charlie Cretors of C. Cretors and Company (2009), Gary Horvath of Ovations Food Service (2010), J. C. Evans of Gold Medal Products (2011), Larry Etter of Malco Theatres (2012),Terry Conlon of the University of Illinois (2013), Gary Wattie of Centerplate (2014) and Dan Kroeger of Gold Medal (2015).
About NAC: The National Association of Concessionaires, founded in 1944, is the trade association for the recreation and leisure-time food and beverage concessions industry. Members are comprised of the owners and operators of facilities such as: Movie Theatres, Stadiums & Arenas, Zoos & Aquariums, Colleges & Universities, Foodservice Contractors, Park & Recreation Departments, Amusement Parks & Family Entertainment Centers, Ice and Roller Skating Rinks, Racetracks, Bowling Centers, Outdoor facilities, Convention centers and Performing Arts Centers. Our members also are the companies that provide products and services to these facilities, including: Suppliers, Equipment Manufacturers, Popcorn Processors, Jobber Distributors, Consultants and Brokers.
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