International Foodservice Manufacturer’s Association honors two Penn State grads

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Two Penn State School of Hospitality Management graduates were recognized by the International Foodservice Manufacturer’s Association (IFMA) on May 20. James Purdum, general manager for Hospitality Services at Penn State, was a Silver Plate recipient, while John Metz Jr., president and CEO of Sterling Hospitality, garnered both the Silver and Gold Plate awards. The pair was honored at the Gold & Silver Plate Awards Celebration at the Great Hall at Union Station in Chicago.

Purdum is a 1977 graduate of Penn State and earned a bachelor’s degree in food services and housing administration. He was honored in the category of Hotels & Lodging.

“This award is a tribute to the hard work, dedication and commitment to excellence by the entire Hospitality Services team,” said Purdum. “It’s also a recognition of the support and commitment our hotels have had from our leadership, our guests and the many colleagues we are fortunate to work with each day to support the mission of this great University.”

Metz Jr., who was honored in the Independent Restaurants/Multi-concept category, is a 1990 graduate of Penn State’s hotel, restaurant and institutional management program.

“I’m proud to accept this recognition on behalf of the 859 employees in our company,” said Metz Jr.  “They are spectacular people and unbelievable resources. I wouldn’t be here without them. They are the true recipients of something like this.”

IFMA’s Golf and Silver Plate Awards, the highest possible operator awards in the foodservice industry, acknowledge outstanding operators in the industry each year. Winners are chosen by a rigorous process that includes evaluation by a jury of immediate past winners, chief editors from leading foodservice publications and industry experts.

“The awards allow us to pay tribute to outstanding individuals whose contributions advance their individual segments and the foodservice industry as a whole,” said Larry Oberkfell, president and CEO of IFMA.

Purdum and Metz Jr. join a list of 27 Penn State alums who have been honored by the IFMA as Gold or Silver Plate Award winners.

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Last Updated January 09, 2015