Fred Sampson Named President Emeritus at NYS Restaurant Association
Tuesday, December 10, 2013
A Pioneer in Restaurant
Policy, Style and Integrity Is Recognized in Perpetuity for the Integral Role
He Continues to Play in the Thriving Hospitality Sector
For Immediate Release
December 10, 2013
NEW YORK, December 10, 2013 – The New York State Restaurant
Association announced today that its board of directors has named Fred Sampson President Emeritus for his continuing
leadership, advocacy and support of the Association and its members.
As President Emeritus, Sampson will
forever hold a position in the Association that he helped grow into what it is
today: a potent voice for New York’s world renowned hospitality sector and the
go-to resource for restaurateurs of
"He's pretty indispensible," said
Colleen O'Bryan Holmes, owner of Wheatfields restaurants in Saratoga and Clifton
Park and chairwoman of the association. "He really grew the association.
Without him we wouldn't be where we are today." And he did it all with a
great sense of humor and constant gratitude for the volunteers who worked with
the association, she said.
Sampson began working with the NYS
Restaurant Association as Executive Vice President in 1961. At that time, there
were separate regional Restaurant Associations throughout the state. Sampson
helped merge the regional Association’s to form one NYS Restaurant Association.
Within the next four years the NYS Restaurant Association more than tripled its
membership and expanded from one regional chapter to eight.
During his time at the Association,
Sampson played roles in representing restaurants on issues including paid sick
leave, minimum wage, liquor laws, a state-wide alcohol training program and
insurance plans. He even helped repeal a law that didn’t allow restaurants to
serve alcohol before 9:00 p.m. on primary and election days. Sampson began a
restaurant trade show, today known as the International Restaurant and
Foodservice Show of New York, which hosts 16,000 people at the Jacob K. Javits
Center every year.
Sampson began his career in foodservice
at his parent’s restaurant in Philadelphia. In 1945 he joined the Army, where
he worked in the foodservice departments at various locations including the
Indiantown Gap Military Reservation in Pennsylvania and the Air-Sea Rescue Unit
in the Air Force.
Following the army and the sale of
Sampson’s parents’ business, he worked for Slater System, now ARAMARK, which
provided foodservice to colleges and small businesses. For three years Sampson
worked as the Director of Foodservice for the Central YMCA of Philadelphia, and
then as Director of Foodservice for Temple University.
During this time Sampson was an active
member of the Philadelphia and Pennsylvania Restaurant Associations, and in
1956 he became the Executive Vice President for the Pennsylvania Restaurant
Association, where he grew the Association’s membership and chapter base over
his three years there. Heading back to foodservice, Fred served two years as
the Vice President and General Manager for the Dutch Pantry chain and in 1961he
accepted an offer as the Executive Vice President at the NYS Restaurant
"Fred Sampson was the pioneer in establishing
a voice for the restaurant industry throughout New York State,” said Brad
Rosenstein, third generation owner of Jack’s
Oyster House in Albany, one of the oldest family owned fine dining restaurants
in the United States celebrating its 100th
year, and member of the NYS Restaurant Association. "He has been one of
the most highly respected hospitality executives in America."
"He is always
about giving credit to other people, despite the major positive impact he
brought to issues through sheer force of personality. That said, his real
talent was an uncanny ability to anticipate the challenges that would confront
the industry over the past four decades,” said Rick Sampson. "He anticipated
issues like the DWI, the smoking ban and obesity issues and helped get the
industry ahead of the curve. His influence in helping make New York’s
restaurant industry the envy of the world really cannot be overstated. And he
is still just as sharp today as he ever was.”
"I guess if I had to pick one word to describe
Fred Sampson it would be integrity,” said Melissa Autilio Fleischut, President
and CEO of the NYS Restaurant Association. "To have your name be synonymous
with one organization for more than 50 years says a lot about you and your good
name. With the members and with legislators that name is synonymous with
"I don't know anyone who has always put the
best interests of the restaurant industry in New York State first,” said
Anthony Dell’Orto, co-owner of Manganaro’s Hero Boy and member of the NYS
Restaurant Association. "He has the ability to articulate any point to
anyone. He has brought together two opposing sides to formulate a
united and positive response to all issues that affect the restaurant industry
in New York. There is no one that deserves the President Emeritus title
more than Fred Sampson."