This was an interesting week for yours truly.  For starters, there was the Annual United Restaurant and Tavern Owners industry dinner.  Always a lively affair, it's an event that takes place once a year.  You get to network with fellow bar/restaurant types as well as with representatives of the beer/liquor industry.  There's a formal dinner and an award ceremony where various dignitaries are honored for all kinds of things.  In the past, both THE IRON MAN (Matt Long) and THE DON (Jim Long) were honored as "Industry Man of the Year", and last year, BABY GIRL (Lee Ann Frahm) received "The Order of the Apron" award (for meritorious service to the industry).

Well this year, I found out that I was nominated and chosen to receive "The Order of the Apron" award.  I was pleasantly surprised and panicked at the same time.  While it's always nice to be recognized for your efforts, this was the one thing I was dreading.  I actually tried to avoid getting nominated (and succeeded for many years), due to my fear of public speaking.  Sure, it's one thing when you're at the bar and you give a couple of quick shout outs over the mike to your patrons.  It's another thing entirely when you're giving a speech in a formal setting in front of a room of bigwigs.

That being said, I knew I had to face my fears and get over myself.  I was being honored for a pretty cool award, so I sucked it up, wrote a speech and off we went, to the big shindig.  As it turns out, it was a great time.  I was accompanied by a good group of people, including AFRIKA BAMBATTA, DOUBLE S, THE DON, BABY GIRL, MOROCCO MOLE, and FIRE MARSHALL ED.  We mingled, schmoozed and ate like kings.  Then it was time for the awards ceremony.  There were a couple of great speeches given by this year's Industry Men of the Year, Frank Dwyer & Pete Fitzpatrick (The Playwright Tavern & Connolly's ); Thomas Slattery (Chairman of the U.R.T.O.), and the Sales Team of Anheuser-Busch, NYC.

Finally it was my turn to receive my award.  I was one of two recipients of "The Order of the Apron" Award, my co-winner being Elizabeth Nelis (Stout, NYC).  We were both a bit nervous, but we got up there, gave our thanks and took pictures like the dignitaries we were.  It wasn't all that bad, actually- it went faster than I thought, and for that I was greatly relieved.  I didn't stumble over my words too much and most importantly, I didn't do anything too embarrassing, like having food in my teeth or my fly unzipped.

The night turned out to be a great success and I was thoroughly humbled by the award and the attention.  Again, I'm not one for the spotlight so anything like this is usually overwhelming for me.  But it was a very nice gesture and I appreciate being acknowledged by my peers and bosses.  A fun night indeed.

1 comment:

Erin said...

Love this! So happy for you!