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Phillip Cooke, Key Figure in Association Management, Passes Away

Phillip Cooke, founder of the Foodservice Associates (FSA) marketing/management organization and a key figure in the founding of the Society for Foodservice Management (SFM), suffered a fatal heart attack while on a trip to Chicago October 24th.

Cooke’s firm managed the National Industrial Cafeteria Managers Association (NICMA), one of the two organizations that merged to form SFM in 1979. The other was the Association of Food Service Management (AFSM).

Cooke started his career as a journalist with several industry trade publications before launching FSA in 1969. FSA was launched when Cooke, at the request of Richard Ysmael, took on the job of managing the group then known as NICMA.

A decade later, when the merger took place, FSA managed the new combined organization, SFM. In addition to NICMA and SFM, FSA also managed other prominent industry associations, including FCSI (Foodservice Consultants Society International) and the In-Flight Food Service Association (IFSEA).

To keep Phillip’s spirit alive, a special scholarship has been established at the New England Culinary Institute. Contributions in his memory can be made to the NECI Scholarship Fund, Inc., Phillip S. Cooke Memorial Fund, 56 College Street, Montpelier, VT 05602-3115. The scholarship fund is set up as a 501(c)3 charity so your contribution is fully tax deductable.

In 2004, at SFM’s 25th anniversary celebration conference in Baltimore, Cooke was recognized with an SFM Lifetime Achievement Award. At that conference, FM asked Cooke to recall his most memorable SFM conference experience. You can view a short video clip of his response here

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