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The 10th Annual Brassell Foundation Golf Outing has been scheduled for Monday, August 19, 2012, at Northampton Valley Country Club. The fun begins with a 12:30 p.m. shotgun start and is followed by a buffet dinner and prize raffles. The Brassell Foundation awards scholarships each year to students entering high school and to date has given 62 scholarships. In addition, the foundation has provided funding for several youth groups and families in need, with more than $100,000 donated to date. “The golf outing is our only fundraiser of the year and we have been blessed to have so many attend, either by golfing or just coming out to the dinner,” said Neil Brassell III, Country Pure Foods and son of Neil Brassell Jr., for whom the foundation is named. Neil recently told me about his dad, who was the offensive line coach at both Roman Catholic High School andCardinalDoughertyHigh School. He passed away in 1998. and his family wanted to honor his involvement with youth activities and sports, so the foundation was formed and now many high school children benefit from the generosity of former students, friends and family, not to mention members of the food industry. For more information or to register, go to:

John Ruane, SVP-fresh merchandising for Ahold USA, will be the featured dinner speaker during the New Jersey Food Council (NJFC) Trade Relations Conference to be held June 5-6 at The Borgata in Atlantic City. The reception and program will be held from 3:00 to 6:00 p.m. John will share his industry expertise with attendees as he presents on the current state of the food industry in New Jersey during the event’s NJFC Executives Reception and Awards program. Also, during the event, Mike Sullivan, VP of the New Jersey market unit of Coca-Cola Refreshments USA, will be honored with the New Jersey Food Council Max Stone Trade Relations Award. “With 30 years of beverage industry experience and his continuous dedication to the advancement of the industry, Mike is an incredibly deserving recipient of this prestigious trade award,” said NJFC president Linda Doherty. “Mike has forged relationships and built a longstanding career through his professional and volunteer work, always providing superior service to vendors and clients while displaying a vigorous spirit for advancing trade relationships and helping clients overcome challenges.” The Max Stone Award is named in honor of the longtime trade relations leader for Best Foods, CPC in recognition of his accomplished career in trade relations inNew Jersey. For more information, please go to:

The Network of Executive Women (NEW) Philadelphia Chapter held a rescheduled panel discussion, “Swimming With the Big Fish; Practical Tips for Success in Today’s Sales-oriented Markets” on April 10 at the Adventure Aquarium in Camden, NJ. The mission of NEW is: ”to attract, retain and advance women in the consumer products and retail industry through education, leadership and business development,” but much of what was discussed by the panel can be applied to both genders. To that point, the audience had a sprinkling of men, including Acme Markets’ Dan Croce, who was all smiles, and Jim Mullen, Giant/Carlisle. Saint Joseph’s University also brought female students majoring in food marketing. The panelists, including Elise Gautier of Deloitte & Touche, Suzanne Sears of Kimberly-Clark, Brian Fischel of Campbell’s and John Saidnawey of JOH, spoke about how the bottom line is that people still matter in this business.

Continuing the circle of life we send out bouquets of happiness and best wishes to Justine Giordano, Vincent Giordano Corp., and David Carlin, who were married on April 13 at Saint John the Evangelist Roman Catholic Church in Center City Philadelphia followed by a reception at the Loews Hotel. The happy couple is honeymooning in the Cayman Islands. Justine is the daughter of Guy Giordano, Vincent Giordano Corp. Congratulations!!

Sad news to report: industry veteran Al Polakoff passed away on March 7 at the age of 88. Raised in South Philadelphia, Al became a pillar of the Atlantic City business community, operating his family’s wholesale food business, Benjamin Polakoff and Son, which employed many Atlantic City area residents. In 1992 Al sold his business to Sysco. He will always be remembered for his honesty, hard work and most of all for taking care of his entire family. Fondly known as “Uncle Al” he lived a wonderful, “full of life” existence, loved by all who knew him. Nobody ever made a better Sunday brunch; it was an invitation sought after by many. He was pre-deceased by his loving wife of 60 years, Mae and his beloved sister, Mollie. He is survived by his wife, Sharon, sister Claire Soloman, three daughters, and many grandchildren and great grandchildren. Rest in peace my friend.

Birthday shout-outs for the rainy month of April go out to: Ed Herr, Herr Foods; Terry Lowden, JOH; Charlie Poletti, Acosta; Jack Foti, Rosa Foods; Ron Benjamin, Pro-Star Marketing; Larry Weaver, DFA and Kevin Cook, Nestle DSD. Buon Compleanno a tutti! Celebrating married bliss this month are: Stephen and Alana Raiola, Farmland Dairies; Larry and Jutta Weaver, DFA; and Diane and Doug Buchanan, Brandywine Marketing. Happy Anniversary!

Quote of the month: “Pennies don’t fall from heaven, they have to be earned here on earth.” Margaret Thatcher

Maria can be reached at: