For over 85 years, the NICRA organization has supported the US Dairy industry & helped large and small ice cream & frozen dessert businesses grow throughout the US & beyond.
Here is a brief history of the organization.
This record of the history of The National Association of Retail Ice Cream Manufacturers was taken from the official minute books and many letters from people and it shows that the original foundation of this organization was built as a “labor of love”. Among a number of enthusiasts were Irving Reynolds, as first president, and Eddie Maier, our foremost booster. Dorothy Mackenzie and Ed Warder compiled the history of the first 25 years.
The second 25 years was taken from a script of a slide presentation that was presented at the 50th anniversary of the association. And Lynda Utterback, Executive Director (2002-2018) compiled the last 25 years from memories and the minutes of the Board of Directors.
As to the beginning of NARICM, I quote directly from Irving Reynolds, Franklin Ice Cream Company: “Just about twenty-five years ago as I write this, Eddie Maier, who worked for Maryland Baking company, was already the biggest salesman for ice cream cones in the Midwest, came riding through the territory as if he were Paul Revere, warning us that we had ‘better get to Washington right away’ and defend ourselves and our businesses. Yes, it was just about that dramatic and I assure you Eddie was effective. It was during the first six months of the Franklin Roosevelt administration. One of his alphabet agencies, the NRA or National Recover Act, called upon each major industry to come up with rules of conduct that would help the nation’s economy in its recovery.
Eddie alerted Irving Reynolds and a group of ice cream manufacturers/retailers went to Washington to explain and defend the role of the retail manufacturer in the marketplace and to defend our type of business and indeed our very livelihood.
“A group of scared businessmen, most of us with small volume, met in an informal committee to see what could be done to prevent the N.R.A. ‘Law of the Land’ from effectively limiting our right to exist and grow. On August 10th, we met the formidable array of legal talent that was organizing the case against us–and ‘had it out’ in the hearing. Because of their efforts and the NRA law being declared unconstitutional, the ice cream industry as we know it today was saved.
Many of those who were against our type of business on that day have proven later to be our friends. Many of them now have some ‘retail outlets’ of their own. And in the intervening years we have had more to gain by friendliness than by bitter opposition that appeared so ominously in 1933.
As a consequence, we soon proceeded to form the National Association of Retail Ice Cream Manufacturers.” According to the official records, others attending the Washington hearing were Roy I. Brown of Detroit, Michigan; Don Hansen of Geneva, Ohio; Phil C. Barber of Glencoe, Illinois; Fred Noel of Houston, Texas; and Joe Matthews of St. Johns, Michigan.
Following the Washington meeting, Articles of Incorporation were obtained from the State of Michigan on August 24, 1933. On October 19th the first formal organization meeting was held in the Union League Club in Chicago. Nearly 70 companies were represented at that first historic meeting. A constitution and By Laws were adopted and the first Board of Directors elected. Also elected were the first group of officers, namely: Irving C. Reynolds, Toledo, Ohio, president; W. O. Perdue, Des Moines, Iowa, 1st vice president; Fred Noel, Houston, Texas, 2nd vice president; Harry Normington, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, 3rd vice president; and Roy I. Brown, Detroit, Michigan, secretary/treasurer.
In the fall of 1934, the 1st Annual Convention of the Association was held at the Auditorium Hotel in Cleveland, Ohio, during the week of the Dairy Industries Exposition. At that meeting it was reported that 165 firms had signed up for membership during the first year, including several Associate Members.
The various industry trade papers began to show a real interest in the Association and to recognize it as newsworthy.
The monthly Bulletin was changed to a quarterly and considerably enlarged. The dues structure was changed from a “gallons of ice cream manufactured” to a “plant plus additional stores” basis. At the 1935 Convention, held at the Mark Twain Hotel in St. Louis, Missouri, a basic pattern of annual conventions was set up which provided for free and frank discussions of business operating problems.
The first organized membership campaign was held with reasonably good results. At the annual meeting, Mr. Reynolds, having served the Association as President for three years, declined to be a candidate for the office again, feeling that the office of President should be assumed by a different person each year. The Board of Directors concurred in this idea, and the policy of electing a new president each year was put into effect.
The first formal regional conference of the Association was held in Buffalo, New York on December 7. In spite of one of the worst blizzards ever experienced in the area, the conference was well attended, and a program was set up as a pattern for many subsequent state and regional conferences.
Mrs. Elsie M. Hart joined the Association staff as office manager and has served in that capacity effectively since that time. An individual membership production record was set that year by Allen Crawford of Madison, Wisconsin, with a total of thirteen new products. This record was unchallenged for many years and was not exceeded by any one person for nineteen years.
An invitation from The International Association of Ice Cream Manufacturers to NARICM to send representatives to the meetings of its legislation committee. This early gesture of cooperation on the part of International was the beginning of an inter Association cooperation program that has remained continuously active. In 1940 NARICM first joined in the observation of June Dairy Month.
The first of the Association Yearbook was published. The idea of the Yearbook came from Eddie Maier and the publication of it for several years was under the direction and editorship of Ken Wallace of Cleveland, Ohio.
Many members of the Association embarked on the manufacture and sale of “ice milk” products and it was an outstanding topic for discussion at Association meetings.
The authorization for and the raising of the first Legislation Fund of the Association.
The Annual Convention plans had to be made tentatively due to the Government’s war time restrictions on travel and the use of hotel space. The lifting of the restrictions, however, enabled the annual convention to be held. Other than routine program in 1945 the Association employed its first Legal Counsel in the person of Albert Keegan of Chicago, Illinois; made a survey of business practices of NARICM members in anticipation of industry controls by the Federal Government; made a “token” financial gift to the National Dairy Council and set up the Past President’s Advisory committee as the Nominating Committee for Association officers and directors.
An experiment was the setting up of a statistical analysis and reporting service, by which members could check their operating practices and percentages against the averages for the group as a whole. This service was discontinued after a few months, due to the difficulty of getting in sufficient reports to establish representative data and figures.
A good membership campaign in 1946, under the leadership of Charles F. Cook of Buffalo, New York, brought in thirty-six new Associate Members and 68 new Active Members. This was the record membership production for any year up to that time; outside of the first organization year.
The year 1946 saw the first sampling and judging for the Ice Cream Clinic, under the direction of Dr. C. W. England.
Thirteen state and regional group meetings were held during the year; the largest in any one year. The Executive Secretary made a trip of several thousand miles across the country setting up and carrying on the meetings.
The first ice cream breakfast at a national convention was held at the Commodore Hotel in New York City; the original coming from James E. Davis of Muncie, Indiana and the actual organization and carrying through of the first breakfast by Howard B. Grant, publisher of the Ice Cream Field, New York City
Some major changes were taking place in the organization. The convention was held at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, DC and was expanded to a four-day program. Attendance and interest at conventions had grown tremendously and the industry marked the 100th anniversary of commercial ice cream manufacture.
Two important events were started. The “Associate Member Night Party” was launched at the Netherland-Plaza Hotel in Cincinnati at the annual convention. The ideas behind this event was to have one in which all Association Member companies could participate on an equal footing.
This has proved over the years to be one of the outstanding social and entertainment features of the annual conventions. Also started was the “Best Business Promotion Idea of the Year” contest by Howard B. Grant, publisher of the Ice Cream Field. Mr. Grant awards two cups annually, one to the company winning the award for a particular year and the other, a permanent trophy to the company winning the contest for a total of three years.
The Association again, at the suggestion of several members, ventured into the field of a printed Bulletin; the “Scoop” edited and published by Lloyd Greene. After several very good issues, the membership voted to return to the more frequently published mimeographed Bulletin, feeling that it would be timelier and more intimate.
The membership of the Board of Directors was increased from 15 to 21. A new membership emblem was developed and distributed. Lloyd Greene did the winning design. Association members were invited to contribute to the support of the National Dairy Council and the Dairy Remembrance Fund was endorsed.
The dues paying period for Active Members was changed from the calendar year to July 1 – June 30. The placement of surplus funds in financial institutions paying higher interest rates was authorized. Important additions were made to the office equipment of the headquarters office at Toledo.
A special “disaster” fund was set up by the Director, to be made available to state or regional groups who run into financial difficulties as a result of an unforeseen disaster such as a blizzard preventing attendance at a planned meeting.
Important changes in 1956 were the raising of the dues to the present level; the rotating of the semi-annual meeting of the Board of Directors and Spring Planning Conference to various cities and adding to the Board of Directors the Presidents of the State and Regional Groups for the period of their respective terms of office.
A notable advance in 1956 was the action of the Dairy Industry Supply Association, the International Association of Ice Cream Manufacturers and the Milk Industry Foundation inviting NARICM to become one of the sponsoring Associations of Dairy Industry Associations week, held in conjunction with the biennial Dairy Industry Exposition.
Membership reached an all time high of 610 members and Forrest Mock, a new face on the Board of Directors became Treasurer.
The holding of the annual national convention for the first time west of the Mississippi River was an event of 1957. It was held at Long Beach, California and was considered very successful, even though the long travel distance cut down the attendance to some extent.
In that same year there was a tremendous increase in membership in the state of Massachusetts, making it the largest of the state groups and the New England Region, the largest of the regionals. The increase was developed largely around a legislative emergency in Massachusetts; showing for a second time in the history of NARICM that organized endeavor in facing a legislative emergency bands people together, whether it be national, state or local. For the unusual development of members in the New England area, great credit goes to Ed Blaelock, Executive Secretary of the New England group.
The organization celebrated its Silver Anniversary in 1958 at a convention in Chicago at the Conrad Hilton Hotel. Forrest Mock was the convention chairman that year, an all-time record high membership of 667 members was reported.
A special 25- year history of the organization was presented in the Yearbook, written by Dorothy McKenzie and Ed Warder. Appropriately the Yearbook in 1958 was dedicated to the 22 people who had served as presidents of the organization.
The Association went to Boston in 1959 for its annual convention at the Sheraton Plaza Hotel. J.C. Penny, one of the nation’s top retailers was the keynote speaker at the convention. They were welcomed to the organization by Presley Blake of Friendly Ice Cream.
In 1961 Forrest Mock became president with the convention at the Fountinbleu Hotel in Miami Beach, Florida. The first “first-timers” program was held that year and a comprehensive report on advertising, merchandising and public relations for the ice cream retailers was presented in the Yearbook by Lloyd Green.
On its 30th anniversary, the organization took a tremendous step by changing its name from National Association of Retail Ice Cream Manufacturers to National Ice Cream Retailers Association (NICRA). This opened up membership in the organization to non-manufacturing retailers and was designed to turn around the problem of declining membership. That was also a transitional year during which Forrest Mock succeeded Ed Warder as the Executive Secretary of the organization.
The transition was designed to take place over a three-year period. Also in 1963, the first, second and third vice presidents were given specific and definite responsibilities for the first time by the Board of Directors. The first vice president was to handle conventions, the second to handle membership and the third to keep an eye on the other two guys, not a bad idea.
It was back to Chicago in 1964 where the NICRA Booster Group was officially formed to help support the organization and the Dairy Expo that year which was held at McCormick Place for the first time. The NICRA convention was held right there at the Drake Hotel.
NICRA paid tribute to its first and longtime Executive Secretary, Ed Warder, on his retirement and Bryce Thomson became NICRA’s president. In December of that year the association office was moved from Toledo, Ohio to Muncie, Indiana.
The convention moved to Atlantic City in conjunction with the Dairy Food Expo. NICRA’s president was Stan Harwood and a former actor named Ronald Reagan spoke at the Northern California Regional meeting.
The Yearbook first started classifying members by the type of business and the type of service they offered.
NICRA went west to San Francisco. John Miller and a young man named Greubel became winners of the idea of the year contest.
Hugely significant was the news of Forrest Mock’s heart attack, which came as a blow to the entire organization. In 1980 Forrest Mock retired as the Executive Director of NICRA after so many years of dedicated service and the association headquarters moved to Nashville, Tennessee,
Joe Maxwell became Executive Secretary and reported that he was optimistic about the future and felt satisfied with the results of the current year. The association headquarters again moved in the Spring of 1982 from Nashville to Glenview, Illinois and Craig Peterson, The Breeden Company, became Executive Director, David Stumph was named the Associate Executive Director. Bryce Thomson’s “Sundae School Newsletter” first appeared as a regular feature in NICRA’s Bulletins that year.
The 50th Anniversary year more than 100 new active and associate members joined the association. A new marketing program was introduced for all members. The financial status of the organization was approaching stability, and everyone looked optimistically to a future of growth and strength for NICRA.
At the convention that year, Bob Elliott, Dairy Field Magazine announced the first award called the “Man of the Half Century”. It was presented to Forrest Mock and is now known as the Forrest Mock Person of the Year Award.
Also, in that year attempts to merge or bring the New England Ice Cream Restaurant Association to the national organization were at a standstill. Despite intensive efforts by the staff and by members of the Board, it was determined that the New England group wished to go their own way.
The 50th Anniversary meeting was held at the Drake Hotel in Chicago, it was a grand celebration but one that plunged NICRA into financial disaster.
The NICRA Bulletin began accepting advertising for the first time. It was also decided in that year to meet separately from the Dairy Expo which was scheduled to meet in Atlanta, Georgia.
Instead, NICRA went to Savannah, Georgia. A convention planning committee was also established in 1985 to include the first vice president, the next vice president in line, a local arrangements member, the president and staff.
In December 1985 President Jay Crist and first vice president Gordon Yerigan drove to Chicago and informed the Breeden Company that NICRA was severing relations with them. Jay personally gave NICRA a $5,000 interest free loan to keep the association going.
They moved the office to Columbus, Ohio where Ohio Dairy Products Association, Inc. was located. Don Buckley became the new Executive Director. One notable item was that Bryce Thomson was given lifetime membership in the Association. To this day, he remains the only person so honored.
The National Dipper Magazine awarded the first Promotion of the Year Award to a NICRA member.
The Association was in much better financial condition. Oscar Smith had been working on revising the association’s By Laws which were adopted by the Board and went into effect at the end of the 1986 Annual Meeting. The Association was contacted by the Milk Industry Foundation/International Association of Ice Cream Manufacturers in Washington, DC concerning the formation of a new retailers association in Washington to be known as Ice Cream Retailers of America.
The Board of Directors of IAICM organized the organization. NICRA was invited to meet with this organization in March 1987 and March, 1988 at the same time as their first trade show. The invitation was declined, and the new association really never got off the ground. NICRA once again decided to try to repair the relationship between this association and NEICRA. And NICRA reiterated the position taken that the organization would continue to plan their meetings on the odd years to be held on or at approximately the same time as the Dairy Expo.
NICRA met in Oakbrook, Illinois that year and members were given a tour of McDonald’s Hamburger University.
For the first time the association’s Annual Meeting went outside the United States, to Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Because of past financial problems, the Board decided to have the Association’s financial records audited every three years.
There was much talk at that meeting about frozen yogurt and the Association decided to change its name to the National Ice Cream & Yogurt Retailers Association, (NICYRA) to better reflect the business of current members and to attract potential members that are frozen yogurt retailers.
A new logo would be designed. The Association also considered accepting samples of frozen yogurt for the clinic. However, since a standard of identity had not been established for frozen yogurt, it was decided that it would not be appropriate to accept frozen yogurt samples for the clinic.
The 1989 convention was a joint convention held in Boston at the Boston Park Plaza Hotel with the New England Ice Cream Restaurant Association.
The Association went west again for the Annual Meeting to Anaheim California meeting in conjunction with IICA Dairy Expo. Since most of NICRA’s members are east of the Mississippi, attendance was down that year and NICRA felt that it lost its sense of identity in meeting with IICA.
The association operated at a loss since there was no mid-year meeting and all of the income for the convention went to IICA. Income received from IICA was $7,500, and did not cover expenses incurred in presenting NICRA’s program. At this time NICRA also began to look at membership services such as an insurance program for members.
A very successful mid-year conference was held in Canton, Ohio in April. However, advertising revenue from the Yearbook was dropping and membership was also decreasing. It was suggested that members be offered an insurance program or a buying service where supplier members offered lower prices to NICRA Members and special rates from VISA or MasterCard for NICRA members.
Attendees at the 1991 meeting in Hershey, Pennsylvania were give a tour of the Hershey factory.
The mid-year meeting was canceled because of lack of participation by members. At that time the Board recommended that the mid-year meeting be held in a resort location and the program be structured to feature roundtables and informal discussions chaired by NICYRA members, more fun, less work. As always the association was struggling to get member news in the Bulletin.
NICRA held its mid-year conference in Orlando, Florida in conjunction with the National Soft Serve & Fast Food Association. There was talk of a merger or future joint meeting between the two associations, but that never happened.
A committee was formed consisting the three most past presidents, with the immediate past president serving as chairman, charged with the responsibility of selecting recipients for the Forrest Mock Award. This award will not necessarily be an annual award.
Dues were raised from $95 to $125 for one store; $145 for two stores and $450 as the maximum for any or organization over 100 stores. The supplier dues were raised from $150 to $175
The mid-year convention had lost money for the past three years and the Executive Committee recommended that the mid-year conferences be suspended indefinitely and that the Association concentrate on one successful annual meeting.
The annual convention was held in Oklahoma City, in grand style, one of the most financially successful conventions in recent times. The Braum’s organization under the leadership of Bill Ricks organized the meeting, including a tour of the Braum’s farm and a visit to the Braum’s home.
The structure of this meeting changed the NICRA meeting until present time. It was the philosophy of Bill Ricks to give attendees more seminars than they could attend, therefore they would have to bring additional members of their staff to cover all seminars.
The National Dipper offered to sponsor the Forrest Mock Person of the Award. Of greatest importance, the Board agreed to establish the Bryce Thomson Scholarship Fund, to be announced at the annual meeting later in the year in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The first mentor program for “First Timers” was established in 1997 where a veteran member was assigned first timers. The veteran answered questions and introduced the first timer to other members of the association. NICRA also established a home page on the Internet that year.
The convention was booked at the Bismark Hotel in downtown Chicago and members were also going to attend the Dairy Expo at McCormick Place. The hotel was sold and closed for renovation. Several members came to Chicago in March to meet with the new owners and they were assured that the hotel would be open in time for the NICRA Meeting. By June, it was apparent that the hotel would not be open in time and another location had to be found. Because of the Dairy Expo, all of the hotels in the downtown area were sold out. NICRA had to seek meeting space in the suburbs. Indian Lakes Resort in Bloomingdale was chosen. The meeting was poorly attended and the hotel required a monetary settlement because of the shortfall in room pickup and food and beverage guarantees.
The association reached an out of court settlement with the new owners of the Bismark Hotel for breach of contract.
The first mentor program for “First Timers” was established in 1997 where a veteran member was assigned first timers. The veteran answered questions and introduced the first timer to other members of the association. NICRA also established a home page on the Internet that year.
During the February Board of Directors Meeting, the Board voted that a Membership Development Committee should be established for the purpose of finding new members and developing programs to keep current members. During the October Board Meeting a Convention Committee, Bulletin Committee and Ice Cream Clinic Committee were also established. The first meeting of the Membership Committee took place during that convention in October.
The Bryce Thomson Scholarship Fund was valued at over $20,000 and the Board voted to give two $500 scholarships that year. An agreement was worked out with Bryce Thomson regarding the use of his materials after he is no longer able to produce the monthly Sundae School Newsletter.
A proposal was received from Mid American Buyers Group for national pricing on Pepsi products for members and the Regit Group offered insurance for members. As always, the Association struggled to get members to write articles for the monthly Bulletin. Discounts were offered to first timers at this meeting to attend the next convention. And the Association began accepting credit cards for payment of dues and convention attendance.
At the Board Meeting in Las Vegas, Don Buckley announced that he would like to retire in November 2002. It was agreed to renew his contract for one year at this time and a committee was appointed to consider management options beyond that date. A Supplier Package was instituted at the Las Vegas convention where each supplier could insert an information sheet about his or her company into an envelope that would be given to each attendee. It proved to be very successful and continues to be passed out to attendees to this day.
The Board authorized the purchase of lanyards to be used for name badges at conventions. The special convention pins that have been produced for each convention could then be pined on the lanyard and worn at each convention.
The Ice Cream Clinic was expanded to include the Best Flavor Contest and the Best New Flavor Contest at the 2001 convention. A committee was also appointed to determine the number and amounts of scholarships, revise the application and review the applications and select the winners. The Membership Committee announced their new project, the reproduction of the video tape entitled, “DippingTips”. Most of the cost of this project was covered by supplier sponsorships.
During the October Board Meeting in Charleston, South Carolina, Don Buckley revealed to the Board that he had withdrawn his name for consideration for the position of NICYRA Executive Director and he wishes to retire during the first half of 2002.
During that Board Meeting, Lynda Utterback was interviewed for the position of Executive Director and her firm, JLM Unlimited, Inc. was hired by the Association to run the affairs of the Association. The transition was to be completed by the end of January 2002. The Board ordered a complete audit of the finances of the association before the transition.
The physical transition of association materials had been completed and the February Board Meeting was conducted with the assistance of the new Executive Director. A Scope of Work and Management Agreement was signed and a financial report including the results of the audit were presented to the Board.
Many new policies and safeguards had already been put in place before this meeting and the Board was appraised of all the changes.
A By Laws change was passed defining the responsibilities of the officers and the committees in which they participate. Also during the transition, it was discovered that when the Association changed its name to the National Ice Cream & Yogurt Retailers Association, the proper paperwork was never filed with the state of Michigan and therefore the name was never “officially” changed.
The Board agreed that since the frozen yogurt market had declined the Association should just go back to using the name National Ice Cream Retailers Association. The Board decided to increase the number of scholarships to seven $1000 scholarships that year. The Board also decided to formulate a code of ethics for speakers at the conventions. It was also determined that there be a review of the Executive Director on a yearly basis.
Tragedy stuck this year as Ray Sheehan, who was president of the association at the time, was involved in a serious car accident and was hospitalized for months. He was able to call the hotel and be patched into a loud speaker to talk to everyone at the awards banquet on Saturday evening.
NICRA got a toll-free number for members to call the Association office. During the convention in New Orleans that year the Membership Committee formulated NICRA’s E-mail Newsgroup, a forum where members could post a question and have other members answer it.
The Membership Committee also suggested a pin recognition program where members would receive pins with the number of years, they have been members. The first pins were awarded in 2006 at the convention in Savannah, Georgia. A Greeter’s Program was established during the convention where veteran members would greet attendees as they register.
The Membership Committee decided to do a marketing campaign in the Orlando area for the 2004 annual meeting to bring local ice cream store owners to the meeting. NICRA Bucks were raffled off for the first time at the Orlando convention in 2004. These were certificates that could be redeemed for merchandise or services from exhibitors during the convention. The Board started work on formulating a mission statement and vision for the association which was formally adopted at the November 2005 meeting.
The ice cream clinic was experiencing problems with the professors not being able to do the proper testing on the fat and solids for the ice cream. The Ice Cream Clinic Committee began working on a solution to this problem. They formulated a mission statement to help with the direction of this committee.
A Code of Ethics and duties were established for Officers and Board Members. Each Officer and Board Member signed the code. The Membership Committee began work on a sanitation DVD for stores in 2005. The Ice Cream Clinic Committee made the recommendation that the dairy professors do sensory testing only on the ice cream samples and the chemical analysis be done by an independent laboratory. The Committee said that all samples for the ice cream clinic and the best flavor contests will be tested for bacteriology. NICRA will now provide containers for all of the samples in all contests.
The Association gave 17 - $1,000 scholarship this year. The Ice Cream Clinic Committee tightened the microbiology standards and reworked the scoring systems so that it was more difficult to achieve a blue ribbon. The Clinic Committee continues to work on other issues.
At the February 2006 Board meeting plans began to formulate the celebration of NICRA’s 75th Anniversary and a committee was formed. It was also voted that NICRA should update its Web site. This year ten scholarships were awarded, with the top scholarship at $3,500. A Succession Committee was also established, providing a process to follow for replacing the Executive Director of the Association.
The script for the Sanitation DVD was approved, and the next step was filming the DVD. The increase in the amount of money for scholarships doubled the amount of applications this year. And scholarship money may now be applied to tuition, room, board and/or books.
Bryce Thomson, author of the monthly Sundae School Newsletter was now 90 years old. He wrote a Sundae School Newsletter in December 2006, a January/February 2007 newsletter, and his health prevented him from producing any more newsletters and his last newsletter was the February/March 2008 issue. Bryce attended the convention in 2006 and we all celebrated his 90th birthday with cake and cards from all.
Standards were established at that meeting for other groups that want to align themselves with NICRA. The New England Ice Cream Restaurant Association established a scholarship fund and called it the Dick Warren Scholarship Fund. NICRA donated to the fund in honor of Dick’s long membership in this association.
It was announced at the February 2007 Board meeting that an actor had been chosen for the Sanitation DVD and several locations had been identified to film the DVD. Copies should be available for members soon. Work continues on the redesign for the Web site. A sexual harassment policy was formulated and was put on all materials for the Association, including membership and convention materials. The Ice Cream Clinic Committee is continuing to work on improving the contests, including trying to formulate standards for chocolate and strawberry ice cream.
The 75th Anniversary Committee decided to put a DVD together to be viewed during the Wednesday evening dinner, showcasing 150 to 175 photos and slides of the history of NICRA. A 75th Anniversary logo was developed.
Because of all of the member enhancement projects the association will be operating at a loss this year. The Board voted to increase active member dues to $225 and supplier member dues to $275 effective June 1, 2007.
An Agreed-Upon Procedures audit was conducted in October 2007 and the financial affairs of the association were in order. Several recommendations were made and the Board accepted a few procedural changes. A No Suitcasing Policy was established to protect exhibitors during the convention. The Sanitation DVD was completed and ready for purchase. The new updated NICRA Web site went live a few days before the November 2007 annual meeting. The members’ only side will be the next project to be completed.
The age old question of how to attract new members and improve the Bulletin was again addressed this year. A history of the association is being written for presentation during the 75th Anniversary meeting. And the committee is looking to present a special 75th anniversary gift to members who attends.
This february Board meeting there was a moment of silence for Dick Warren, a long time member of the Board and the Association, who was killed in a skiing accident in January. Dick will be missed by many.
NICRA members were sent five NICRA business cards and asked them to pass the cards out to other stores they may visit in an effort to get new members. The Board voted to waive the fee for the first sample to enter the Ice Cream Clinic and the Best Flavor Contests in honor of the Association’s anniversary. The name of the Best New Flavor Contest was changed to Your Best New Flavor Contest. Each member of the association who renews their membership this year will receive a wall clock with the 75th Anniversary logo. Any one who attends the convention will receive a spade with the 75th Anniversary logo and the suppliers are working on a gift for attendees as well.
At the February Board Meeting in Colorado Springs CO, Lynda Utterback, long time Executive Director of the organization announced her decision to retire at the end of July 2018. A search was then commenced by the Executive Committee and the Transition Committee. Applications were received from across the country and after a second round of questions and interviews, Stephen Christensen (Inside Ice Cream LLC) was appointed the role of Executive Director and took over from Lynda Utterback on the 1st of August 2018. The headquarters of the NICRA organization were moved from Elk Grove Village IL to Chesterfield MO that month.
The NICRA organization received somewhat of a facelift with a new Mobile App, an upgraded monthly Bulletin and a terrific turnout at the annual convention held at the Cheyenne Mountain Resort in Colorado Springs Colorado. Lynda Utterback was acknowledged with the Forrect Mock Person of the Year Award for her contribution to the organization. the award was accpeted by Margeret Anderson from taylor New England on her behalf.
The NICRA organization also joined a collaboration of other ice cream manufacturers for an exploratory committee to create on online resource and training for safe Ice Cream making.