The American Frozen Food Institute (AFFI) and the National Frozen & Refrigerated Foods Association (NFRA) announced that the Distinguished Order of Zerocrats has selected three food industry leaders as 2017 Frozen Food Hall of Fame inductees.
Inductees for 2017 are the late E Glen Grader, founder of Albany Frozen Foods; William S Smittcamp, president and CEO of Wawona Frozen Foods; and Ron Suchecki, retired vice-president of sales for Ateeco Inc/Mrs T’s Pierogies.
Grader began working as manager of a frozen food facility with Stokely-Van Camp in Marysville WA in 1951, later moving with the company to Albany OR. He founded Albany Frozen Foods next to a cold storage facility in Albany in 1961. In 1975, Grader sold Albany Frozen Foods to Seabrook Foods Inc. After the sale, he held executive positions with Seabrook Foods, Oxnard Frozen Foods Corp and Continental Companies. In 1986, during his time at Oxnard, Grader served as AFFI chairman of the board. He retired in 1987 and died August 27, 2014.
Smittcamp is president and CEO of Wawona Frozen Foods in Clovis CA, a family-owned grower and processor of frozen fruit. During college through 1983, he directed the family’s fresh operation, Wawona Ranch, packing fresh peaches, plums, and nectarines. In 1983, he assumed the reins of Wawona Frozen Foods. Smittcamp joined the AFFI board of directors in 1988 and was appointed as AFFI Western Frozen Food Convention chairman in 1995. In 1997, he served as AFFI chairman of the board and currently serves on the Frozen Food Foundation board of directors.
Suchecki served as vice-president of sales for Ateeco Inc/Mrs T’s Pierogies for nearly 27 years. He retired in December 2015 after a heart transplant the previous year. Suchecki continues to consult with Ateeco on a limited basis and mentors others through his association with NFRA and the Frozen and Refrigerated Association of the North East (FRANE). Suchecki served as NFRA’s convention chairman from 2005-2009. He was honored in 2015 as FRANE’s “Person of the Year” and also received a Golden Penguin Award from NFRA.
Inductees will be honored at the Distinguished Order of Zerocrats meeting during the AFFI Frozen Food Convention (AFFI-CON), set for March 4, 2017, in San Diego CA.