Phil Noyes named 2007 NAC Mickey Warner award recipient
Phil Noyes of Proof of the Pudding will be honored with the 2007 National Association of Concessionaires’ Mickey Warner Award. The award will be presented Monday, July 23 at the Membership Luncheon in the Sheraton City Centre Hotel during the NAC Annual Convention in Salt Lake City.
The Mickey Warner Award is named for the originator of the NAC Concession Manager Certification program, and a great innovator and educator for the concessions industry. “We are pleased to honor Phil for his longevity and leadership in the industry as well as his steadfast support, commitment and work on behalf of NAC,” said NAC President Larry Etter, CCM, of Malco Theatres. Noyes is the sixth person to be honored with this award; previous winners are Shelley Feldman, NAC director of education, Walter Dunn of The Coca-Cola Company, Frank Liberto of Ricos Products Company, Jeremy M. Jacobs of Delaware North Companies, and Chris Bigelow of Bigelow Companies.
Phil Noyes’ food service career began in junior high school, dipping ice cream and working in the local donut shop. While at college at the University of Oklahoma, he worked in several restaurants before earning a Bachelor’s degree in business.
He began his professional career with Dobbs House, Inc., where he managed three 24-hour a day coffee shops, rising to the positions of general manager of the Dobbs operation at Atlanta’s Hartsfield International Airport and corporate director for airport development.
From 1980 to January 2006, Noyes was the founder and owner of MGR Food Services, operator of food and beverage services for facilities such as The Georgia World Congress Center, Georgia Dome, and Centennial Olympic Park. MGR was consistently named as the best convention center food service operation in the country by national trade publications and achieved the highest per-capita revenue in food and service for attendees at U.S. trade shows. At the Georgia Dome, MGR consistently achieved per capita food and beverage revenue ranking within the top ten percent of all NFL stadiums.
Under Noyes’ leadership, MGR handled the 1992 Democratic National Convention; the 1994 and 2000 Super Bowls, and a sit-down dinner for 72,000 people. In 1996 MGR was the food service operator for the 1996 Centennial Olympic Games, serving over 3 million meals during a 17-day period with record revenues. In 2002, Noyes partnered MGR with Levy Restaurants, and transferred his ownership to Levy in January 2006.
Noyes is presently president and majority owner of Proof of the Pudding by MGR, founded in 1979. Atlanta’s largest caterer, Proof of the Pudding’s divisions include off-premise catering, Plane Delicious Airport Restaurants, and Events Atlanta, a venue management company. Their recreation and leisure division has developed exclusive contract relationships with the Carter Presidential Center, the Gwinnett Convention Center and Arena, the Georgia International Convention Center, the Georgia International Horse Park, and the Fripp Island Company.
This past year Noyes has partnered to open a new business endeavor, A+ Hospitality, a joint venture with the Georgia State School of Hospitality, working to provide an upscale part-time labor force to the hospitality industry in Atlanta. He also serves as a consultant to several major convention center and stadium food service operators in the U.S.
Noyes has been a member of the National Association of Concessionaires since 1989, and joined the NAC Board of Directors in 1994 as a director at large. He has served as the association’s treasurer since 2001, and has been an active supporter of NAC programs and activities.
Noyes has been and continues to be an active member of community and business organizations, including: founding member of the “Atlanta’s Table” project of the Atlanta Food Bank; advisor to the Organizing Committee of the 1996 Olympics; Super Bowl XXVIII and XXXIV Host Committees; Board of Directors of the Atlanta Convention & Visitor’s Bureau; Board of Directors for the Cecil B. Day School of Hospitality at Georgia State University; member of the National Restaurant Association, International Association of Exposition Management, and Conferie de la Chaine des Rotiasserurs; and named as Georgia Hospitality Industry’s Leader of the Year.
Noyes and his wife Carol Ann have three children and three grandchildren. They reside primarily in Atlanta, but enjoy time boating and playing golf at Fripp Island, South Carolina.
The inspiration for the award, Mickey Warner (1920-1995) had a passion to give recreational foodservice its professional place. His passion led to the innovation of certification programs, an industry textbook, and an NAC university chair. In the early 1980's, Warner discussed the idea of funding university-level research and teaching with then-NAC president Shelley Feldman. The NAC Board established a chair at Florida International University's, School of Hospitality Management.
In 1985, at the age of 65, Warner entered a doctorate program at the College of Education at FIU to perform research in recreational foodservice management. Within two years, he completed the entire required curriculum, passed the comprehensive examination and presented his research topics on the competencies of a recreational foodservice manager to the dissertation committee. He was turned down because of a lack of "body of knowledge."
Not to be defeated, Warner set out to establish a "body of knowledge" by producing an all-encompassing textbook, Recreational Foodservice Management, which is the cornerstone of the NAC certification program today. During the busy summer of 1988 Warner wrote the textbook, established an undergraduate course at FIU, and established a new, one-level certification program for NAC. The next fall Warner represented his request for research to the doctoral committee and was approved.
The National Association of Concessionaires was founded in 1944 to serve the recreational and leisure-time food and beverage concessions industry as a network and resource for operators, suppliers, manufacturers and distributors. Association services include publications, educational seminars and training programs, convention and trade shows and other programs for the concessions industry.