The American Frozen Food Institute (AFFI) and the National Frozen & Refrigerated Foods Association (NFRA) have announced that the Distinguished Order of Zerocrats has selected three food industry leaders as the 2017 Frozen Food Hall of Fame inductees.
The 2017 inductees 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.
E. Glen Grader began working as manager of a frozen food facility with Stokely-Van Camp in Marysville, Washington, in 1951, later moving with the company to Albany, Oregon. Grader founded Albany Frozen Foods next to a cold storage facility in Albany in 1961. Starting and ultimately growing Albany Frozen Foods was one of his most satisfying career accomplishments. In 1975, he sold Albany Frozen Foods to Seabrook Foods, Inc. Following the sale, he held executive positions with Seabrook Foods, Inc., Oxnard Frozen Foods Corp. and Continental Companies. In 1986, during his time at Oxnard Frozen Foods, Grader served as chairman of the board for AFFI. Her retired in 1987 and passed away on Aug. 27, 2014.
William S. Smittcamp is President and CEO of Wawona Frozen Foods in Clovis, California, a family-owned grower and processor of frozen fruit. During college through 1983, Smittcamp directed the family’s fresh operation, Wawona Ranch, packing fresh peaches, plums, and nectarines. In 1983, he assumed the reins of Wawona Frozen Foods, then processing and freezing approximately 15 million pounds of freestone peaches and 5 million pounds of strawberries. Today, Wawona has grown to be the largest frozen peach processor in the nation. Smittcamp joined the AFFI board of directors in 1988 and was appointed as AFFI Western Frozen Food Convention chair in 1995. In 1997, he served as AFFI chairman of the board and currently serves on the Frozen Food Foundation Board of Directors.
Ron 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 enjoys mentoring others in the frozen food industry through his association with NFRA and the Frozen and Refrigerated Association of the North East (FRANE). He served as NFRA’s convention chairman from 2005-2009. He was honored in 2015 as FRANE’s “Person of the Year” and was also presented with a prestigious Golden Penguin Award from NFRA for his dedication to the industry and National Frozen Food Month.
The inductees will be honored at the Distinguished Order of Zerocrats meeting during the AFFI Frozen Food Convention (AFFI-CON) on Saturday, March 4, 2017, in San Diego, California.