By the time this copy of the magazine lands in your hands, December will have arrived, and with it a flurry of holiday activity. Certainly, there’s a feeling of anticipation in the air and the determination to end all the unfinished projects of the year so we can enjoy the holiday season with a clear mind.
For the team at KML, the Pinnacle Awards luncheon and celebration always caps off a pulsating year of activity. And, for me personally, it’s always a highlight and a pleasure when I can pick up the phone to let the winners know they’ve been chosen to receive a Pinnacle Award. The reactions of the winners run the gamut from stunned silence to unrestrained enthusiasm and excitement.
It’s equally gratifying to look back on our circle of achievers over the course of 27 years to see that all of the individuals and companies that we have fêted have gone on to great success and accomplishments. And, as reported by many of them, the Pinnacle Awards mark a watershed moment.
Somehow it’s fitting that we present our Pinnacle Awards during the holiday season, when many of us are focused on giving to others. For the recipients, the awards are a validation of their hard work, perseverance, dedication and commitment to succeed. In a world in which many aren’t always recognized for their work efforts, it’s a true blessing when peers recognize, appreciate and give thanks for your hard work and accomplishments.
But apart from recognizing business acumen and all that is associated with it, let’s not lose sight of the wonderful efforts made by these stellar companies to give back to the community, which has always been a core tenet of the companies and individuals we choose to honour. Perhaps no other industry can lay claim to having a bigger heart than the hospitality industry, where charity is measured not just through a financial commitment but also by countless hours and donated product and services.
Looking at this year’s winners, it’s hard not to be inspired by the generosity of these companies. Hundreds of millions of dollars have been earmarked by them to help the community in a host of meaningful ways. From the vast contribution made by McDonald’s through its Ronald McDonald House Charities and McHappy Day to the millions of dollars A&W donates to the Multiple Sclerosis Society through its “Cruisin’ to end MS” campaign, or the million-dollar investment made by Mother Parkers Tea and Coffee to the Alzheimer Society. Equally important are the contributions made by independent restaurateur Pino Posteraro to promote learning opportunities within the industry, the investment in the culinary community by winning chef Carl Heinrich or the creative contributions made by the Aquilini Restaurant Group. Certainly, their efforts to help others make a lasting contribution to the betterment of our community, our industry and our country, and impact countless lives in many astounding ways. We raise a glass to these individuals and companies.
In the spirit of the season, on behalf of the entire KML team, we wish our readers and advertisers alike a holiday season full of good health, happiness and, always, a touch of magic!