Ignite Applauds FE&S 2023 Top Achievers

April 18, 2023

Top leaders from the foodservice industry will be honored at a celebration in May for the annual Foodservice Equipment & Supplies’ (FE&S) 2023 Top Achievers Awards. These awards celebrate dedicated individuals for their exemplary contributions to our industry and for setting a high standard of professional excellence.

“Ignite Foodservice Solutions congratulates all of this year’s FE&S winners, but we would like to extend special kudos to three talented individuals that we have had the pleasure of working with at Ignite — Jamie Arguello, Shannon Solomon, and William Caruso,” said Carl Kisner, Ignite CEO & President.

Top Achiever – Dealer: Jamie Arguello, President, Gradys Foodservice 

Gradys Foodservice has always been a family-owned and operated company. In 2018, Jamie Arguello succeeded her father as president, where she oversees design-build, project management, smallwares and equipment distribution, multi-unit and national chain fulfillment, construction, and installation. Gradys has customers across the country in all industry segments, including education, correctional centers, government and community centers, healthcare, catering, restaurants, and food trucks.

Top Achiever – Dealer: Jamie Arguello, President, Gradys Foodservice
Top Achiever – Dealer: Jamie Arguello, President, Gradys Foodservice

Top Achiever – Operator: Shannon Solomon, Director of Nutrition Services, Aurora Public Schools 

Working in foodservice since she was 19 years old, Shannon Solomon says one of her top accomplishments at Aurora Public Schools is creating a culture that encourages team members to understand they are part of something bigger than just themselves. She leads her team to serve more meals and more children while establishing quality and service models for excellence. Under Shannon’s leadership, APS Nutrition Services offers multiple menu choices at all schools. Additionally, two high schools will soon provide drive-thru services in two trailer truck-style kiosks.


Hall of Fame – Lifetime Achievement: William Caruso

With 50 years of consulting experience and a commitment to service, William Caruso has been recognized as the 2023 FE&S Hall of Fame Award winner. Caruso founded William Caruso & Associates in 1986 from his basement, and when he retired in 2019, the company had completed over 9,000 iconic projects in 33 countries worldwide. He now specializes in connecting consultants with manufacturers trying to launch new products. But possibly most impressive is Caruso’s willingness to mentor college students as the next generation of industry professionals.

Top Achiever – Dealer: Jamie Arguello, President, Gradys Foodservice
“As leaders within their businesses, the Top Achievers continue to lead by example as they continue to invest in their people, their organizations and more to help raise the overall professionalism of the foodservice industry,” said Maureen Slocum, publisher of FE&S. “Their stories not only inspire, they also serve as a roadmap for future generations of foodservice professionals.”

Congratulations to the 2023 award winners, who are true inspirations in this amazing industry!

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