Michigan State’s Tim Mehlberg Presented With SHFM Inaugural Cattani Fellowship Award

Tim Mehlberg, the SHFM Dick Cattani Fellowship Award Winner

Earlier this year, the foodservice industry lost a giant: Dick Cattani. He was that rare breed who was loved by everybody and went out of his way for so many. His brilliant career was capped by a long run as the President and CEO of Restaurant Associates. 

To honor that legacy, The Society for Hospitality & Foodservice Management (SHFM) Foundation, that Dick was such a big part of, wanted to create on-going recognition to such a special life. With that, the “Friend of the Foundation Award” was re-named in honor of industry icon Dick Cattani: “Dick Cattani Fellowship Award.” Jeanine Cosgrove-Albert, SHFM Foundation Chair said, “Dick was not only a giant in the industry but also a man of tremendous kindness and integrity. Additionally, he was a long-time supporter of the SHFM Foundation and the first-ever recipient of the “Friend of the Foundation Award.” The SHFM Foundation “Dick Cattani Fellowship Award” honors an SHFM member who has made significant contributions to the success of the Foundation and the industry. This year’s recipient, announced at this year’s gala, is Tim Mehlberg with The School of Hospitality Business, Michigan State University. 

Tim Mehlberg is an experienced Business Instructor with a demonstrated history of working in the higher education industry. He is a highly skilled in Product Marketing, Marketing, Product Development, Business Management, and Business. His MSU students have also learned from his extensive  operational background. 

The ‘22 SHFM Award winner has a Master’s Degree focused in Restaurant, Hotel and Institutional Management from Texas Tech University. “I am absolutely humbled to be thought of and to be honored in remembrance of one of our industry’s true icons,” noted Mehlberg. 

The award was presented to Mehlberg at The Society for Hospitality & Foodservice Management (SHFM) Foundation hosted the inaugural SHFM Foundation Gala, last month at Inside Park in New York City. The event featured Chef John Doherty of Blackbarn Restaurant and the former executive chef of the Waldorf Astoria. With John’s help, this year’s gala supported the SHFM Foundation and his Heavenly Harvest Foundation whose mission is to bring dignity health and hope to those in need. The attendees were delighted with John’s World Leader menu, where they enjoyed dishes and stories from some of the special dinners Chef John has served global dignitaries and U.S. presidents in his time at the Waldorf. 

It is fitting that the inaugural award be presented to an educator like Mehlberg. Because Cattani spent his lifetime committed to the education of the industry’s next generation. He was a Fellow of The Culinary Institute of America and was honored with a Conti Distinguished Professor Chair at Penn State University. Cattani was also a Distinguished Visiting Professor at Johnson and Wales University in Providence, RI and a Wise Professor at the University of Delaware. He also was the commencement speaker at Paul Smith’s College (twice) and the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY. 

“Unfortunately, I never had the opportunity to meet Dick Catanni,” Mehlberg said. “But I heard so many wonderful things about how he served others in the industry.  He was an awesome listener that always gave 100% of his attention to who he was speaking with.  He was also sensitive, positive, empowering, empathetic and kind.  These traits I have heard over and over by people in his network.

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