Kitchen houses set to pay tribute to industry titan at Ceda annual conference

Ceda has confirmed it is supporting a charitable organisation set up in memory of one of the catering equipment industry’s most respected stalwarts as part of its 2018 conference.

The 2018 Ceda conference will support ‘Jeff’s Way’, a charity established in honour of Whitco founder and managing director, Jeff Whitaker, who sadly passed away at the beginning of this year.

Jeff’s Way aims to help young people build a future for themselves and benefit from education, opportunity and security; three issues close to Mr Whitaker’s heart.

Every year Ceda nominates a charity, usually a cause connected to the catering industry, to support at the annual conference.

This year, all funds raised at the conference will be donated to Jeff’s Way and divided equally between the development of young catering talent at Hull College, the Sea Cadets and the Royal National Lifeboat Institution.

Vita Whitaker, Jeff’s wife, Whitco’s commercial director and Jeff’s Way founder, said: “Jeff was never happier than when he was cooking, on a boat or by the sea. He joined The Sea Cadets, which instilled discipline and high standards. The catering faculty at Hull College gave him the skills he needed to join the catering teams of the merchant navy and Royal National Lifeboat Institution, where Jeff saw and experienced first-hand the work they do to save lives at sea.

“These institutions shaped Jeff’s outlook and attitude to life and it seems only fitting to allow others the opportunity to benefit from them in his name.”

Mark Kendall, CEDA chair, made the decision to nominate a charity to support at the conference each year. He added: “Selecting Jeff’s Way as the 2018 Ceda Conference charitable cause was an obvious choice for me. Jeff was such a highly regarded member of the catering industry. He was a true gentleman who had time for everyone he met and he will be sorely missed by the entire Ceda family and his peers in the wider catering sector.

“We look forward to welcoming Vita and colleagues from Whitco to the conference in April and that will afford us the opportunity to show our collective industry support for the family and the company. I’m confident that we can deliver a fitting tribute to an industry legend.”

This year’s conference will take place at The Hilton, St George’s Park, Burton upon Trent on April 26-27 with fundraising activity taking place on both evenings.

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