Rest in Peace Mark ‘Mickey’ Kaplan: Friend, Colleague and Ace Ad Salesman

By John Saulnier, FFB Editorial Director

In MemoriamIt is with much sorrow that the FrozenFoodsBiz.com (FFB) team reports that one of our own, Mickey Kaplan, died suddenly on September 13, 2018, at St. Claire’s Hospital in Denville, New Jersey while receiving emergency medical attention for cardiac arrest. He was 68 years old.

The veteran advertising director headed up business development in North America for the online B2B news and information platform serving the global frozen food industry. A consummate salesman who transitioned in recent years from the world of print publications to take on the challenge digital commerce, he was well known and respected by key marketing communications personnel throughout the United States, Canada and Mexico who make media buying decisions for frozen food producers and distributors, refrigerated warehousing and transportation operators, packaging suppliers and equipment manufacturers.

His experience in the industry spanned over four decades, including more than 20 years as advertising director for Fort Lee, New Jersey-based Quick Frozen Foods International magazine. Prior to that he sold space for K-III Press, International Thomson Transport Press and Brandon’s Shipper & Forwarder in New York City.

mick 1994Born and raised in the Bronx, Mark “Mickey” Kaplan was a lifetime resident of the Greater New York area and a lifelong fan of the New York Yankees baseball champions, having grown up near “The House that Ruth Built.” He was also an avid supporter of the New York Giants football franchise, the Knicks basketball squad and the Rangers ice hockey team.

Ever enthusiastic and optimistic, Mick was fiercely competitive in all endeavors – from scoring runs on baseball fields and shooting hoops on the basketball courts of his youth and early adulthood, to winning contracts in executive office suites and on trade show floors during a highly productive professional career that followed. He was an order maker, not an order taker.

Mickey combined a hard-driving work ethic with deft interpersonal skills and aplomb to secure and assure the confidence of advertisers. They trusted him for good reason, as he never sold a product or service that he did not believe in.

Mick learned the ropes of advertising sales the old fashioned way, by investing in shoe leather, tirelessly pounding the pavement and knocking on doors. Making successful cold calls after resourcefully generating hot leads was one of his specialties.

Established customers and potential clients welcomed his creative pitches, which were typically delivered with a charming sense of humor, often embellished with poetic prose laced with memorable rock ’n roll and pop song lyrics. He was energetically on the job 24/7, placing and receiving phone calls, sending e-mails and sometimes even posting hand-written snail mail appeals to prospects whom were hard to reach any other way.

Mickey Kaplan was a 1973 graduate of the University of Bridgeport in Connecticut, where he majored in History and earned a Bachelor of Science degree. But he was keen on pointing out that his real education did not commence until his life as a traveling salesman began. The job took him across the USA from the streets of Manhattan to Boston Harbor and Chicago’s Lake Shore, to the West Coast and onward to the Hawaiian Islands, as well as to Canada, the Caribbean and Europe.

Son of the late Richard and Joan Kaplan, Mick is survived by a brother, Jeffrey, and his wife Lori of North Port, Florida; sons Keith and Justin, and their wives Heather and Jennifer; beloved granddaughters Jenna, Jordan and Jessie; and former spouse Kathy of Lakeside, California.

He leaves behind many friends as well, and this writer is among them. Having spent much time in the air and on the road with Mickey over the years, it is profoundly sad to now accept that he will no longer be a fellow traveler in this world. His knowledge of history, politics and sports was deep and wide, and I shall very much miss the engaging and colorful conversations about these and other subjects that we enjoyed.

In spirit, though, Mick will be forever present, urging us to “stay strong and optimistic,” and reminding us to remember “our greatest strength is effort and attitude, so keep on plugging.”

The FFB crew, friends and colleagues will be raising a glass in remembrance of Mickey during the upcoming SIAL exhibition in Paris. While he was not exactly a tippler, I can personally attest that Mick thoroughly enjoyed Killian’s Irish Red draught lager from time to time. And as the premium bière rousse just happens to be brewed in France, there will be no shortage of supply to tap into on the occasion of toasting the dearly departed.

Memorial contributions in the name of Mickey Kaplan may be made to any of his favorite charities, among them: METAvivor Metavivor.org (dedicated to metastatic breast cancer awareness, research and support); Disabled American Veterans (www.dav.org); Wounded Warrior Project (www.support.woundedwarriorproject.org).

Rest in Peace, Mick.

UK Grocers Ring Up Record Breaking Christmas Season Sales UK Grocers Ring Up Record Breaking Christmas Season Sales
Amid negative headlines for the high street, supermarkets in the United Kingdom have painted a brighter picture, posting record sales of £29.3 billion over the Christmas trading period. Though

Mazzetta Debuts Quick Frozen Oishii Shrimp in US Market Mazzetta Debuts Quick Frozen Oishii Shrimp in US Market
Highland Park, Illinois-headquartered Mazzetta Company has introduced shell-on, easy-peel Oishii shrimp. Frozen no more than four hours after being harvested from lined ponds in Thailand and

AFFI Storyteller Video Series Features Frozen Food Makers AFFI Storyteller Video Series Features Frozen Food Makers
The American Frozen Food Institute (AFFI) has announced the release of its new video series, “Meet Your Frozen Food Maker,” available for viewing now on the Arlington, Virginia-headquartered trade

Bambino’s Extends Retail Reach, Stars on Restaurant Menu Bambino’s Extends Retail Reach, Stars on Restaurant Menu
Bambino’s Baby Food rang in the New Year by expanding the availability of its product line at retail and foodservice locations in Alaska. Carrs-Safeway, a unit of Boise, Idaho-headquartered

Thai Seafood Packers Cheer as EU Lifts Yellow Card Status Thai Seafood Packers Cheer as EU Lifts Yellow Card Status
The Bangkok-headquartered Thai Union Group and other seafood producers from Thailand rejoiced on January 8 as the European Union Commission announced a long sought decision to lift the so-called

Norwegian Seafood Exports Set Record; Poland Top Market Norwegian Seafood Exports Set Record; Poland Top Market
It was up, up and away for sales of Norwegian seafood in 2018, as exports hit 2.7 million tons to establish a new record of NOK 99 billion in receipts. This represents a volume increase of 4 per

Brake Bros Founder Frank Brake Dies on 85th Birthday Brake Bros Founder Frank Brake Dies on 85th Birthday
FrozenFoodBiz.com is saddened to report that Francis Robert Brake died on December 22, 2018, which happened to be his 85th birthday, at Pilgrims Hospice in Kent, England. The longtime resident of

Rodríguez Wins Latin America Future Leader GCCA Award Rodríguez Wins Latin America Future Leader GCCA Award
Fernando León Rodríguez, subdirector of Bajo Cero Frigoríficos, is the recipient of the 2018 Latin America Future Leader Award presented by the Global Cold Chain Alliance (GCCA) and the

Young’s Debuts Wholemeal Breadcrumb Coated Cod Portions Young’s Debuts Wholemeal Breadcrumb Coated Cod Portions
Grimsby, England-headquartered Young’s Foodservice has launched its first wholemeal-based breadcrumb enrobed fish product into the UK market. The frozen cod portions are coated in light, wholemeal

NFI Crab Council Installs Brice Phillips as Chairman NFI Crab Council Installs Brice Phillips as Chairman
Brice Phillips, director of club store sales at Phillips Foods, has been elected chairman of the McLean, Virginia, USA-headquartered National Fisheries Institute’s (NFI) Crab Council. Founded in...

Lamb Weston Acquires Australian Frozen Potato Processor Lamb Weston Acquires Australian Frozen Potato Processor
Lamb Weston Holdings has purchased Marvel Packers, a frozen potato processor in Australia that produces Marvel and Farmers Best brand french fries, potato cakes and specialty items as well as...

Solid Increase in US Seafood Consumption Posted in 2017 Solid Increase in US Seafood Consumption Posted in 2017
In 2017 Americans ate 16 pounds of seafood per capita, an increase of 1.1 pounds from the 14.9 pounds consumed in 2016, according to recently released statistics. It is the highest per capita...

SeaPak Debuts Parmesan Shrimp & Spinach Bites at Walmart SeaPak Debuts Parmesan Shrimp & Spinach Bites at Walmart
Just in time for New Year celebrations, St. Simons Island, Georgia-based SeaPak Shrimp & Seafood Co. has introduced Parmesan Encrusted Shrimp & Spinach Bites in 340-gram packs. Wrapped in...

’Tis the Season for Shopping on Ice Follies and Jollies ’Tis the Season for Shopping on Ice Follies and Jollies
Deck the aisles with synthetic ice beneath the shopper’s trolley. Approximately 250 meters worth are temporarily atop the floor of the Iceland store in the Stratford district of East London. And

McD Sets Beef Antibiotic Policy; Costco Updates Standards McD Sets Beef Antibiotic Policy; Costco Updates Standards
Chicago, Illinois-headquartered McDonald’s Corporation, the world’s largest hamburger chain, on December 11 unveiled a policy to reduce the overall use of antibiotics important to human health, as

Aleph Farms Debuts First Cell-grown, Slaughter-free Steak Aleph Farms Debuts First Cell-grown, Slaughter-free Steak
Aleph Farms Ltd. has created what it calls the world’s “first cell-grown minute steak,” and in so doing is serving up slaughter-free meat that has been lab-grown in a Petri dish without the need

McCain Extends Sweet Potato Product Line in ANZ Markets McCain Extends Sweet Potato Product Line in ANZ Markets
Sweet potato sales in Australia reportedly rose 30% during the 12-month period ending in September of 2018, and McCain Foods is right on track of the growing popularity of the tuberous root

US Beef Exports Still Red-Hot; Pork Sales Dip Slightly US Beef Exports Still Red-Hot; Pork Sales Dip Slightly
US beef exports remained on a record shattering value pace in October, according to data released by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and compiled by the Denver, Colorado-based US

Aviko Names Ton Christiaanse CEO; Says Bye to Snow Valley Aviko Names Ton Christiaanse CEO; Says Bye to Snow Valley
Anthony “Ton” Christiaanse is getting back into the frozen and chilled potato business after a 12-year hiatus. He is scheduled to assume the position of chief executive officer of Steenderen,

JBS Appoints Gilberto Tomazoni to Succeed Founder JBS Appoints Gilberto Tomazoni to Succeed Founder
São Paulo, Brazil-headquartered JBS S.A. has named Gilberto Tomazoni as its new chief executive officer. The former chief operating officer replaces Jose Batista Sobrinho, who founded the world’s

Chef One Rolls Nationally and Unveils New Online Look Chef One Rolls Nationally and Unveils New Online Look
Brooklyn, New York-based Chef One Foods has engaged redistributor Dot Foods to make its range of frozen egg rolls, Chinese dumplings, potstickers and other dim sum more accessible to foodservice

Del Bosque Shaves Whiskers for Pescanova; Maze Joins Team Del Bosque Shaves Whiskers for Pescanova; Maze Joins Team
The Chapela, Spain-headquartered Nueva Pescanova Group, a leading international seafood company and one of the world’s largest producers of shrimp, has enlisted Vicente del Bosque to star in its

Stavis Gets Green Light to Develop Boston Waterfront Site Stavis Gets Green Light to Develop Boston Waterfront Site
Stavis Seafoods, a vertically integrated importer and manufacturer of value-added frozen and fresh seafood products, has received approval from the Massachusetts Port Authority (Massport) to

Raybern’s Debuts New Line of Grilled Cheese Sandwiches Raybern’s Debuts New Line of Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
San Ramon, California-headquartered Raybern’s has introduced six heat-and-serve grilled cheese sandwiches that are now available in the frozen food aisles of Walmart stores and rolling out to other

BFFF Chief Executive Foresees Solid Growth Again in 2019 BFFF Chief Executive Foresees Solid Growth Again in 2019
This year has been a period of great success for the frozen food industry in the United Kingdom, reports John Hyman, chief executive of the British Frozen Food Federation (BFFF), as value growth