Categotry Archives: Business

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Jeff Smith

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Categories: Business, Media, Religious Leaders, Writers/Editors

jsmith2.jpgJeff Smith, the United Methodist minister who shot to stardom in the 1980s as the “The Frugal Gourmet,” died on July 7 of natural causes. He was 65.
The Tacoma, Wash., native earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Puget Sound and a master’s degree from Drew University. Ordained as a minister in 1965, Smith spent the next six years as a chaplain at the University of Puget Sound, where he taught a course called “Food as Sacrament and Celebration.”
From 1972 to 1983, Smith owned and operated the Chaplain’s Pantry Restaurant and Gourmet Shop, an establishment that also served as a catering service and cooking school. His teaching skills, kind demeanor and culinary acumen were so renowned that the local PBS affiliate, KTPS-TV, offered him his first show, “Cooking Fish Creatively.” It was later renamed “The Frugal Gourmet.”
Smith moved the show’s production to Chicago in the early 1980s, then made a promotional appearance on “The Phil Donahue Show” that garnered more than 45,000 orders for his cookbook. Soon “The Frugal Gourmet” was the most-watched cooking show in the United States, drawing up to 15 million viewers on 300 stations. His 12 cookbooks sold millions of copies and became best-sellers in that genre. He ended every show with his trademark sign-off: “I bid you peace.”
In 1997, Smith’s television career ended in scandal when seven men filed a lawsuit claiming he had sexually abused them when they were teenagers. Although Smith denied the allegations and was never charged with a crime, his cooking show was pulled off the air. Smith and his insurance company eventually settled the suit for $5 million.

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Bill Parks

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Categories: Business

William Parks, a renowned barbecuer in El Paso, Texas, died on June 23. Cause of death was not released. He was 78.
The North Carolina native’s grandmother taught him how to cook. He served in the U.S. Army, and retired in 1963 as a master sergeant. After moving to El Paso and working for Southwest Airlines, Parks decided to enter the barbecue business.
Bill Parks Bar-B-Q was known for its friendly atmosphere and tasty home-cooked menu. For more than three decades, Parks earned rave reviews from customers and critics alike for his mesquite-pecan-and-oak-smoked pork and beef, southern vegetables, apple cobbler, banana pudding and sweet potato pie. The landmark eatery was named one of the 50 best barbecue joints in the state by Texas Monthly Magazine. It closed a few years ago when Parks retired.

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Ralph Kent

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Categories: Business

Ralph E. Kent, the former chairman of Arthur Young & Co., died on June 26. Cause of death was not released. He was 88.
Kent graduated from Ohio State University in 1937. That same year, he landed a job with the accounting firm of Arthur Young & Co. in New York. Kent worked his way up the corporate ladder until 1965, when he was promoted to senior partner and chairman of the Ernst & Young predecessor firm. He remained in this position until his retirement in 1977.
Outside of the office, Kent was a dedicated member of his profession. He served on the consultant panel of the Comptroller General of the United States for 16 years. A life member of the American Institute of CPAs, Kent was also the organization’s president from 1968 to 1969. A scholarship for students studying accounting has been established in his honor.

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Jack Favier

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Categories: Business, Writers/Editors

Jack Favier, a TV chef and author, died on June 25 of cancer. He was 78.
Born in Leiden, Holland, Favier studied the culinary arts at the Hotel College in Lucerne, Switzerland. After immigrating to America in 1953, he opened the Silver Wings Restaurant in Nashville, Tenn. The popular eatery, which was known for its lunchtime buffet of Southern foods, was named Restaurant of the Year in 1978 by the Tennessee Restaurant Association.
Favier spent 18 years as the owner/operator/executive chef of Silver Wings and nine years as the executive chef at the Baptist Hospital complex. He also participated in the weekly cooking segment on WSM-TV Channel 4’s “Noon” show, hosted by Teddy Bart, and authored two cooking books.

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Benjamin Krass

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Categories: Business

bkrass.jpgIn the middle of the night, Philadelphia channel surfers would often see Benjamin Krass hawking polyester suits.
The corny commercials for Krass Bros., his family’s menswear business, featured Krass in diapers, dressed as a thief or surrounded by beautiful women. In one popular ad, he popped out of a coffin (that he kept in his store) and declared, “If you gotta go, go in a Krass Bros. suit.”
On June 7, he followed his own advice. Krass died of heart failure at the age of 85. He was buried in a blue polyester suit, a white shirt and a white tie.
Krass was drafted into the Army during World War II and stationed in Calcutta, India. When he returned to the states, he moved to Philadelphia and joined forces with his brothers, Jack and Harry, to launch a retail empire.
For five decades, Krass sold menswear to Philadelphia residents. He eventually became the company’s frontman, earning the nickname: “The King of Polyester.” The store also outfitted visiting celebrities, such as Muhammad Ali, Frankie Avalon, Chubby Checker, Sammy Davis Jr. and Redd Foxx. Krass ran several retail outlets until the late 1990s when sales dropped off. The store declared bankruptcy in 1999 and closed its doors three years later.

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