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In Memory: James H. Little

It is with great sadness that Cini-Little International, Inc. announces that James H. Little, one of the founders of the firm, passed away on June 13, 2015. Jim had been diagnosed with leukemia several months ago and fought a brief but valiant battle with the disease. He is survived by his wife, four daughters and their families.

In 1985, Jim Little and John Cini formed what is now known as Cini-Little International, Inc. Partner and longtime friend John Cini shares, “Jim was a visionary consultant to the industry, a generous mentor to our colleagues, and an outstanding partner, gentleman and friend. I will sorely miss him.” Together, they built a firm which, today, enjoys a tremendous reputation throughout the world. Jim was an outstanding entrepreneur who regularly demonstrated an uncanny instinct for seeing an opportunity and having the courage to pursue it, thereby helping to make the company what it is today. Although a principal of the firm, Jim was not shy about rolling up his sleeves and jumping into a project in order to provide the best possible solutions to his clients. Jim was responsible for a number of important global projects over his 50 year career and was especially known for his work on large, complex theme parks, mixed-use, sports and convention projects such as: Universal Studios Theme Parks, Kuala Lumpur City Centre, sports facilities for several Olympics, and many of the major league stadiums in North America, Europe, the Middle and Far East. Hotels, healthcare and education facilities also benefited from Jim’s design approach.

“Jim Little was a giant in the industry, a family man, and a friend for almost 50 years. I can’t express how much I will miss all his wonderful attributes. He was a true consultant with knowledge far beyond most and I turned to him often for confirmation that my solutions to complex problems were appropriate. Often he would tweak them and the result was much better. As a family man, he was generous to the extreme and invited our daughters to spend a week with their family in their summer cottage north of Toronto. He served every facet of life to perfection. He will never be replaced nor forgotten,” says Bill Eaton, Chairman of the Board.

Jim was an active member of FCSI (Foodservice Consultants Society International). At FCSI, he was President for the merger of FFCS and ISFSC and served on many committees during his 40 plus years of membership. He shared his passion and vast knowledge at numerous industry related conferences throughout the years, has lectured at several institutes of higher learning and was an active member of two Advisory Boards: Northern Arizona University, School of Hotel and Restaurant Management; and the Collins College of Hospitality Management at Cal Poly Pomona.

“Everything that has and will be said about Jim Little can only begin to touch the value he has provided to his clients, associates and the food service industry,” shares Ron Kooser. “It has been an honor and pleasure to have been associated with Jim for so many years, both as members of FCSI, and Cini-Little. Jim always added a new and challenging perspective, whether it was for a committee, board, or client project. He will be missed by so many, and in so many ways.”

With typical foresight, Jim Little and the entire Cini-Little Board of Directors, arranged for the company’s succession by appointing Diane Dowling as CEO in 2012, and Richard Eisenbarth as President and COO in 2015. Together, they continue to be responsible for the company’s operations, thereby ensuring Cini-Little’s continued service to excellence in the industry.

Jim Little will be remembered for the breadth of his contributions to the foodservice consultancy industry, including his dedication to his clients, his reputation, his integrity and his ethics. Jim will probably be best remembered, however, for being the most professional, friendly, caring, loyal and generous person anyone could ever meet. He touched our lives, brightened our days and made all of us just a little better.

Jim will be dearly missed and fondly remembered by his colleagues at Cini-Little.

Visitation will take place on Wednesday, June 24th from 5-8 pm, and a Memorial Service to celebrate Jim’s life will be held on Thursday, June 25th at 4 pm, at Mount Pleasant Cemetery Visitation Centre, 375 Mount Pleasant Road, Toronto (east gate entrance). Reception to follow. A memorial service will also take place on Thursday, July 23rd from 5-7 pm, at the Athenaeum, California Institute of Technology, 551 South Hill Avenue, Pasadena, California.

In lieu of flowers, those wishing to make a donation in Jim’s memory may donate to: the FCSI Educational Foundation (www.fcsief.org/support-the-educational-foundation), Imagine A Cure for Leukemia (www.imagineacureforleukemia.com/contact) or a charity of your choice.

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