An interview with Cassidy Martin, Manufacturer Program Coordinator, General Parts, LLC

For a complete list of FE&S' Future Foodservice Leaders see The Future Is Now.

Cassidy MartinName: Cassidy Martin
Company: General Parts, LLC
Title: Manufacturer Program Coordinator
Age: 31
Industry Involvement: CFSP Level II, CFESA Marketing Committee, Colorado Restaurant Association, and Manufacturer Service Council Member
Years in Foodservice: 12
Educational Background: BS – Business Management

What’s the most important lesson you have learned?
Communication is key, but often is easily overlooked.  In a media rich world one would think we would embrace communication for all the benefits it produces; eliminates barriers, resolves problems, and increases productivity.  A wise man once told me, “Tell someone what you are going to do, do it, and then go back and tell him or her what you did.”  It’s that simple.        

What’s the best career advice you have been given?
Don’t be afraid to ask for help.  

What makes you want to stay in the industry?
Throughout my career with General Parts, I have met so many wonderful people in the foodservice industry.  The relationships and interaction with industry partners fuel my passion for the industry and help motivate me each and every day. I have been blessed with so much success early in my career.  That positive feedback, along with the personal relationships that have been forged, makes this industry something I want to be a part of for the rest of my career.     

What has been your proudest accomplishment?
I feel most proud of being able to manage my full time business obligations with General Parts, while at the same time being a full time student and obtaining a Business Management Degree with Honors. It has truly been a rewarding, yet physically and mentally challenging four years. I’m certain Starbucks appreciates my support in helping improve their stock price!

Describe the biggest challenge you have overcome. 
In hindsight, it is always easier to see how I might have done things differently.  Throughout my journey there have been many ups and downs, but failure or less than acceptable outcomes have strange affects. Its odd how human’s disregard or ignore the potential lesson being taught within a particular situation. Perhaps you could even call it denial of the obvious. Trials and tribulations possess lessons to be learned, which often prove to be the most valuable moments in life. So as for the question, maintaining a positive outlook in every situation is absolutely imperative to success in today’s business environment.  

What excites you most about the foodservice industry?
Being a digital native, I’m excited to see our industry embrace technology.  Web 2.0 offers businesses the opportunity to ultimately provide a more connected, informative, and timely responses to our customers.  Social media, in particular, offers a platform for collaboration and business development never seen before.  Up until this point, there has been so much untapped talent, intelligence, and innovative thinking.  Its fun just imagining how far our society will advance in the next 10 years compared to the last fifty.     

If you could improve one thing about the industry, what would it be?
Our industry owes so much to the individuals who have “paved the way” for all of us. The challenge we face now is continuing to improve upon their legacy and modernize the entire industry. At each industry event I attend, I can’t help but notice that we are not a “young group” overall. If our industry is to become more progressive and modernized, we need the best and brightest of our youth to embrace careers within it.  Recruiting, retaining, and compensating these rising stars is the challenge of our time.