Life is often littered with surprising turns of events. When Beth Thompson was cleaning tables and doing dishes in the cafeteria at Keota-Harper Catholic School in Keota, Iowa, the seventh grader couldn’t fathom the idea of making a career in school foodservice. And yet, that is exactly where she finds herself now.
Like so many others in the service sector of the foodservice industry, Dan Dibeler was born into the business. Until about 10 years ago, though, he never planned on joining the company — certainly not becoming president. That’s probably why he’s been so successful at the helm of K&D Factory Service and its wholly owned subsidiary, Pine Tree Food Equipment.
Among the many different pathways through the equipment and supplies community to a successful career, few involve a start at a switchboard — but that’s exactly where Lynne Schultz began. Now president of Ossining, N.Y.-based Tri-State Marketing, her first industry job was on the switchboard of Traulsen, a refrigeration manufacturer.
Entrepreneurial. Thoughtful. Humble. Each of FE&S’ 2019 Top Achievers possess these qualities and more. They all followed a different path to their current positions but it’s these attributes, paired with an unwavering customer focus, that keep this group of five foodservice professionals at the top of their respective games. Indeed, it’s not only what they do but how they do it that positively impacts their customers, supply chain partners, companies and the overall foodservice industry.
Charlie Fusari is a Salesman, Born and Bred
“I get up at 4:30 and go to work every day because of the excitement of the unknown,” says Joe Schmitt, president of Rapids Wholesale and Affiliates, based in Marion, Iowa. “Every day there is something new and challenging for our customers, our employees, ourselves.”