The Great Recession changed how many foodservice executives thought about their companies. Perhaps no one embraced these changes as much as Drew O'Quinn, vice president of Fayetteville, N.C.-based Thompson & Little and FE&S' Top Achiever-Dealer for 2014.
A strong work ethic and entrepreneurial spirit helped Kristin Sedej forge her own path.
Chris Folz survives and thrives in the foodservice industry by making very conscious and deliberate choices about the direction his company should take and identifying the correct path to get there. It's ironic, then, that FE&S' Top Achiever – Manufacturers' Representative for 2014 got into this business almost by accident.
Today's foodservice equipment and supplies industry remains a vibrant and resilient place for those individuals with a vision, a willingness to embrace technology and the ability to recruit new generations of professionals into this dynamic environment. Nowhere is that more evident than in the stories behind FE&S' 2013 Top Achiever Award Recipients.
Jameel Burkett talks fast. That's not a bad thing — it becomes obvious a few seconds into conversation that his brain works just as fast, or faster. And good thing, too, he's a busy guy. At the ripe age of 33, Burkett's already on the fast track to industry stardom. On top of that, he's a loyal family man with a wife, two-year-old daughter and five-year-old son. Not a bad run in such a short time.
"You're the only consultant in the business who went to school for it." Steve Carlson has heard this often. And it's true — after a short stint as a cook in the culinary world, Carlson managed to piece together a well-rounded education at the University of Wisconsin-Madison between engineering, architecture and food science classes, along with drafting jobs with a stainless steel fabricator and an equipment supplier. These experiences ultimately landed him his dream job at Robert Rippe & Associates, Inc. Carlson bought out the company in 2006, and has grown into a leader — and frequent speaker — in his field. What follows is the incredible story of FE&S' Top Achiever – Consultant award winner.
Manufacturers need him. Consultants respect him. New York certainly loves him. The feeling is mutual.
A true gentleman. Those are the words close colleagues and peers use to describe Brock Coleman, president of Commercial Kitchen Parts & Service in San Antonio and this year's Top Achiever – Service Agent award recipient.