Gary Potvin knows the importance of "life or death" timelines.
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.
Psychiatric social worker. Wine and cheese class teacher. Cooking school and catering company owner. Vice president of foodservice and product development for a high-end supermarket chain and marketing director for a natural foods company. Food and beverage director for Starbucks. Restaurant chain menu development director. And now, MAS consultant and principal of her own firm, Culinary Options, Inc.
Before foodservice equipment took center stage in Mark LeBerte's professional life, there was music. Rhythm and blues mixed with soul and jazz, to be specific. Servicing restaurant equipment for Pizza Hut was a side gig "to support a music habit" for LeBerte, now president and CEO of ATECH in Nashville.
When talking with Joe McDonald, the conversation always circles back to others. The team at E3: co-partners Joe Burbine and Ken Lawler, along with Tom Lawler, Jeannie Yacino, Michelle Clary, Jane Roach, and Chef Phil Moricone. Jessica, his wife of seven years and their children, four-year-old Emily and seven-week old twins Tatum and Tucker. An extraordinarily humble and gracious person, it's no wonder that so many in the industry respect Joe McDonald.