DSR of the Month

The only monthly feature that profiles the careers of the industry’s most accomplished foodservice equipment and supplies dealer sales reps by presenting their achievements, views on customer service and secrets to their success.

Q&A with Tom Nash, Amundsen Commercial Kitchens

Tom Nash describes himself as a country boy who grew up farming and ranching, which, surprisingly, gave him a leg up when he was looking to start his career after college.

Q&A with Jacob Thomases, Myers Restaurant Supply

Like many in the foodservice industry, Jacob Thomases first got his feet wet working for a restaurant chain as a teenager. After graduating from San Francisco’s now shuttered California Culinary Academy in 2002, Thomases went right into restaurant management.

Kurt Maschari, BEST Restaurant Equipment & Design Inc.

It’s not often a college student joins a foodservice equipment dealership right after graduating, but Kurt Maschari’s education and experience made him a sought-after candidate from the beginning.

Debbie Burke, The Wasserstrom Company

After starting her foodservice career as a server and working her way up to overseeing new restaurant openings, Debbie Burke switched gears and tried something new. “I went into training and recruiting, writing management training manuals for several years,” she says.

Vincent Chhim, Rose's Equipment and Supply, Inc.

When he graduated from Portland State University in 1996 with a degree in administration in justice, Vincent Chhim’s plan was to go to law school. Instead, he sold insurance and worked at a Walgreens before partnering with his brother in a Portland, Ore., restaurant offering Southeast Asian cuisine. Even though Chhim had no formal chef training, his mother’s tutelage in the kitchen ended up serving him well. So well, in fact, that the brothers eventually opened up a second restaurant location in Beaverton. Chhim also taught cooking classes for small groups.

Sean Farrugia, Great Lakes Hotel Supply Co.

Going back to the age of 12, Sean Farrugia has memories of making the rounds with his dad, who ran a foodservice equipment repair business. “I’d go on service calls with him, so you could say I was dragged into the business,” says Farrugia.

Dan McDevitt, Restaurant Equipment World

Dan McDevitt entered the foodservice equipment industry six years ago while on a job hunt after moving to Orlando, Fla., to be closer to family. The small business atmosphere at Restaurant Equipment World (REW) quickly proved a fit for him. “The people are wonderful, it’s refreshing to be able to speak with the owners and see things come to fruition,” McDevitt says.

Jeff Mair, Berlin’s Restaurant Supply

Jeff Mair had great aspirations to be a chef way back in high school and entered the foodservice industry like many others do, at the bottom rung of the ladder as a busboy in his hometown in Texas.

Lynell Johnson, Culinex

Lynell Johnson entered the foodservice industry like many others. She spent close to two decades moving up the ranks, starting as a hostess, then working as a server, before becoming manager of a well-known casual dining chain’s location in Grand Forks, N.D.

Larry Fruchtman, Manning Brothers

Larry Fruchtman worked on the operator side of the foodservice industry for almost three decades, starting in quick-service restaurants as a busser and moving through the ranks up to general manager of a fine-dining restaurant in Atlanta. He then spent more than 11 years as manager of a private country club.