DSR of the Month

Profiling the industry’s most accomplished foodservice equipment and supplies dealer sales reps. Only one will go on to be named DSR of the Year.

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Ariel Potash has been around commercial kitchens his entire life, with family members who work as chefs and caterers, including his wife.

Before becoming an account manager at Avanti Restaurant Solutions in Sacramento, Calif., five years ago, Jenn Pollack's only experience in the foodservice industry was as a dishwasher while in college. That position lasted just one month.

The pharmaceutical and foodservice equipment industries could not be more different, yet it was training in drug sales that helped Christine Poldiak land her current job as outside sales rep for TriMark United East.

When Robert Machacek entered the foodservice industry as a teen working as a dishwasher, it was unlikely that he could see himself designing the type of kitchens he worked in at the time.

After working as a preventative maintenance technician for Strategic Equipment & Supply Corp.'s ISI Commercial Refrigeration division while attending University of North Texas, Danny Monnat took a year off to become a certified paralegal. "I was considering going to law school, but decided that wasn't the route I wanted to take," Monnat says. "Instead, I focused on finishing my undergraduate degree in business."

Making a career in foodservice equipment and supplies sales wasn't an intentional decision for Lauren Lanza, who earned a B.A. in psychology and began pursuing a graduate degree in the field. During high school, she worked at Harris Restaurant Supply, her family's dealership, moving from a position in customer service to one in sales.

Ollie Wilkes is one of the few salespeople in the industry that has called on most of Mississippi at one time or another.

Travis Lusky is a foodservice industry lifer. He started washing dishes in restaurants at only 14 years of age, then tackled just about every kitchen job while a student in high school and college.

When asked to help deliver foodservice items as a high school student in the late '60s, Herb Paige had no idea this part-time job would be the start of a successful career in the industry much less help form his work ethic. "The man who trained me was old school," Paige says. "If I didn't wrap the glassware the way he wanted, he would make me wrap it again."

Bill Immke never pictured himself in sales. The plan was to make a career out of the military. His path took a very different turn.

As a former restaurant manager, then a key accounts manager for a national soft drink company and now a successful DSR, David Maxwell has had a very well-rounded foodservice career.

Marcia Gibbons’ goal has always been to work in the foodservice industry. While completing a marketing degree from The Ohio State University, she was able to get her feet wet as an inventory control supervisor at a Columbus hospital.

While waiting tables in college, April Snow discovered she had an affinity for the hospitality industry. "I was just drawn to that environment," she says.

Falling into the perfect career by chance is possible. Brittney Lane, project manager at Oklahoma City-based Oswalt Restaurant Supply is proof.

As a third generation dealer sales rep, Robert E. Alban has foodservice equipment in his blood.

The foodservice industry was different when Dan Skipper worked as a draftsman for a restaurant equipment company back in 1968. In the days before CAD and computers, hand-drawn plans and snail mail presented a number of challenges.