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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After managing a pizza franchise for a number of years, Eric Harrison, Supplies on the Fly, knew he wanted to be in sales. He joined his first foodservice equipment dealership in 2003 and was determined to educate himself about every aspect of the industry along the way.

 For some, the foodservice industry is more than a job — it's a lifestyle. This is true for Michael Wahl, who has worked in the restaurant industry since washing dishes in a military mess hall at age 13. Years later, he went on to serve as a district manager for a multi-unit quick-service chain.

Jack Burks, Session Fixture Co., seemed destined for the foodservice industry. After almost four decades serving in numerous capacities, he now considers it a fixture in his life.

Mike A. Miulli has always been in the restaurant business. His schooling in foodservice equipment and sales began when he worked in a Chicago wholesale pizza factory business.

With more than three decades of industry experience under his belt, Jim McMahon wears many hats handling contract sales and design at ADE Restaurant Services. His diverse background may have something to do with this: McMahon began his career at Illinois Range remodeling McDonald’s restaurants before joining Kochman Consultants to produce the KCL Cad Library for the foodservice industry.

For some, industry expertise can be parlayed into diverse careers. Rosana Greco has been involved in hospitality since moving to Miami from Venezuela in 2002. Greco first worked in a small firm, selling fabric and drapery to hotels, where she was initiated into the world of interior design. Five years later, she joined a company that supplied furniture for hotel rooms.

After serving in operations at California Pizza Kitchen, Pei Wei Asian Diner and Cheesecake Factory, Nikki Roughley wanted a change of pace. “I started a family and wanted to get out of operations, so I moved over to the facilities side at Pei Wei Asian Diner,” she says.

Gary Estes entered the foodservice industry in an untraditional way, on the chemical side. His first job out of college was with a large chemical company, where he rose through the ranks to become a sales manager.

Although Luke Gradishar has only worked 2 years as a full-time member of his family’s 67-year-old dealership business, Grady’s Foodservice Equipment and Supplies, he has been involved in the company for as long as he can remember.

It's always advantageous when skills from one job are transferrable to another. Such was the case with Steve Ruck who, upon the advice of his stepfather, a dealer/sales rep, moved from general contract work to join an independent manufacturer's rep firm.

With a goal to move back to his wife’s hometown to raise his two young children, Paul Roeske interviewed and received job offers from two companies in Traverse City, Mich. — one was Stafford-Smith.

Carl Casino likes to think he learned the foodservice business from the inside out. In his 20s, Casino went into the restaurant liquidations business with his father, purchasing used equipment from defunct operations, rebuilding it, then reselling it to operators.

Andy Dalton knew he wanted a career in sales, but wasn’t clear on what he wanted to sell. After stints selling mobile homes and cell phones, a friend convinced him to give restaurant equipment sales a shot.

After working for 14 years for a Northern California equipment dealer, Christine Stubbles joined Myers Restaurant Supply. She worked her way up from customer service and field sales support to become a foodservice equipment specialist.

Eleven years ago when Luke Green began his career working part-time in Rapids Wholesale Equipment’s warehouse while attending college, he didn’t realize the potential before him.

In the foodservice industry, professionals can fulfill their career goals and aspirations in a variety of ways. Growing up in the family business, Michael Hanson worked his way up through Bintz Restaurant Supply into his current sales specialist position.