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Paramount's McGarry Announces Retirement

Foodservice industry veteran McGarry to step away from Paramount and FEDA roles.

Stephen McGarry, president of Paramount Restaurant Supply Corp., a Warren, R.I.-based foodservice equipment and supplies dealership, has announced his retirement effective in June. McGarry is also president of the Foodservice Equipment Distributors Association and has resigned his post with the organization effective after May 31.

Stephen McGarry
Stephen McGarry

Paramount, which is owned by the Friedman family, is looking for McGarry's replacement. McGarry said he plans to remain with Paramount for a couple of more months as the search continues. "We are up over last year so now is definitely the right time to walk away," McGarry said.

At the request of the FEDA executive committee, Jim Hanson of Best Restaurant Equipment & Design, a Columbus, Ohio-based dealership, will become president of the association when McGarry steps away. Hanson will serve in that capacity until the FEDA elections in March 2012. At that point, all of the FEDA officers are expected to move up one position with Brad Wasserstrom of the Wasserstrom Co. becoming president of the association. Hanson served as president of FEDA from 2007 to 2009 and had rolled off the association's executive committee during the FEDA Convention this past March.

When discussing his reasons for stepping aside, McGarry said his passion for the industry was not at the level it needed to be to lead a dealership the size of Paramount. He feels, though, the organization is in capable hands, pointing to the recent promotion of Carla Johnson to vice president of sales as one of its strengths. "Paramount will be fine. We have a strong organization and structure in place," he said. "It is truly an unbelievable industry – one that's full of hard working people. I will definitely miss it."

In 2010, Paramount reported annual revenues of $37.5 million, an increase of $1.5 million compared to 2009. As a result, Paramount ranked 30th in FE&S 2011 Distribution Giants Study, which ranks the top 100 foodservice equipment and supplies dealers by sales volume.