Want to know how leaders in the foodservice industry learned everything they know today? We did. Check out these Q&A interviews with IFMA members and affiliates who are asking the "What IFs" to solve for today and tomorrow's foodservice challenges.
University of Illinois
Associate Director of Housing for Dining
Dawn advises those new to the industry to understand it is more than a job, it is a calling that has a significant impact on others. She says personalized service and excellent food made with ethically sourced and sustainably made ingredients are what students like most about U of I Dining. Get to know her.
Tyson Foods, Inc
Vice President Foodservice Field Sales, Customer Marketing, Culinary & Training
Kristin leads the field selling organization, customer and segment marketing, culinary and training at Tyson Foods. What's more, she is active throughout the industry, including her role in supporting the development of foodservice category management. Get to know her.
Director, Foodservice Sales
In Erin Buntin's current role at Schreiber Foods, she is charged with being "customer obsessed", which means she leads the company's field sales team to build strategies and business plans that focus on exceeding customers expectations and of course, selling more cases profitably. When her friends ask her what she does, she simply replies "I am changing the world one slice of cheese at a time." Get to know her.
Senior Vice President, Marketing and R&D
Maintaining a strong work ethic and keeping an eye on the details are two key traits needed for success in foodservice, according to Joe Bybel of Ventura Foods. In addition, Joe believes providing simpler and more natural products will continue to be a top priority needed to meet complex consumer demands. Get to know him.
Vice President Sales & Marketing
Managing the growth and development of the sales, marketing and R&D teams at Surlean Foods is quite the task, but somehow Michael finds time to help shape many of IFMA's programs. His motto, "Don't let 'perfect' get in the way of 'better'" helps him stay on task and continuously seek improvement. Get to know him.
A. Corscadden, Jr.
U.S. Specialty Channels, Kellogg Company
VP Marketing & Innovation
Bob notes that one of the greatest innovations in foodservice over the past decade is reality food shows, which have turned cooking into drama and competition. People are now learning about foods and ingredients they never knew existed and are challenging operators to provide dishes that mirror what they see on TV. Get to know him.
Sargento Foods Inc.
President - Food Service & Ingredients Division
Kevin worked his way through college as a bartender in a variety of establishments including restaurants, taverns, night clubs and Summerfest, the world's largest music festival in his home town of Milwaukee. Now Kevin is President of the Food Service Division at Sargento Foods, Inc. He notes that America has the most well developed foodservice marketplace in the world. Get to know him.
Rich Products Corporation
Executive Vice President and COO
"Why not?" is a simple question that has opened up a world of opportunity for Richard Ferranti. From establishing businesses in emerging markets like China, Brazil and India to leading the North American business for Rich Products, he's a foodservice guru with all the right stuff. Get to know him.
Wholesome Harvest Baking
Elisa Giusti has a passion that echoes throughout her work. No challenge is too large. Simply tell her something can't be done, and she'll make it her mission to overcome. Pay attention to what she has to say, we'll be seeing much more from the likes of her. Get to know her.
Vice President, Small Format
Helping retailers alleviate their key pain points is a primary area of focus for Josh. And in the foodservice industry it turns out these issues unilaterally involve traffic, check size, innovation, server training and commodity cost. Learn more about how Josh helps address these challenges and more at Anheuser-Busch. Get to know him.
U.S. Navy Regional Southwest
Dining Services Program Manager
Steve Hammel directs U.S. Navy operations of 40 retail foodservice facilities serving 30,000 meals daily with annual sales of $45 million. More than 900,000 meals are served to active duty military in 11 Navy Five Star galley operations—five having been awarded the Ney Memorial Award for foodservice excellence. Get to know him.
Global P&G Professional
Eric Hetrick has lived in eight locations in four different countries during his 28 years of working with P&G. Now Eric is responsible for leading P&G Professional's business around the globe. A favorite part of his job is bringing innovation to the foodservice industry and helping customers create an outstanding experience for their patrons. Get to know him.
Sweet Street Desserts
As vice president of sales & marketing at Sweet Street Desserts and an active IFMA board member, Rick relies on foodservice industry events and social media to build lasting relationships with foodservice leaders, fellow board members and his customers. Get to know him.
Mellow Mushroom Pizza Bakers
Vice President, Brand Development
Annica’s first experience working in a restaurant kitchen was at a local pizza shop in college. Today, she is the Vice President of Brand Development at Mellow Mushroom Pizza Bakers, responsible for marketing and creating a brand voice for the consumer.
Dawn Food Products, Inc.
Vice President Foodservice
William McClellan learned early on how hard foodservice professionals work during college, when a snowstorm rendered he himself as the only employee able to show up for work at an in-store cafe. That work ethic transcended throughout his career, as has his passion for the foodservice industry, which William brings to Dawn Foodservice every day. Get to know him.
United States Olympic Committee
Associate Director - Food & Nutrition Services
Terri facilitates the dining operations of the Colorado Springs Olympic Training Center while supporting other Olympic Training Centers and venues. She helps maximize partner and sponsor products. Terri also seeks new opportunities for the food industry to engage in the United States Olympic experience. Get to know her.
A seasoned food industry executive with more than 30 years experience working for Anchor Foods, The Schwan Food Company, Orval Kent, Rich Products and IFMA, Larry is a high-energy slayer of comfort zones-approaching every challenge with an open mind and a smile. Get to know him.
Farmer Brothers Coffee
Director, Business Development
When asked how she keeps up with industry news and events, Kathleen noted, "dining out" in her response. It's precisely that simple, insightful, tuned-in mindset that makes Kathleen stand out in foodservice. Get to know her.
Coca-Cola North America
Senior Vice President, National Foodservice Operations
If there's one word to describe Ben Shanley it's "optimistic." He has spent 34 years with Coca-Cola reinforcing the brand's mission to refresh the world and inspire moments of optimism. Ben also views the future of foodservice with an optimistic lens, recognizing the industry's importance for U.S. employment and career growth. Get to know him.
Group Vice President Sales
Teri leads a sales team & broker network to execute on the Cargill foodservice strategy and meeting. She is responsible for meeting the overall goals of the business. Her first job in foodservice was in a small town in Minnesota. Her advice to those new to foodservice is “stay focused.” Get to know her.
Basic American Foods
Mike Villano is no stranger to hard work. After getting his start in foodservice managing seafood restaurants in Manhattan, he learned quickly what types of challenges operators face on a daily basis. This foundational knowledge and his "no shortcuts" approach helps him ensure Basic American Foods' customers thrive in the restaurant business. Get to know him.
President & Chief Operating Officer
Kent has a keen understanding of teamwork and loyalty after spending nearly 30 years working his way up through Lyons Magnus. He takes great pride in being part of a dedicated core management team and cultivating talent throughout the organization. Get to know him.