Caroline Perkins has more than 25 years of experience in the food industry including 14 years with foodservice publications. She is president of The Foodservice Content Company, which specializes in marketing communication and research, author of Customer Care & Feeding: The Ultimate B2B Selling Strategy and lends her industry expertise to the IFMA Distributor Awards selection jury.
Each year, the judges for the IFMA Distributor Awards select an individual who has brought about positive change in the distribution community and has been a pioneer in management, marketing and operations. The 2013 winner of the award is Tom Zatina, President of McLane Foodservice.
McLane Foodservice, based in Temple,Texas, is a business segment of McLane Company, focusing on distribution to chain restaurants. The parent company also distributes to the grocery and alcoholic beverage channels and provides third-party supply-chain management to companies that choose to self-distribute.
Zatina, a 30+-year veteran of distribution, has been with McLane since 2006. He has built a solid reputation for enlightened leadership based on inclusiveness and diversity. He explains that the philosophy he communicates to his teams is based on four pillars:
- Great leadership;
- Continuous improvement;
- Willingness to embrace change to make oneself better; and
- Superior execution.
Embracing change is an important element of Zatina's modus operandi. "Understanding how the economy is going to change is a big part of what we do," he says. Adapting to change allows McLane to continue to grow and be financially successful.
He is a firm believer in and a practitioner of developing people from a broad pool, i.e. diverse pool, rather than a narrow one. He believes that the distribution workforce should mirror the diversity in the customer base. This promotes greater communication, a better understanding of issues and an opportunity for trust-based relationship building.
Zatina has taken leadership roles in the industry, as well. He is chairman of the board of directors of the International Foodservice Distributors Association and active in Association events. He has been a long-time participant in government relations as they apply to the foodservice industry.
Watch Zatina's award winner video!
Learn more about the 2013 IFMA Distributor Award winners presented at Presidents Conference: