If there's one word to describe Ben Shanley it's "optimistic." He has spent 29 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.
What is your position/title, in your words?
Vice President Distributor Development. I'm responsible for our partnership with foodservice distributors in bringing value to customers and consumers through our beverage category leadership.
Share a story about your first job in foodservice.
My first job in foodservice was working at an Arby's restaurant in Roseville, MN. What I remember most are the people - those that took the time to train me, those that I served and my coworkers. It reinforced what I know and live today: This is a people business. I enjoyed the interaction with people who came to the restaurant to have a meal with friends and family or just to relax, but it was also the foundation for me personally to learn about running restaurants.
What's your favorite meal?
What is your favorite vacation spot?
What is your industry passion?
I believe in giving back to the industry that I have benefited greatly from in my career. Whether that is by being active in industry boards such as IFMA's, Atlanta Convention and Visitors Bureau (ACVB), NYC & Company, Inc., or by being a recruiter/mentor to future leaders of this terrific industry.
What is your advice to a person new to the industry?
Explore as many opportunities to learn as you can and then leverage that diversity to create a successful career.
What do your customers appreciate most about your company?
Not only is there a clear mission of refreshing the world and inspiring moments of optimism, but is a focus on creating value for all of those who come in contact with our brands. Finally, we take seriously our commitment to Live Positively in our communities, marketplace, workplace and environment.
IFMA featured members are selected based on their accomplishments in the food industry. Recognized as leaders, they are the people moving the industry forward with big ideas and even bigger goals. Know someone who fits the bill? Tell us.