Jim Clough, President, AdvancePierre Foods

Tagged in Leadership Manufacturer Members

Jim believes that when he and his colleagues do their job right, their customers will embrace AdvancePierre Foods as a company they want to do business with. He also believes that profitable foodservice distributors are good for the industry.  He advises those who are new to foodservice to have a passion for the industry. Get to know him.

Describe your position/role (in your words)?

I’m responsible for developing the overall business strategy for our foodservice business, so my main focus includes leading finance, sales and marketing functions. Our company focuses on attracting, retaining and developing the best team of people on our journey of building a great culture. Our culture and our people should be a competitive advantage.

If your career was a greatest hits album, what would its title be?

“Culture Eats Strategy for Lunch”

Share a story about your first job in foodservice.

I started in sales for a company called Durkee Foodservice. We sold frying oil such as Mel-Fry, Durkee spices and frozen doughs. This was during the 1980s when the industry was experiencing explosive food away from home growth. I did well and was promoted into marketing two years after getting out of college. Decades later IFMA reminded me that all you had to do to grow your foodservice business in the 1980s was wake up and show up! And to think…all these years between now and then, I thought I was a good sales person!!! 

What is your motto?

Execution. Execution. Execution.  

What is your advice to a person new to the industry?

Have genuine passion for our industry, have a sense of curiosity, be a lifelong learner, become an expert in execution and you’ll be unstoppable. 

What industry challenge keeps you up at night?

Attracting exceptional people to our industry, new product launch efficiency, distributor profitability and commercializing new products that are truly innovative. Profitable distributors are good for our industry. 

If you had to describe IFMA in just three words, what would they be?

Strategy. People. Food.

How does being an IFMA Member benefit you?

IFMA aggregates the brightest minds to help solve industry issues. They offer multiple programs to engage people in strategic thought to improve the industry.

What do you value most about being on an IFMA committee?

The ability to collaborate with distributors, operators and other manufacturers to add value to our industry.

If you could have dinner with three people (dead or alive), who would they be and why?

  1. Leonardo DaVinci—would like to have spent a few months in that era…just a few months.
  2. Winston Churchill—learn about his “never give up” attitude.
  3. Colin Powell—admire his life story and principle leadership.

What is your favorite sports team?

Cleveland Browns…I’m a glutton for pain.

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