Describe your position/role (in your words)?
I lead both the Marketing and Research and Development functions across Ventura Foods - with our largest proportion of sales in the Foodservice channel.
If your career was a greatest hits album, what would its title be?
"Making Money the Old Fashioned Way - Earning It". I've been in the Food business for a long time, and there are very few stories of people making a killing without paying their dues. This is a business where generally the hardest working folks - watching every one of a thousand little details - are the ones who succeed.
In 2020, what do you think the foodservice industry will be like?
Even better than it is today! Consumers’ tastes are getting more sophisticated and their expectations are getting higher all the time. There will be even more diversity, and higher quality food available everywhere at all price points. Everyone has got to be able to respond to these demands, or they just won’t survive.
In your opinion, what is the best industry event?
It's got to be IFMA’s President's Conference. The attendees really are a "Who's Who" of the industry, across manufacturers, distributors and operators. The networking and social aspects have always been great, and now we’ve really taken the content to a new level.
What industry challenge keeps you up at night?
Staying on top of where consumers are going. Right now they're challenging us all to provide simpler and more natural products; the closer to the farm the better. And for manufacturers, we have made great strides in creating products that include only ingredients consumers would find in their own kitchens. This continues to be a top priority we're totally committed to.
What is your favorite meal?
I'm a New Yorker, so it's hard to beat a great NY-style thin crust pizza - paired with a good cold beer.
Finally, give us a shameless plug. Don't hold back!
My plug is for IFMA. If you are not getting involved - or worse not a member - you should be. Chances are your competition is already getting the edge.