Kathleen Schartner, Director, Business Development, Farmer Brothers

Tagged in Board of Directors IFMA Manufacturer Members Leadership

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.

Share a story about your first job in foodservice.
I was responsible for the snack bar at the pool in the summer of my high school years - hot sandwiches to ice cream - served it all!

What is your industry passion?
As a definite"foodie" it is fantastic now to work on the supply side of the industry to provide solutions that enhance the food preparation and presentation!

How do you keep up with industry news and events?
Daily news bites, IFMA, Technomic, dining out, keeping eyes and ears open, FS and Grocery publications

In your opinion, what is the best industry event?
IFMA Presidents Conference

What is your advice to a person new to the industry?
Patience and flexibility. Always keep an open mind as learning surrounds you every day.

What do you consider your greatest achievement?
I hope it hasn't happened yet.

What are three things you always have in your carry-on bag?
Chargers, iPad and protein bars

What is your favorite meal?
Great grilled steak, fresh salad, crusty bread and red wine

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.

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Rick Kirkpatrick, Vice President, 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.

Josh Halpern, Vice President, Small Format, Anheuser-Busch

Helping retailers alleviate their key pain points is a primary area of focus for Josh. And in the foodservice industry, 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.

Ben Shanley, Senior Vice President, National Foodservice Operations, Coca-Cola North America

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.

Michael Cannon, Vice President Sales & Marketing, Surlean Foods

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.

Joe Bybel -- Senior VP, Marketing and R&D, Ventura Foods

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.

Richard Ferranti, Executive VP and COO, Rich Products

"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.

Larry Oberkfell, IFMA, President/CEO

A food industry sage with over 30 years experience working for Anchor Foods, The Schwan Food Company, Orval Kent 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.

Kent Walrack, President & Chief Operating Officer, Lyons Magnus

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.

Foodservice Spending Is Up but Visits Are Flat As Consumers Continue To Eat More Meals At Home

Foodservice spending, which was up 3 percent in the year ending April 2015, did not equate to foodservice visits, which were flat in the period, according to The NPD Group, a leading global information company. The foodservice industry remains challenged to get people out of their homes to eat versus eating in home.  Four out of five meals are prepared and consumed at home and in home meals have been on the rise for several years, reports NPD’s ongoing food consumption market research.

Making Sense Out of the Complexities of Foodservice

Doug Brooks, former CEO of Brinker (Chili's and Maggiano's), described several key foodservice industry trends and discussed how operators can respond to these trends at Chain Operators Exchange, COEX. In this environment of marketplace mayhem, the challenge for restaurants is to adapt and improve without losing sight of their brand's core values.