Kent Walrack, President & Chief Operating Officer, Lyons Magnus

Tagged in Board of Directors Leadership Manufacturer Members

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.

What is your position/title, in your words? 

My core responsibility is to make sure we have all the right people in the right jobs to make sure we are delivering on the promises that we make to our customers. In addition, we focus on developing products and services that meet the needs of our customers and are superior in quality compared to what our competition offers. We do this by differentiating our products by offering unique processing strategies, packaging options, and high quality raw materials that serve as the foundation for our products.

Please list some of your career highlights. 

I have been with Lyons Magnus for just over 29 years. I started as a District Manager with the company in 1983 and have worked my way through the organization to become President/Chief Operating Officer. We pride ourselves on the team that we have developed at Lyons Magnus as our core management team all have 25 plus years of experience with the company. Another highpoint has been our involvement in the IFMA organization. We have been blessed to have been a member for over 20 years and have made many contacts and learned valuable insights through our association with IFMA. The fact that our company will be represented on the Board at IFMA is an honor for our company.

What was your first job in foodservice? 

My first job in foodservice was when I was 16 and signed up to pick pineapples on the Island of Lanai, Hawaii for the Dole Pineapple Company. After a summer of this experience, I definitely decided that I would rather have a career in selling pineapple rather than picking the fruit!   

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

I would encourage any new recruit to get involved in our industry, as it is a very dynamic and challenging industry that will allow any person to use expertise in many different disciplines. Our industry needs to continue to recruit the highest talented individuals so that we can continue to develop strategies that
increase our market share for the consumers' food dollar expenditures. Once involved in our industry the secret is to show up every day ready to learn and keep an open mind on how to solve problems and a bright future will be for the taking!

How does being an IFMA Member benefit you? 

Our membership in IFMA has been a critical strategy to stay connected to the industry and to develop many long-term relationships. As our industry faces new challenges each and every year, it is critical to have the network of other companies in foodservice to communicate with to understand all of the issues. It is also a great opportunity to celebrate our industry by acknowledging the top performing operators and distributors in foodservice through the many IFMA events that allow us to network with customers.

We hear you're an avid golfer. Are there any similarities between the sport and the foodservice industry?  

Golf has been an excellent hobby that has turned into a terrific way to get to meet new people, as the time spent on a golf round with a group of people can never be duplicated in another sport. Many great relationships and memories have developed over the years through participating in golf tournaments in our
industry. One similarity between golf and our industry is that negotiating skills are critical before the game starts! 

What are you looking forward to most as Chairman of the Board in 2013?

We are excited for the 2013 year with IFMA as we have many new Board Members represented on the Board this year, which will give IFMA a great opportunity to collaborate with these new members to continue to develop new ideas and strategies to improve the foodservice industry. Along with the many new members we have an excellent Executive Team that have many years of experience with IFMA so it will be exciting to utilize the resources of our team in our effort to blend new ideas with the proven strategies that we have executed in the past. We will also look to continue to build our membership in 2013 and will continue to increase the participation levels of our existing members in several of our programs we offer. With these objectives, we look forward to an exciting year in 2013 and look forward to seeing you at our upcoming events!


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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Aug 07

Marketing & Sales Leaders Forum

The annual IFMA Marketing & Sales Leaders Forum focuses on marketing and sales collaboration, providing these professionals the means to apply actionable insights and best practices to work together to improve both strategic planning and go-to-market execution. 

The program serves to unravel the complexities of the foodservice landscape, delivering powerful insights into the consumer, operator and distributor communities, as well as communicating how to best utilize the available tools for improved collaboration and tactical go-to-market execution. 

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Richard Ferranti, Executive VP and COO, Rich Products

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Erin Buntin, Director, Foodservice Sales, Schreiber Foods

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Larry Oberkfell, IFMA, President/CEO

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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.