Steve Hammel directs U.S. Navy operations of 40 retail foodservice facilities serving 30,000 meals daily with annual sales of $45 million. More than 900,000 meals are served to active duty military in 11 Navy Five Star galley operations—five having been awarded the Ney Memorial Award for foodservice excellence. Get to know him.
If your career was a greatest hits album, what would its title be?
A Great Adventure
Share a story about your first job in foodservice.
I worked for Marriott as a Banquet Setup Associate during my summer breaks from college. I had an AM and PM Manager. The majority of my shifts were in the AM. Each had a different management style. After a few weeks, I was able to see the positive AM Manager and the PM Manager was just there for a paycheck. I learned the positive style was the best approach to every situation. Many years later, the PM Manager applied for a position at a company I worked for—he didn’t get the position.
How do you keep up with industry news and events?
Industry events and trade journals. Participating in Hospitality Management school career days.
What is your motto?
No is the opportunity for YES!
What is your advice to a person new to the industry?
LISTEN, Stop using IPhone at work, pay attention the details.
In your opinion, what is the best industry event?
IFMA President’s Conference, Always insightful presentations and gain CEO knowledge to utilize in my everyday business and personal life.
What industry challenge keeps you up at night?
Poorly trained college graduates for the real world work environment. Faculty isn’t up to date on foodservice industry. Lack of work ethic of today’s workforce.
How does being an IFMA Member benefit you?
Continually learning about new products, able to participate in the Silver and Gold Plate Society.
What do you value most about being on an IFMA committee?
Being able to express how our industry can always improve, combined with, providing support for the IFMA Wounded Warrior Scholarship initiative.
Looking back at the last 10 years, what do you consider the greatest innovation in foodservice?
Cashless electronic phone payment.
What is your favorite meal?
What is your favorite sports team?
St. Louis Cardinals—reminds me of my home town and childhood.
Finally, give us a shameless plug. Don't hold back!
IFMA is the most rewarding industry experience I’ve had during my over 40-plus years. More importantly, IFMA is an ever changing and supportive organization.
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.