William R. McClellan, Vice President Foodservice, Dawn Food Products, Inc.

Tagged in Board of Directors Foodservice Manufacturers
William McClellan learned early on how hard foodservice professionals work during college, when a snowstorm rendered he himself as the only employee able to show up for work at an in-store cafe. That work ethic transcended throughout his career, as has his passion for the foodservice industry, which William brings to Dawn Foodservice every day.

Share a story about your first job in foodservice.

I worked my way through college at a large Midwestern hypermarket. I would frequently be asked to work in the in-store cafe for folks to take lunch breaks. One day during a blizzard I had to run the entire cafe by myself since all the other workers called in to say they couldn't make it in to work. Needless to say, I quickly understood how hard those folks worked and what they did to satisfy customers.

What is your industry passion at Dawn Food Products?

Improving our consumer insights in order to make better decisions regarding resource allocation. We were behind CPG/retail regarding our understating of consumer needs state, but we are rapidly catching up. The Consumer Planning Program that IFMA is supporting is a very powerful initiative that has gotten very positive results. Additionally, category management is a game changer.

In 2020, what do you think the foodservice industry will be like?

We are seeing evolution now that will continue into 2020. I envision changes in how product is distributed to end users. Flavor trends will have a shorter shelf life and many new chains/operators will emerge to satisfy the changing demographics and the tastes associated with those groups.

What is your motto?

Lead by example.

How important is social media to the foodservice industry?

It is critically important; especially in reaching the new consumer. I have two millennial kids, and they teach me every day about new trends that are on the horizon. It is important for us to stay relevant.

In your opinion, what is the best industry event?
It is a hard choice as there are several good ones that have improved over the past five years, but if I had to choose one it would be the Presidents conference.

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

Innovative, Educational, Friends

How does being an IFMA Member benefit you?

Our membership has enabled us to learn best practices, stay on top of industry trends and network with industry leaders. IFMA has been good for our business in generating operator relationships.


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. 

2018 IFMA Board of Directors Announced

We are pleased to announce the 2018 IFMA Board of Directors! Ben Shanley, Senior Vice President, National Foodservice Operations, Coca-Cola North America has been elected as chairman of the board. And 6 new faces have been added to this group of diverse foodservice leaders.  

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.

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.

NAFEM honors Bendix and Hickey for commitment to IFMA

The North American Association of Food Equipment Manufacturers (NAFEM) honored 50 allied association leaders with a Doctorate of Foodservice (DFS) award. Former chairs of IFMA's Board of Directors, Mark Bendix, CEO of East Balt Bakeries and Michael Hickey, Executive Vice President & President Global Institutional of Ecolab, were recognized for their steadfast commitment to IFMA.

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.

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.

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.