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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