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CHICAGO, November 14, 2022 — This year’s IFMA Sparkplug Awards were presented on Tuesday, November 8, 2022 to the nine members of the association’s Go-To-Market (GTM) Planning Program Committee. Since 1958, the annual Sparkplug Awards honor IFMA members and operators whose work positively impacts the association's programs.


The GTM program was created to address critical challenges affecting the industry. In 2022, the committee focused on the future of distribution and its potential impact on manufacturers. In September, they unveiled a detailed white paper on the topic, followed by an actionable playbook to build up GTM strategies. The work was done in conjunction with Kinetic12 Consulting and made available to all of IFMA’s GTM Planning Program subscribers.


The 2022 Sparkplug Award winners are:

  • Perry Miele: GTM Planning Program Committee Chair, Nestlé Professional
  • Al Adams: Hershey Foodservice
  • Trona Balkissoon: Nestlé Professional
  • Jerry Diekmann: Tyson Foodservice
  • Darren Dudley: Simplot
  • Scott Falvo: Conagra Foodservice
  • Heather French: Pepsico Foodservice
  • Joe Kunde: McCain
  • Mauricio Santana: C.H. Guenther & Son


“The team’s collective thought leadership and guidance added a vital research-based element to the GTM program. We continue to bring in voices from across the industry to build out benefits like this for our members,” IFMA President & CEO Phil Kafarakis remarked. "It was terrific to recognize the team’s hard work in front of so many industry leaders at our Presidents Conference. I look forward to seeing what they do next!”


IFMA’s Presidents Conference is the premier industry forum for food-away-from-home management and senior leaders across the supply chain. In 2023, the conference will run November 5-7 in Scottsdale, AZ.