Top Achievers

Top Achievers are award-worthy personalities in various segments of the foodservice equipment and supplies channel with a single common trait: an unflinching ability to provide value on the customer’s terms.

Browse the articles below or click for a list of past winners in the following categories: Dealer, Consultant, Service Agent, Manufacturers' Rep and Operator.

In 2003 FE&S renamed its Young Lions Award to the present day Top Achiever Award. Click here for a for a list of past Young Lions winners.

2018 Top Achiever—Dealer: Joe Schmitt, President, Rapids Wholesale and Affiliates

“I get up at 4:30 and go to work every day because of the excitement of the unknown,” says Joe Schmitt, president of Rapids Wholesale and Affiliates, based in Marion, Iowa. “Every day there is something new and challenging for our customers, our employees, ourselves.”

2018 Top Achiever—Consultant: Christine Guyott, FCSI, RD, Principal, Rippe Associates

When Christine Guyott took a personality test during an Association for Healthcare Foodservice (AHF) preconference workshop, she learned her greatest strength is “maximizing.” This makes sense given her tireless involvement in AHF and other volunteer activities, and of course, her feverish dedication to her projects and long-time clients.

2018 Top Achiever —Operator: Mary Angela Miller, Administrative Director, Ohio State University, Wexner Medical Center

She may describe herself as an accidental administrator and foodservice professional — her sights were initially set on clinical work in nutrition and dietetics — but there’s no accident behind Mary Angela Miller being the first foodservice operator to be honored with an FE&S Top Achiever Award. During her 28-year tenure at Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center (OSUWMC) Miller has proven time and again that getting things done, building effective teams, embracing change and digging deep to pull actionable solutions out of complex, often chaotic circumstances, is both her strength and her passion.

2018 Top Achiever—Manufacturers’ Representative: Dave Kuelpman, President, KLH Marketing

Dave Kuelpman has no family connections to the equipment and supply (E&S) segment, but instead got started just a few years out of college as a salesman for a major refrigeration manufacturer. He thrived in this post, and over the next eight years Kuelpman rose to become the company’s western regional sales manager.

FE&S' 2017 Top Achievers

All of our 2017 Top Achievers possess exemplary leadership qualities: a rock-solid moral compass, steadfast determination, and an attitude that inspires. Their influence reaches all corners of the foodservice industry.

2017 Top Achiever — Dealer: David Ellingson President, Bargreen Ellingson

Entrepreneurialism runs in David Ellingson's veins. At age 37, he now leads the company founded in 1960 by his grandfather Byron Ellingson and Howard Bargreen. Representing the third Ellingson generation to manage Bargreen Ellingson, based in Tacoma, Wash., (the Bargreens were bought out in the late 1990s), David joined the family firm in 2006. He was named president in January 2012, transitioning leadership from his father, Paul, and uncle, Rick, who grew the company into a premier regional E&S dealership.

2017 Top Achiever — Consultant: Beth Kuczera President, Equipment Dynamics Inc.

The term design consultant doesn't begin to describe the value that Beth Kuczera provides to her clients. What she accomplishes as the president of Chicago-based Equipment Dynamics Inc. is more like making dreams come true. She describes it as being a good translator, converting the physical realities of a foodservice concept into a plan for architecture, interior design and engineering development. She aims for productivity and visual effect. The end result takes the form of a restaurant that not only has efficient, functional workflow but also gives diners that wow factor.

2017 Top Achiever — Service Agent Paul Toukatly Service manager and co-owner, Duffy’s Equipment Service

Most people would be burned out from their job after working 42 years for the same company, but not Paul Toukatly. The service manager and co-owner of upstate New York's Duffy's Equipment Service remains passionate about his work and the service sector as a whole, decades later. The energy in his voice when he talks about the sector makes that clear.