The only monthly feature that profiles the careers of the industry’s most accomplished foodservice equipment and supplies dealer sales reps by presenting their achievements, views on customer service and secrets to their success.
Majoring in industrial organizational psychology at California State University in Long Beach and simultaneously working as a trainer and bar manager for a restaurant company was instrumental in Gilles Brochard's career at TriMark R.W. Smith.
When U.S. interest rates began dropping, it was good news to most people. For Gina Vitagliano, a bank manager, this development prompted her to seek a new career. "One of my customers, the general manager at a small foodservice equipment and supplies dealership, offered me a job, and I decided to take it," says Vitagliano.
After managing a pizza franchise for a number of years, Eric Harrison, Supplies on the Fly, knew he wanted to be in sales. He joined his first foodservice equipment dealership in 2003 and was determined to educate himself about every aspect of the industry along the way.
With more than three decades of industry experience under his belt, Jim McMahon wears many hats handling contract sales and design at ADE Restaurant Services. His diverse background may have something to do with this: McMahon began his career at Illinois Range remodeling McDonald’s restaurants before joining Kochman Consultants to produce the KCL Cad Library for the foodservice industry.
After serving in operations at California Pizza Kitchen, Pei Wei Asian Diner and Cheesecake Factory, Nikki Roughley wanted a change of pace. “I started a family and wanted to get out of operations, so I moved over to the facilities side at Pei Wei Asian Diner,” she says.
Although Luke Gradishar has only worked 2 years as a full-time member of his family’s 67-year-old dealership business, Grady’s Foodservice Equipment and Supplies, he has been involved in the company for as long as he can remember.
With a goal to move back to his wife’s hometown to raise his two young children, Paul Roeske interviewed and received job offers from two companies in Traverse City, Mich. — one was Stafford-Smith.
Andy Dalton knew he wanted a career in sales, but wasn’t clear on what he wanted to sell. After stints selling mobile homes and cell phones, a friend convinced him to give restaurant equipment sales a shot.
Eleven years ago when Luke Green began his career working part-time in Rapids Wholesale Equipment’s warehouse while attending college, he didn’t realize the potential before him.
For some, the foodservice industry is more than a job — it's a lifestyle. This is true for Michael Wahl, who has worked in the restaurant industry since washing dishes in a military mess hall at age 13. Years later, he went on to serve as a district manager for a multi-unit quick-service chain.