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DSR of the Month

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.

John Ognibene, Project Executive, Myers Restaurant Supply, Marlton, N.J.

As a 14-year-old dishwasher, John “Johnny O” Ognibene never thought he’d be helping to create restaurants for some of the most well-known chefs in the industry, such as Bobby Flay, Emeril Lagasse, Charlie Palmer, Thomas Keller and David Chang. His current role is the culmination of an extensive foodservice career that included stints as a cook, waiter, bartender, restaurant manager and culinary school student.

DSR of the Month, November 2014: Troy Jacobsen, Contract Sales, Hockenbergs, Eagan, Minn.

Troy Jacobsen's foodservice career may be considered one of the best-rounded in the industry.

DSR of the Month: David Kort of Premium Supply Co., Deer Park, N.Y.

While his brother-in-law decided to go into business selling bar supplies back in 1977, Dave Kort was looking to get out of his job as manager of a fast food restaurant.

DSR of the Month, September 2014: Troy Little, Contract and Design Specialist Rapids Wholesale Equipment Co., Marion, Iowa

In his role as a contract and design specialist for Rapids Wholesale Equipment Co., Troy Little really appreciates the fact that he can stay involved with his customers' projects from concept to completion. This was not the case in his previous position selling database software and accessories.

DSR of the Month, August 2014: Phil Blas, Smallwares Sales Manager Smith & Greene Co., Kent, Wash.

Combining training and experience has been a recipe for success for Phil Blas.

DSR of the Month, July 2014: Chris Monico, Senior Project Manager C&T Design & Equipment Co., Indianapolis

Foodservice was always on Chris Monico's radar, yet after receiving a degree in hospitality management with a foodservice emphasis from Purdue University, it took a couple of false starts before he found his career path.

DSR of the Month, June 2014, Joel Kaplan, Project Sales and Management E. Friedman Associates, Inc., Brooklyn, N.Y.

Joel Kaplan counts himself lucky despite the fact that he was laid off from his first job post-college after only two months due to a recession. This unfortunate start led him to his current career in project sales and management at E. Friedman Associates, Inc.

DSR of the Month, May 2014: Michelle LaCrosse, Senior Business Development Manager, R.W. Smith & Co., Los Angeles

Michelle LaCrosse took all the necessary steps to prepare for what she thought would be a career as a lawyer. While attending the State University of New York at Albany, she worked in a law firm, took her LSATS and was accepted into the law school of her choice.

DSR of the Month, April 2014: Cameell Hanna Jr., Account Representative, Stafford-Smith, Inc., Ferndale, Mich.

When it comes to well-rounded foodservice industry veterans, it would be difficult to find someone comparable to Cameell Hanna Jr.

DSR of the Month, March 2014: Eli Goldring, Sales Executive Culinary Depot, Monsey, N.Y.

After going to college for rabbinical studies, Eli Goldring met the woman he would marry and realized full-time work took priority. His first sales stint was as a project manager/salesperson for a fiberglass insulation company.

DSR of the Month, February 2014: Derek Tippner,Territory Sales Rep Bargreen Ellingson, Portland, Ore.

During his tenure as a franchisee owner of two different concepts, Derek Tippner had much experience opening and closing restaurants, reading leases and analyzing profit and loss statements. "I took a leap of faith to become a franchisee for a sub shop, which lasted six years," Tippner says. "I then eventually sold the two locations and opened a pizza franchise."

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