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.
Jack Burks seemed destined for the foodservice industry. After almost four decades serving in numerous capacities, he now considers it a fixture in his life.
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.
Mike A. Miulli has always been in the restaurant business. His schooling in foodservice equipment and sales began when he worked in a Chicago wholesale pizza factory business.
For some, industry expertise can be parlayed into diverse careers. Rosana Greco has been involved in hospitality since moving to Miami from Venezuela in 2002. Greco first worked in a small firm, selling fabric and drapery to hotels, where she was initiated into the world of interior design. Five years later, she joined a company that supplied furniture for hotel rooms.
Gary Estes entered the foodservice industry in an untraditional way, on the chemical side. His first job out of college was with a large chemical company, where he rose through the ranks to become a sales manager.