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.
When Robert Machacek entered the foodservice industry as a teen working as a dishwasher, it was unlikely that he could see himself designing the type of kitchens he worked in at the time.
Making a career in foodservice equipment and supplies sales wasn't an intentional decision for Lauren Lanza, who earned a B.A. in psychology and began pursuing a graduate degree in the field. During high school, she worked at Harris Restaurant Supply, her family's dealership, moving from a position in customer service to one in sales.
Travis Lusky is a foodservice industry lifer. He started washing dishes in restaurants at only 14 years of age, then tackled just about every kitchen job while a student in high school and college.
Bill Immke never pictured himself in sales. The plan was to make a career out of the military. His path took a very different turn.
Marcia Gibbons’ goal has always been to work in the foodservice industry. While completing a marketing degree from The Ohio State University, she was able to get her feet wet as an inventory control supervisor at a Columbus hospital.
Falling into the perfect career by chance is possible. Brittney Lane, project manager at Oklahoma City-based Oswalt Restaurant Supply is proof.
The foodservice industry was different when Dan Skipper worked as a draftsman for a restaurant equipment company back in 1968. In the days before CAD and computers, hand-drawn plans and snail mail presented a number of challenges.
Anthony Rodriguez was a manager-in-training at Radio Shack, when his girlfriend's father, Jose Lorenzo, offered him an opportunity at his foodservice equipment dealership, J&E Restaurant Supply
Celebrating 19 years with Bargreen Ellingson this month, Kevin Wilkinson's role is more of a player/coach, although his title is general manager. This is because, in addition to managing a territory with his own accounts, Wilkinson also assists others in his office with their jobs.
Scott Johnson's career as a sales rep can be attributed to being in the wrong place at the right time.
Sue McNulty's future may have been predestined. She worked at Paramount Restaurant Supply Corp. in Warren, R.I., the summer between her junior and senior years at Babson College. The connection—one of her professors was the sister of the dealership's outgoing president Stephen McGarry. This gave McNulty her first and sole career opportunity back in 1988. "They offered me the job when I graduated, and I took it," she says.