Executive Forum 2012 in Review
State of the Industry - Maureen Slocum
Maureen Slocum, Publisher of Foodservice Equipment & Supplies Magazine, uncovered the answers to several pertinent questions she previously collected from the SEFA Dealer community. Maureen cited several revealing research studies conducted by her publication while delving into the insightful information that told the story of the current state of the industry as well as the exciting trends we can all anticipate seeing throughout the rest of 2012. Maureen's informative presentation was an excellent kick-off for the great weekend ahead.
State of SEFA - Jim ReidJim Reid, SEFA Chief Financial Officer, started his presentation with a detailed review of the progress that SEFA Dealers as a whole made in 2011. It was especially exciting to see how SEFA Dealers performed in 2011 as compared to the rest of the industry. The difference was awesome! Jim also highlighted SEFA's cohesion as a group with examples of incentives the group was able to reach because of individual members pulling together towards the end of the year to support one another for the benefit of everyone. As he wrapped up his presentation, Jim offered his forecast for 2012. For SEFA members, it looks like it's going to be sunny in the upcoming months.
White Knuckle Leadership - Arlen Burger, Ph. D.
Sunday afternoon and Monday morning Dr. Arlen Burger, of Leadership Coaching Inc., presented his time-tested principles of leadership and business management in a new and thought-provoking way for the Executive Forum attendees. Dr. Burger did a delicate job of placing his pillars of leadership into the context of today's economic and social climate while perfectly customizing his message for the business leaders of the foodservice industry. Dr. Burger drove his point home with the designated breakout sessions for introspection that allowed for the attendees to apply his message to their own businesses. His message was well received by all.
Tuesday Morning Breakout SessionsExecutive Forum attendees were challenged to discuss salient industry topics during the breakout sessions. Topics included:
- Best Practices for Operations
- Salespeople: Compensation & Benchmarking Sales
- Salespeople: Hiring Practices
- Showroom: Driving Customers to Your Floor, Merchandising, Stocking and Pricing
- Social Media Brainstorming
Following the discussions the groups presented their most valuable conclusions for the rest of the group to absorb.
SEFA Social Media Strategy - Matt Kurnick
Matt Kurnick, SEFA Web Content Specialist, presented SEFA's group-wide, industry-leading social media strategy. During his discourse he emphasized the importance of engaging customers and the role the individual dealerships play in doing so through social media. Matt distilled SEFA's strategy thoroughly, going step-by-step through the intricacies of building a productive Facebook page and maintaining it to fulfill its maximum potential within the SEFA online community of Dealers, Suppliers, Operators and the individuals that make up each group. Matt concluded his Social Media lesson with real-life examples of content produced by SEFA Dealers and a summary of the SEFA blogs, Social Kitchen and Kitchen Biz.
Closing Address - Jose LorenzoIn an emotional testimonial, Jose Lorenzo, President of J&E Restaurant Supply, shared the lowest lows and the highest highs of his journey from communist Cuba in the early 1980's to America where he eventually started his own business and since has built a life full of liberty and happiness with his family. Jose told the story of the crowded boat ride from the island nation to the southernmost tip of the USA, and what it meant to him to see the American Naval ship approach the boat he was aboard in the shark infested waters off the coast of Florida. His experiences have made him appreciative of his freedom and the luxuries that come with it, so much so that he's vowed to never leave the States again.