Larry Russell, Best Restaurant Equipment & Design Inc., Columbus, OH

Larry entered the foodservice industry at a young age. He started working as a cook and a bartender for a family business. In his early years, he worked for a small developing chain and grew with them from a cook to an area director. He was also on an opening team for new restaurants at various locations.

A rare kind of success happens when you find opportunities you have trained for your whole life.

He estimates his total experience in the foodservice industry to be about 40 years. “Working 15 years for a restaurant chain has helped me to relate to the customer side of the industry and is a major asset for me in the development of customer relationships,” says Russell.

Larry has been with BEST Restaurant Equipment and Design for six years and he couldn’t be happier. “BEST is a great employee owned company with core values that exceed expectations,” says Russell.

Larry is an account manager at BEST. He works mostly with chains and foodservice companies in their prototype and site-specific development. His responsibilities include sales, layout and design, installations, and building long lasting relationships with new and existing customers. “Specifying SEFA manufacturers for design projects is the key to customer development and the overall profits on the projects. The SEFA initiative, Buy within the Group, is always on my mind when looking at equipment for customers,” says Russell.

He admits that he has a special passion for the layout and design of foodservice operations. “The creativity involved with taking space and making it all work together to exceed the customer’s need is pretty cool. A successful project and a happy customer is the reward,” says Russell.

The combination of knowledge and passion is very powerful.

Larry is a very successful Level 2 SEFAPro . He genuinely appreciates the training opportunities through BEST and through the SEFAPro training program. “SEFAPro training is very helpful. It gives me the opportunity to learn about equipment from the top manufacturers in the industry. I walk away with a great relationship with the equipment manufacturer, a true knowledge of the equipment, and the how, when, and why to introduce it to customers. My previous employer’s buying group didn’t offer any incentives, training, or marketing. Working with BEST and having a relationship with SEFA is great,” says Russell.

“Many people have helped me along the way. Family, mentors, employers that work hard, and people who love this industry like I do, inspire me. Most of all God who created the path to my success inspires me. There is a reason for everything,” says Russell.

Larry lives in Powell, Ohio and recently purchased another home for a retreat in a small lake resort community near Columbus. He is very happily married and has two daughters and two sons. He also has three grandchildren.

SEFA is proud to recognize Larry Russell as Featured SEFAPro for the month of September. His handson industry experience is an asset to his customers. He enjoys working hard and achieving successful results for everyone involved on projects. He is professional, knowledgeable, and passionate. Congratulations, Larry!