Kelly McKinney, Crest Foodservice, Virginia Beach, Virginia

Kelly has been in the foodservice industry for 30 years. Throughout her high school and college years, she’s worked in several roles in the industry, from restaurant front of house at age 15, to general management, to hotel front desk management. After graduating from Penn State with a Bachelors in Hotel, Restaurant, and Institutional Management, Kelly briefly spent time in Maryland managing a Hampton Inn, before returning to Pennsylvania. Shortly after, she moved to Virginia and started in management roles with a couple of local hotels. “When I returned to Virginia, I decided to leave hotel management and focus more on recruiting. I found Crest Hospitality, which was a division of Crest Foodservice, and worked with them a little more than a year as a recruiter for hotels and restaurants before moving over to Crest Foodservice, where I have been ever since,” says McKinney.  Kelly has been with Crest Foodservice for 19-1/2 years and couldn’t be happier.

Kelly is the Director of Purchasing at Crest Foodservice. “I handle the purchasing for all three Crest locations, negotiate deals and discounts with vendors and their reps, and oversee all inventory and company operations. I enjoy negotiating deals with vendors, having the ability to solve issues if and when they arise, interaction with factory reps to gain product knowledge, and working with customers to ascertain changes in the industry and keeping them informed of new innovative products. I have also spent time in sales and still have a few customers that I have kept over the years,” says McKinney.  Kelly enjoys the training and industry opportunities she has had the benefit of attending, specifically NAFEM, NRA, and various factory training.

Opportunities that encourage personal and professional growth are worth their weight in gold.

Kelly loves the opportunities for networking and training that come with being on the Crest Foodservice team. “SEFA training has allowed me to interact with factory personnel on a direct basis as well as networking with other dealers and foodservice professionals,” says McKinney.

In addition to live training, Kelly is among the SEFA SPECS high achievers, completing 65 SPECS Online Training Courses.  “SEFA online training is very informative. I gain in-depth knowledge of products and new trends in the industry.  SPECS has been very helpful in learning how to sell proactively,” says McKinney.

Kelly is grateful for the relationships that she’s formed through Crest that inspire and support her. “Crest is very fortunate to have excellent rep groups who assist in sales calls and specifying items when needed. I am grateful for co-workers, present and past, who have extensive knowledge in the industry and the principal of Crest who has allowed me to grow with the company and the industry,” says McKinney.

Kelly lives in Chesapeake, Virginia.  In her free time, she enjoys the beach, traveling, cooking, gardening, and renovating her house.

SEFA is proud to recognize Kelly McKinney as Featured SEFAPro. She sets a great example of achieving success through perseverance and gratitude. Even with her extensive experience in the industry, she remains passionate about learning, networking, and sharing knowledge with customers.