Dane Lewis, Kirby Restaurant Supply, Longview, Texas
“It all started washing buckets,” says Lewis.
Dane has been in the foodservice industry and with Kirby for 22 years, serving in a wide variety of positions along the way. “I actually washed chemical buckets that Kirby recycles, for my first job,” says Lewis. Dane then moved into chemical blending, held a position as warehouse and logistics manager, and progressed into an outside sales route for eleven years. He was promoted to Regional Sales Manager, managing six outside sales routes that spanned all of Louisiana and half of Texas. “This journey with Kirby allowed me to gain experience in everything from project management, to complex bidding, sales to almost every industry segment, and even corporate account management. In 2015, I was promoted to executive director of sales and marketing, and my role has grown to manage Kirby’s corporate and chain business in four states,” says Lewis. He says, he feels very blessed to be with Kirby and for all of the opportunities he’s been afforded.
When you find a company that matches your values and provides opportunities to learn, grow, and bring your best to the table… you have found gold.
Dane currently manages all aspects of Kirby’s corporate equipment, smallwares, and chemical and chain business in four states. He handles bids for GPOs, administers their SEFA online order system, leads corporate marketing efforts, supports and mentors sixteen outside salespeople, and manages corporate relationships. “The economy is BOOMING!! We currently have the most opportunities I have seen in my entire career, and they are not in just one industry segment, but spread throughout the various segments we serve,” says Lewis.
Mike Bell, President and Owner of Kirby had this to say about Dane, “It is with great pride that I acknowledge Dane Lewis as a new SEFAPro from Kirby Restaurant and Chemical Supply. Dane has been a loyal, dedicated professional employee of Kirby for 22 years. He has worked his way up to an Executive Manager of Kirby’s growth division. I am proud of him working his way up to becoming a SEFAPro. I know he will use this training and education to its fullest to advance his career and the sales growth at Kirby.”
Dane will tell you what he loves most about this industry is definitely the people. “We work with, work for, and compete against some of the best folks you will ever encounter. While most remain acquaintances, many become real friends that are a joy to work with. In my position, I am privileged to work with professional people who are truly experts in their respective fields. They make me a more effective salesman, a better person, and leader,” says Lewis.
Dane is very dedicated to and successful in the SEFAPro program. He is currently a Level 2 and climbing. He is very vocal about expressing his gratitude for the training and networking opportunities he gains as he reaches new levels in the program. “SEFA training is the most effective training I have had the pleasure to participate in! The holistic approach to training the person, not sales robots, is unique and effective. Recognizing people that excel through the SEFAPro program, and supporting people pursuing their CFSP further strengthens the training provided. It’s training with a GOAL! Not just features, advantages, and benefits!” says Lewis.
Recognizing your gratitude for the people in your life is a recipe for true happiness.
People with such a strong track record for success usually have great influences in their life. “I have been blessed with several mentors both personally and professionally. My father, Bud Lewis, taught me how to respect ALL people and see the best in them. Mike Bell, Kirby’s owner, has helped me throughout my career both personally and professionally. He leads by example. Mike Bell demonstrates that you do not sell anything without INTEGRITY and should always do the right thing. And lastly, I should mention Frank Zoche, who has pushed me to expand my sometimes-closed mind,” says Lewis.
“I am blessed to live in the small community of Gladewater, Texas (Google it ;-). I am an avid outdoorsman, hunter, football fan (Go Cowboys), and race fan. Making these experiences better is my wife Lori, sons Dane Jr., Chance, Mason, and favorite daughter Macy,” says Lewis.
SEFA is proud to recognize Dane Lewis as Featured SEFAPro. He sets a great example of achieving success through perseverance, integrity, and gratitude, with a passion to do the right thing. Even with his extensive experience in the industry, he remains passionate about learning, networking, and sharing his knowledge with customers and colleagues. On top of all that, he is a great family man and friend to many.