Derrick Gage, Great Lakes Hotel Supply, Southfield, Michigan

Derrick joined the foodservice industry at the age of fifteen, working as a dish washer. He then held several kitchen positions while working his way through college. Derrick was in a restaurant management role for fifteen years before working in the marine industry for five years.

“In December of last year, God blessed me with an opportunity to join Great Lakes Hotel Supply and I couldn’t be happier,” says Gage.

Derrick Gage is all in when it comes to training and investing in his personal and professional success. He is one of the Top 5 High Achievers for SPECS. At last count, he has completed 75 SPECS Courses.

He is relatively new to the SEFAPro program but is progressing through with full force. He has attended a National Sales Conference, he’s been reading the recommended books listed, participating in webinars, and anything he can do to gain more knowledge and advance through the program. His pursuit of success and knowledge did not slow down when COVID imposed several restrictions on us all. Derrick trained even harder.

Derrick appreciates the fact that Great Lakes is a strong believer in advanced training and providing their team with the tools needed to be successful. They are a very strong advocate of the SEFAPro program and very supportive of their team.

“The SPECS Courses are top-notch.  All of the SPECS courses are very well done.  The information is presented in a way that is easily retained. I am a very big advocate of continued learning in whatever career you choose, or may choose you.  There is no bigger advantage than knowledge. The SPECS courses give me the confidence and the knowledge to help local businesses succeed with the right tools. The National Sales Conference was amazing. Even though, as the new guy, it was kind of like drinking from a fire hose, the breakout sessions made the incredible amount of information retainable.  The camaraderie between the industry professionals was second to none,” says Gage.

“I love people and love food! I’m pretty sure this is the best of both worlds”

Derrick enjoys getting to know all of the local business owners and helping them with the challenges this new world brings. He finds his past restaurant experience and his passion for the foodservice industry to be so helpful in his position at Great Lakes Hotel. He enjoys connecting with his customers, gaining a full understanding of their needs, and finding solutions and opportunities that will enhance their operations.

Currently, his project focus has been working with some of the local resorts.  “As you can imagine, there are certainly challenges and changes that they have had to make and overcome to help them continue to share our beautiful northern Michigan with visitors.  Working with them to find solutions has been very rewarding,” says Gage.

Derrick says he has many role models that have influenced him and inspire him daily.  “On the personal side, there are three people that just naturally lead by example and are very important to me. These three people include my dad, my grandfather, and of course, my beautiful wife. Professionally, I could never thank Marc Israel enough for giving me a chance and a spot on an amazing team.  Our Vice President of sales, Warren Casey, is one of those people that brings out the best in everyone he is around. Brad Heuton has been a great source of knowledge, encouragement, and experience. He has great patience with the new guy,” says Gage.

Derrick lives with his family in Northern Michigan. “I have a beautiful wife of almost three years, Kasie Gage.  We have three amazing kids,( Emma, Kaitlyn, and Parker), between the two of us.  We love northern Michigan and all it has to offer.  I enjoy everything outdoors, including hunting, fishing, skiing, boating, and more.  I give thanks to God every day for the life he has blessed us with.  I look forward to many years as part of this industry and can’t wait to see what the future holds,” says Gage.

SEFA is proud to recognize Derrick as Featured SEFAPro. He is very professional, focused, and dedicated. He works hard and does what it takes to contribute to the success of Great Lakes Hotel and their customers.  Derrick is sincere with a strong sense of daily gratitude and loyalty. Congratulations, Derrick!