Kaitlyn Purser, Manning Brothers, Athens, GA
Kaitlyn joined the foodservice industry five years ago. As many dealer professionals do, she started on the operator side of the business. In fact, her first experience came in high school, when she worked at her high school’s coffee shop. She enjoyed serving up coffee and hot chocolate in the mornings before class. In college, she worked at the Waffle House as a salesperson and occasional grill operator. “I spent many days scrubbing egg yolks off plates, cleaning out the nibs on soda dispensers, and keeping it scattered, smothered, and covered,” says Purser.
She finds it helpful to have that first-hand foodservice experience so that she can have a better understanding of the needs of her customers.
When I moved to Athens, Tony Thompson of the Hansen Group, referred me to Chuck Day at Manning Brothers. I remember he offered Chuck a free cheesecake in exchange for hiring me,” says Purser. Kaitlyn was hired. She is approaching her fourth year at Manning Brothers, and couldn’t be happier.
Consistent training equals consistent growth. Being passionate about training magnifies the results.
“I started out as a sales assistant at Manning Brothers. This role was a good start as it gave me the opportunity to witness and experience issues that arose, learn the different types of equipment and smallwares, meet with our customer base, and get comfortable being on this side of the table,” says Purser.
Kaitlyn is currently a contract estimator at Manning Brothers. “I mostly work with general contractors, but occasionally I will get a few owners in the mix. I work to competitively price equipment for our large projects. It’s a lot of reading and numbers, which really doesn’t sound like it, but it’s a ton of fun. It’s kind of silly, but one of my favorite parts of bidding is finding something in the details that I could have missed, but didn’t. Of course, my absolute favorite thing, is winning a project I’ve worked on,” says Purser.
Kaitlyn is very successful in the SEFAPro program. In fact, she recently earned and attended the 2019 SEFAPro Celebration trip. She says SEFAPro training has been so beneficial for her and she is so grateful that Chuck Day is such a believer in training and providing opportunities for their team. “When I first started out as a sales assistant at Manning Brothers, I honestly couldn’t tell you much about anything related to our field of work and I definitely couldn’t describe a Spoodle or a combi to you. There have been many times, I excitedly get to explain something to a customer, thinking WOW, I know what this is because I just learned about it at a SEFA National Sales Conference. SEFA training has helped me to learn things on a much faster track. I feel lucky that Chuck is such a big advocate of training. I have felt honored to be able to go to almost every conference, since becoming a SEFAPro. I always have new information to bring back home and share,” says Purser.
“My biggest inspiration in the industry is obviously, the one and only, Chuck Day. He has helped me so much in growing as a person and someone in our industry. He is always willing to share his knowledge with anyone, and help out whenever I have questions or feel stuck and frustrated on a project, with something custom, or a piece of equipment I don’t know anything about,” says Purser.
“I live in Athens, Georgia with my significant other, Graham. We have two fur kids, Henry and Dixie. When I’m not knee deep in foodservice equipment, I am usually walking our dog, reading, or cooking. We also go to anime conventions once or twice a year,” says Purser.
SEFA is proud to recognize Kaitlyn as Featured SEFAPro. The 110% she puts into everything she does makes it impossible for her to achieve anything short of success. She is dedicated to the industry, to Manning Brothers, her customers, and her colleagues. Her passion for knowledge makes her a very valuable player in our industry. Congratulations, Kaitlyn!