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Zachary Young, Kesco, Pensacola, Florida

Zachary started out in the industry as a carhop at Sonic. “I enjoyed being a carhop, as I have always been a people person. The General Manager recognized that I could do more, so I was promoted to a crew leader. I spent about a year doing that, had a lot of fun and made some connections with people that I still talk to today. After that, I was trained to become a manager which made me feel valued and appreciated for the work I was doing. Six months later, I was promoted to assistant general manager and oversaw most of the day-to-day operations. I thoroughly enjoyed this, as it gave me a sense of responsibility and I looked forward to going to work every day,” says Young.  As much as he enjoyed his positions with Sonic, he knew he needed more to satisfy his big picture goals. He submitted his resignation and received a call from Kesco a couple of days later.

Zachary happily took a position with Kesco and has been with them for three years. He works at Kesco’s Mary Esther location as a sales associate and customer service agent. “I would like to start out by saying that Kesco has supported me since day one. On the first day, I could see that the people who worked in this building all had a great amount of respect for each other, I was the newbie coming into a store where everyone had been working together for at least 10 years. This spoke volumes to me about the dedication and love that they have for this industry. I enjoy every single thing about my job, especially being able to put a smile on someone’s face when we come up with a solution for their problem. There is no better feeling than having a customer come to you with an application or change that they want to make in their operation and sitting down with them to figure out the best and most efficient approach and solution,” says Young. Zachary says he has learned the importance of asking the right questions to figure out what a customer needs. “I do my best to educate the customer on the products that we carry to make sure that it is the best fit for their application,” says Young.

Along with helping customers, he monitors the logistics of equipment and supplies in their location, tracks and makes sure that purchase orders are on time, and handles in-house transfers between his location and the other three Kesco stores. He also helps to merchandise showroom products, helps oversee marketing strategies and works with the store managers and principals to make sure that it meets the needs of the business.

When you are surrounded by successful, dedicated professionals, you know you’re in the right place.

“One of the things I love about the foodservice industry is whether you’re a manufacturer, dealer, chef or waitress, it is the dedication to the craft that makes us all inspired to be the best. The foodservice industry is always changing and innovating and that means that there are always new and better solutions to problems that operators and owners have daily. This allows us, as foodservice professionals, to help them with new solutions and opportunities as they become available. Kesco has always gone above and beyond to promote professionalism and personal development. When I started, I knew very little about the “whole picture” of the food service industry. I was quickly shown resources that I could use to learn about the vast number of things that this industry covered. One of these was SEFA’s E&S 101. From the very start, Kesco made it clear that if there was ever anything I did not know, to ask any of them about it and they would be sure to steer or train me to understand it. I took advantage of that and made sure to ask a lot of questions. After eight months, Kesco selected me to go to a SEFA Conference. I had no idea what to expect, but when I came back from this conference I was pumped and hungry to learn more,” says Young.

Zachary is very successful in the SEFAPro program. “SEFA training has been extremely beneficial to me as someone who did not know much about the foodservice industry. The webinars, conferences, professional guidance, SEFA tools, and the support that SEFA offers to every single SEFA Member has been unsurpassed by anything I have ever seen. Without SEFA, and the guidance of everyone at Kesco, I would not have the knowledge that I do today about this industry. There is a certain level of professionalism that comes with the way that foodservice professionals talk and carry themselves around each other. This is what has led me to want to be as knowledgeable and as forthcoming as I can be when talking to others in this Industry. I pride myself on always trying to learn as much as I can. We all have our flaws, but it’s what we do to change or improve on them that shapes us,” says Young.

Integrity and character come from influences that start at a young age.

My parents inspired me to always be myself and to always see things from more than one point of view. Growing up in a military family, my parents were role models. The older I got, the more I realized just how much my parents sacrificed to make sure that I succeeded. They always inspired me to try to be the best person I could be and to always try to accomplish my goals.

Zachary lives in Valparaiso Florida. He says, “I hope to one day find the woman of my dreams, but for now I am happy with where I am in my life. I enjoy spending my weekends with family and friends grilling some steaks and having a grand ole time. I enjoy fishing and any kind of water sports or outdoor activities. I am passionate about cars and working on my house. I have two brothers, one that is exactly 13 months apart from me to the day. We often get mistaken for twins. My other brother was part of a transportation unit attached to the commanding General of Fort Irwin or the Commanders chauffeur as they called him. Sadly, he passed away about seven years ago and is someone I hold very close to my heart. My family and friends play a huge part of my personal life and I would not have it any other way.”

Zachary has a birthday this month on May 22. One of Zach’s favorite quotes is “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.” -– Aristotle

SEFA is proud to recognize Zachary Young as Featured SEFAPro. The 110% he puts into everything he does makes it impossible for him to achieve anything short of success.  He is dedicated to the industry, Kesco, his customers, and his colleagues. His passion for knowledge and his desire to share it with his team and his customers makes him a very valuable player in our industry.  Congratulations, Zachary!