Featured SEFAPros Archive – 2021

Jacob Snyder, Restaurant Depot & Jetro Cash and Carry

Jacob started as a baker and drive-through attendant at Tim Hortons when he was 17. At 18 he was a Manager at the same location. “While at Tim Hortons, I learned the day to day struggles of someone running a foodservice location, including managing staff and payroll, looking for ways to cut waste and increase profit, and how to treat customers,” says Snyder.

He jumped on an opportunity to work at Restaurant Depot and has been there for two years. “Restaurant Depot is just a fun company to work for. I love the people I work with and the fact that my bosses trust me enough to give me a long leash when it comes to new ideas and projects,” says Snyder.

Jacob is the Equipment and Supplies Manager at his store location. He maintains and stocks a department in the store with equipment and smallwares that customers can pick up in a cash and carry environment. He is also in charge of any equipment special orders and quotes on items that customers want to order. He says he also has the opportunity to travel from store to store throughout the Midwest to help with bi-yearly inventories.

Senior Buyer for the store, Russ DePaolis, had this to say about Jacob, “While Jacob has been with us for a short time, he has exhibited enthusiasm, determination, and desire to learn new things whenever possible. He is “all in” on the SEFA training programs and is eager to share what he learns with customers to help them make important buying decisions.”

 Finding your place with a company that brings out your best and offers opportunities to grow and learn is priceless.

“I love the fact that I get to help my customers and that there’s always more to learn! I enjoy helping customers choose the best product for their needs and coming up with innovative solutions that help streamline their kitchens. I almost always put a Chef Base on a quote. I enjoy that the foodservice industry is always changing. Innovations are happening every day and you have to keep up with them if you are going to succeed. There’s also such diversity in this industry. It doesn’t matter what experiences or background you have, if you provide a good service or make a good product people are going to come back,” says Snyder.

In addition to the progression he is making through the SEFAPro program in the areas of product knowledge, personal development, and safety operations, he has completed 70 SEFA SPECS online training courses! “SEFAPro training gives me the knowledge needed and the comfort level to help customers with their questions and recommend the right products for the task. I also know where to look and who to contact if I have questions. The Specs online courses are great and I recommend them to everyone. The amount of knowledge I gained and retained just from the E&S 101 and Sales 101 courses is astonishing. These courses have shaped the way that I sell equipment daily,” says Snyder.

Jacob is inspired by the professionals at Restaurant Depot who help him to be successful. He is very grateful for the high level of support. “I wouldn’t be able to accomplish what I do without the support of my Branch Manager Charles Schneider, Senior Buyer Russ DePaolis, and Director of Operations Gary Stiglitz. All three are there for back up when I need it and they allow me the ability to try new methods of selling,” says Snyder.

Jacob lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan. “I’ve played tennis my entire life and love it. I also enjoy going to the Detroit Zoo with friends and watching The Mandalorian,” says Snyder. Life is good for Jacob.

SEFA is proud to recognize Jacob Snyder as January’s Featured SEFAPro. Jacob is dedicated to staying on top of industry trends and learning about new equipment and supply solutions. He is willing to put in the time and hard work it takes to be the best he can for Restaurant Depot and the customers. He is a true asset to the foodservice industry. Congratulations, Jacob!

Andrew Stack, Culinex, Fargo, North Dakota

Andrew’s sales career started at Best Buy working with Verizon. “In search of my opportunity to better myself personally and professionally, I found Culinex,” says Stack.   Andrew has been with Culinex for just over a year and couldn’t be happier.  Starting as an inside sales/customer service rep, Andrew just recently transitioned to a warehouse manager position where he oversees and assists the logistics team with facilitating receiving and delivery of products.

“I enjoy the personal aspect of my position, as well as the foodservice industry in general. It is very fulfilling to be able to curate a personal relationship with our customers,” says Stack.

Having completed over 95 courses over the last year, Andrew is one of the top three high achievers in SEFA’s Specs E-Learning platform. “I found the Equipment and Supplies 101, 201, courses to be especially beneficial. These courses helped me immensely in understanding the fundamentals as well as the more in-depth products used in restaurants. Since I did not have a foodservice background, these  courses also helped me understand the foodservice industry quicker,” says Stack.

Andrew lives in the downtown Fargo area where he enjoys the outdoors, especially snowboarding. He also enjoys videography and owns a production company with his brother.

SEFA is proud to recognize Andrew Stack as Featured SEFAPro. Andrew is dedicated to staying on top of industry trends and learning about new equipment and supply solutions for his customers.  He is a focused, goal oriented, and hard-working leader. Congratulations, Andrew!

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Kaylin Coequyt, IS Restaurant Design Equipment & Supply

Sioux Falls, SD

 

Kaylin started her journey in the foodservice industry nine years ago. She worked on the catering team for the South Dakota University campus while attending college. After graduation, she became a restaurant manager at a local Country Club in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. While exploring the foodservice industry consultant side, Kaylin happily joined the team at IS Restaurant Design Equipment & Supply as a project coordinator in the fall of 2016.  “I enjoy seeing large projects come to life,” says Coequyt.

Kaylin prepares bids and ensures projects are on track and progressing as they should. She submits purchase orders, gathers shop drawings, tracks/monitors orders, and executes installs. When installs are complete, she enters and follows up punch list items and closeout documentation.

“I thrive in a fast-paced environment and enjoy the variety of complex projects I get to work on, and no one day is the same. Due to the complexity of various large projects, I have an acute attention to detail and am highly organized. I enjoy working with a diverse clientele and communicating clearly and effectively with team members,” says Coequyt.

Kaylin is very successful in the SEFAPro program.  She is a Level 2 SEFAPro and climbing.  “I take pride in always being open to learning something new as I understand the industry is continuously changing and expanding to serve customers and clients more rapidly and efficiently. I enjoy taking on new projects that can help build upon my current knowledge and skillsets,” says Coequyt.

In addition to Kaylin’s participation in SEFA National Sales Conferences, she is very active in the Specs Online E-Learning Platform.  “The SPECS courses are a huge benefit, both personally and professionally. In addition to self-improvement, the SPECS courses have helped me develop goals, be a better communicator, and master conflict. The course that stood out to me the most was the emotional intelligence section.  With this industry being fast-paced and high stress, I recognized my behaviors and habits and reflected on how I could improve and change them going forward,” says Coequyt.

Kaylin lives in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. “I enjoy traveling and the outdoors, especially family morning walks downtown Sioux Falls along the Big Sioux River with a cup of coffee. On the flip side, with my obsession with egg white cocktails, I love shaking and mixing up new recipes! Since it is a universal truth that everyone loves food and beverages, I enjoy hosting and entertaining friends and family in the summertime with cookouts that bring great company!” says Coequyt.

SEFA is proud to recognize Kaylin as Featured SEFAPro.  Her focus, dedication, and passion for learning make her a valuable asset to her customers, IS Restaurant Design Equipment & Supply, and the foodservice industry. Congratulations, Kaylin!

Marci Yockey, Great Lakes Hotel Supply

Southfield, MI

Marci entered the foodservice industry when she found a phenomenal opportunity to join the Great Lakes team. She has been with Great Lakes for seven years and couldn’t be happier. “Before joining Great Lakes, I never stepped foot into a commercial kitchen,” says Yockey. Throughout high school, Marci worked in retail and majored in Fashion Merchandising in college. Prior to Great Lakes, she was a realtor with an unfaltering commitment to helping her clients find their dream homes while making the entire process enjoyable for them. She has found that the same dedication to clients she had in the real estate industry fits right in with the core values of Great Lakes.

Marci is a Project Coordinator and Replenishment Specialist for the National Accounts team at Great Lakes. “I work in the background to make sure every project runs as smoothly as possible,” says Yockey. Marci submits purchase orders, requests/coordinates shop drawings, tracks shipments, and schedules delivery of equipment to the job sites. She also schedules the startups and creates closeout documents. In addition, she quotes all of the replenishment orders, manages the process from the initial purchase order through shipping, and takes care of all warranty issues for the national accounts customers.

“I enjoy the fast pace of our projects. Because each project is different, we have new opportunities and challenges to tackle every day. I love that our industry is always changing with new and exciting innovations being introduced all the time. We are always learning. I am thankful for the training, support, and tools that Great Lakes and SEFA provide to be successful,” says Yockey.

Great Lakes is a strong advocate of SEFA training and believes in providing their team with everything they need to be successful. Marci is very successful in the SEFAPro program. She is all in when it comes to learning. She puts 100% into everything she needs to do to maximize training opportunities and benefits and enjoys applying new knowledge to her role at Great Lakes.

In addition to Marci’s participation in SEFA National Sales Conferences, she has completed over 40 courses in the Specs Online E-Learning Platform. “SEFA training has been a huge benefit to me since I knew absolutely nothing about commercial food equipment when I joined the Great Lakes team. The Specs E-Learning platform is  a fantastic resource with everything in one spot,” says Yockey. She said she had several valuable take-aways from the E&S 101 course she completed through Specs.

Marci attended her first SEFA Academy and National Sales Conference in 2015 and recalls her immediate buy-in to SEFA training. “I am so impressed with the speakers, the training, the networking, and the volume of information that is provided for us to be successful! I leave the SEFA National Sales Conferences with so much confidence and motivation,” says Yockey.

We asked Marci if there is someone who has been an inspiration to her in her career. She said, “Mary Martin from Great Lakes, inspires me every day!!! She has such passion and knowledge. I am constantly learning from her. Her “Do whatever it takes” attitude and her guidance have helped me so much in my role today,” says Yockey.

Marci lives in Michigan with her husband of 23 years, Tom. They have a daughter who will be starting her senior year at the University of Michigan (Go Blue!). They are avid sports fans and enjoy going to Wolverine football and hockey games and spending time with family.

SEFA is proud to recognize Marci Yockey as Featured SEFAPro. Marci is dedicated to staying on top of industry trends and has a passion for learning about new equipment and supply solutions. Her natural customer-focused and grateful personality combined with her get-it-done attitude go a long way for all involved. Congratulations, Marci!

Andy Olson, W. West Equipment & Furnishing
Denver, CO

Andy Olson has been in the foodservice industry for 6-1/2 years. His beginnings include working as a room service waiter for Hilton, which he says was a very interesting experience. He then started at LaMar’s Donuts as a corporate accountant and transitioned into project management and marketing, taking care of new store development and kitchen equipment needs. When he recognized the opportunity available at W. West Equipment and Furnishings, he jumped on it.

 

“My current role is taking care of our second largest chain account. My responsibilities are running a job from award through the end of the warranty period,” says Olson. He reviews drawings, releases PO’s, tracks PO’s, creates CO’s, coordinates installs, runs logistics, service calls, compiles ASA’s, O&M’s, spec books, and invoicing. Needless to say, he keeps pretty busy.

 

“Working with a chain restaurant, there are a wealth of opportunities to meet and partner with very knowledgeable and great people. I enjoy the latitude of my position. I enjoy taking projects from start to finish. The gratitude and relationships built upon completion of a store opening are very rewarding,” says Olson.

 

Andy is a great problem solver that enjoys turning challenges into opportunities. “I’m working on a few projects for a client and we are running into challenges with getting materials on time due to the pandemic. Because of these issues, we’ve started to have more in-depth conversations with the client about our processes and ideas to mitigate this issue that is affecting not just our industry but many industries. The reward is having the opportunity to work closer with our clients, build partnerships, and learn more about how they operate throughout the design and build process,” says Olson. 

 

As far as high achievers in the Specs Online training platform, Andy is in the second highest spot. He has completed 139 Specs courses. “I found the IT Security & Privacy Awareness course to be the most beneficial to me and something that would be useful for everyone. Professionally and personally, it’s incredibly helpful to be able to spot malicious attempts to steal information. I’m watching for more on general technology training because of how often we use it and how important it is to operations,” says Olson. 

 

Andy found the customer service and conflict resolution courses to be great refreshers for him as he has a degree in hospitality. He says these are great courses for direction on how to navigate customer service and conflict resolution situations. 

 

Andy is successful in the SEFAPro training program. “The national sales conferences are beneficial professionally, as well as socially, because of the networking aspect. I don’t have a lot of opportunities to meet other people in this part of the industry and it’s nice to mingle, chat, and bounce ideas off of each other. I get perspective from people dealing with similar issues and from people that are dealing with things I’ve never even heard of yet,” says Olson.

 

We asked Andy if anyone inspires him or has helped him get to where he is today. He said, “My family first and foremost, have been the biggest constant that kept me moving forward. W West has been very supportive and helpful in keeping me advancing and growing professionally and personally,” says Olson. 

 

Andy lives in Centennial, Colorado. Although he says that could change if the housing market in Colorado could chill out for a second. Andy is an avid movie watcher and enjoys going to theater shows. His hobbies include playing the piano and guitar, cooking, going to the gym, choral music, and stand-up comedy. He says he is also a gamer and aspiring cat lady. He offered a weight loss tip… I lost about 70lbs a few years back on mostly spinach smoothies and what I call sad chicken (which is chicken with a no-salt seasoning) diet. 

 

SEFA is proud to recognize Andy as Featured SEFAPro. The 100% he puts into everything he does makes it impossible for him to achieve anything short of success. He is dedicated to the industry, W. West, his customers, and his colleagues. His passion for knowledge makes him a very valuable player in our industry. Congratulations, Andy!

 

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