36th Annual Partnership Conference – Press Release

For Immediate Release


May 11, 2022

Schaumburg, IL—SEFA, LLC celebrated 36 years of partnership at its Annual Partnership Conference, held April 25-29 at the La Quinta Resort & Club in LaQuinta, CA. The event brought together dealer, supplier, and manufacturer rep partners to cultivate new and existing partnerships through participation in group sessions and collaboration in individual meetings. For the first time in SEFA’s 36 year history, they celebrated the achievements of their Dealer and Supplier partners at their Annual Awards Banquet outside, under the stars, with a majestic view of the mountains.

Among the awards presented was SEFA’s Member of the Year award, the highest honor given to a SEFA Dealer. This prestigious award was bestowed to Johnson-Lancaster & Associates. JLA has become one of the nation's leading foodservice equipment dealers, having appeared on the SEFA awards stage eight times since 2004, including being named Member of the Year in 2010. JLA's explosive growth and success have been fueled by a culture that rewards hard work and incorporates the right people into the mix, as well as an unwavering customer focus and a willingness to take risks.

The highest distinction a SEFA Supplier can earn is Supplier of the Year. This honor went to Turbo Air, who demonstrated partnership by taking a fresh approach to assisting SEFA Members in becoming more competitive. Offering distinct programs, hosting visits to their facilities, and educating our SEFAPros on the refrigeration basics fostered collaboration with SEFA dealers.

The Trainer of the Year award is close to the heart of SEFA because training is ingrained in our DNA. More than 30 trainers were nominated for the Trainer of the Year award, with Peter Lutze of Cambro being named the winner and inducted into the SEFA Hall of Fame of great trainers.

SEFA honored two industry veterans with the Industry Statesman award. Peter Nordell of Edlund and Mike Whiteley of Hatco were recognized for their commitment and leadership to the foodservice industry. Their contributions have paved the way for future generations of foodservice professionals.

Additional Dealers and Supplier award winners recognized for their growth and market leadership included:

Dealer Winners:

  • Breakthrough: B&G Restaurant Supply
  • Circle of Excellence: Budget Restaurant Supply, Dick’s Restaurant Supply, and
    IS Restaurant Design Equipment & Supply
  • Great Start: TundraFMP
  • High Achievers:  Culinex, Kesco, and Lafayette Restaurant Supply
  • In Sync with Excellence: Avanti Restaurant Solutions
  • Insider: Session Fixture Company
  • Shining Star: Action Sales
  • Pacesetter: Great Lakes Hotel Supply
  • Pinnacle of Success: Culinary Depot
  • Thrive: Restaurant Depot & Jetro Cash ‘N Carry

Supplier Winners:

  • Outstanding Supplier—Dealer Support: Admiral Craft
  • Outstanding Supplier—Fabrication: Krowne Metal
  • Outstanding Supplier—Light Equipment: Globe Food Equipment
  • Outstanding Supplier—Specialty Product: T&S Brass and Bronze Works
  • Outstanding Supplier—Ventilation: Accurex
  • Thrive: TableCraft

SEFA continues to UNLEASH THE POWER OF TOGETHER by delivering on its promise of providing vital business services and game-changing technology solutions focused on strengthening its partners.

Congratulations to all the deserving award winners. Photos are available upon request.

About SEFA

SEFA, LLC is a nationwide network of leading supply and equipment dealers and vendor partners. Founded in 1986, SEFA has grown to be the industry’s leading foodservice buying, marketing, and training group. SEFA strengthens its partners through the delivery and development of professional business services.