38th Annual Partnership Conference - Press Release



May 21, 2024

Colorado Springs, CO— SEFA, LLC, recently held its 38th Annual Partnership Conference at the Broadmoor in Colorado Springs. This premier event brought together SEFA’s leading dealers and suppliers to recognize their remarkable achievements and foster industry collaboration.
"Our annual conference is a cornerstone for both celebration and strategic alignment. Each year, we take this opportunity to honor those whose innovations and commitments have driven significant growth and excellence in our industry," stated Kelly Cain, CEO of SEFA.
Awards Ceremony Highlights:
Member of the Year: 
Cook's Direct was celebrated for their forward-thinking approach and dedication to meeting today's needs while driving growth for SEFA Supplier Partners. Led by a visionary owner and supported by a resilient and committed team, Cook's Direct has not only excelled but set a new standard for excellence in the industry. This recognition is a testament to their relentless dedication and outstanding accomplishments throughout 2023.
Executive of the Year: 
Jim Zink of Zink Foodservice was awarded for his exemplary leadership and innovative strategies that have expanded our reach and influence. His proactive approach and visionary ideas have brought about transformative changes within the industry. This marks the first time in SEFA’s 38-year history that this prestigious accolade has been awarded to a manufacturer’s representative.
Supplier of the Year: 
The Vollrath Company was honored for their unwavering dedication to quality and service. For over three decades, since 1990, Vollrath has been an integral part of the SEFA community, showcasing commitment to growth and excellence. Their impressive track record, marked by seven outstanding supplier awards in their category and now four prestigious Supplier of the Year accolades, truly highlights their dedication and exceptional service.
Trainer of the Year: 
Thad Smith of Sterno was recognized for his captivating presentations and innovative approach to product training. His ability to create captivating content for a product line that thrives on depth rather than complexity has earned the admiration and overwhelming support of his peers. As the first Featured Product Presenter to win this award, his contributions have greatly enhanced the training experience for SEFA members. 
Dealer Awards:
Circle of Excellence Awards: 
Recognized for significant growth and innovation:

  • Gerharz Equipment has consistently exceeded customer expectations throughout their 50-year history. Since joining SEFA in 2016, they have continuously pushed boundaries, embraced innovation, and fostered growth, all while staying true to their core values and unique company culture.
  • Sunflower/Buller Fixture Company has been an integral part of our community since the inception of SEFA in 1987. Throughout their remarkable 38-year journey, they have evolved alongside their customers' needs, earning them this recognition for two consecutive years of remarkable growth.
  • Boston Showcase Company has truly set the standard for excellence by embodying their core values of respect, accountability, and a customer-first attitude in everything they do. As a fourth-generation, family-run business, they have not only excelled in their industry but have also been acknowledged as a Top Place to Work.

Pinnacle of Success Award: 
C & T Design & Equipment Co. was acknowledged for their leadership in design and operational solutions that have consistently driven industry standards and client successes. This 21st award recognition was a testament to their excellence and continued growth.
Peak Performer Awards: 
Celebrating dealers who have demonstrated exceptional growth and commitment:

  • Jean's Restaurant Supply has once again proven their expansive capabilities beyond the kitchen, marking another year of significant growth and innovation. Their ongoing success has made them a familiar and celebrated name in our awards.
  • State Restaurant Equipment continues to shine as a beacon of excellence, frequently recognized for their commitment and leadership within SEFA. Their active involvement and dedication have significantly contributed to our collective achievements.
  • Supreme Fixture Company has not only excelled in delivering thousands of successful projects but also actively contributes to community outreach efforts, particularly in combating food insecurity. Their dedication to custom-built solutions and impactful community service marks a year of remarkable growth.

High Achiever Awards: 
Recognizing outstanding performance and support of suppliers:

  • Franke Foodservice Supply continues to innovate and excel, building on a century-long legacy of entrepreneurial leadership. Their enduring commitment to meeting customer needs sets them apart as a leader in the industry.
  • Oswalt Restaurant Supply has once again proven their ability to drive significant results through energetic leadership and strategic processes. As a member of SEFA for over three decades, they have consistently demonstrated growth and a commitment to community through their humanitarian efforts.
  • Supreme Hotel & Restaurant Supply has grown from its modest beginnings into a pillar of entrepreneurial success. With expansive warehouse facilities and a new state-of-the-art showroom on the horizon, they continue to adapt and expand, meeting the ever-changing needs of their clients with innovation and a commitment to excellence.

Outstanding Supplier Awards:

Our supplier winners are selected by SEFA Dealers, recognizing those who have demonstrated exceptional contributions and support.

  • Refrigeration: Kolpak, recognized for their significant support and contribution to our group. Kolpak has become synonymous with quality, flexibility, and reliability in their products.
  • Tabletop: G.E.T., commended for their innovative product designs that blend functionality with style. G.E.T. has earned the trust and support of SEFA members, significantly growing our business together through their fashion-forward products and outstanding customer service.
  • Supplies: Cal-Mil, admired for their dedication to crafting products that enhance the dining experience. As a thriving third-generation family-owned business, Cal-Mil operates with a deep sense of pride and expertise in their craft.
  • Cooking: Blodgett, known for their heritage of quality and innovation in designing superior commercial ovens. Blodgett's steadfast commitment to quality and durability has made them a leader in the industry, continuing to resonate deeply within the foodservice sector.
  • Partnership: Duke, celebrated for providing solutions that enhance operational efficiency. With almost a century of experience, Duke has consistently demonstrated a commitment to creative problem-solving and exceptional service, making them an invaluable partner in the SEFA network.

"As we reflect on the success of this year's conference, we are inspired by the remarkable achievements of our honorees. Their dedication and innovation highlight the strength of our community and set the stage for continued growth and excellence within the foodservice industry. Looking ahead, we are excited to foster further advancements and celebrate new successes with our partners," concluded Kelly Cain.
Photos are available upon request.
About SEFA

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