Young Industry Leaders

Formed to help identify and develop the diverse range of talent within the foodservice equipment and supplies industry, FEDA’s Young Industry Leaders (YIL) seeks to engage dealer/distributor/manufacturer professionals serving in various leadership roles by offering leadership development training and opportunities to network with other young industry professionals.

YIL was founded by the Foodservice Equipment Distributors Association (FEDA) in 2018. As outlined in the Association’s strategic plan, one of FEDA’s highest priorities is to elevate the status of young professionals within the Association and beyond. YIL serves as a vehicle to solicit feedback and guidance from this key demographic as well as to ensure YIL participants have an opportunity to play a more active role in shaping FEDA’s future.

YIL seeks to carry out its mission by organizing the following: 

  • Two-day regional retreats designed for groups of 10 to 12. Meetings include presentations by notable industry veterans, leadership training, dialogue on the industry’s most pressing issues, and social/networking activities. 

  • More activities at the FEDA annual conference designed to increase the attendance of young industry leaders and foster a greater sense of connection and belonging. 

  • Use recruitment efforts and meetings as a vehicle to encourage diversity in association leadership and involvement.

Young Industry Leaders are nominated by the principals in FEDA member dealerships, distributors, and manufacturers. They are age 40 and under, serve in a variety of leadership roles within their companies, and must meet the following criteria to participate in YIL’s Leadership Development Program:

  • Serve in a full-time role within a FEDA-member organization.

  • Manage people or manage a process.

  • Make strategic decisions.

  • Collaborate well with others.

FEDA’s Young Industry Leaders (YIL) Steering Committee held its first meeting at the 2018 E&S Industry Summit this past March. Led by Chair Gene Clark, the group has been charged with identifying how young leaders in the distribution community can play a more active role in shaping FEDA’s agenda. First steps for achieving this goal include recruiting E&S professionals that will be emerging as leaders within the next five years, and then providing leadership training. YIL’s other priority will be increasing the number of 40-and-under attendees at the FEDA conference by organizing networking activities—before the conference—and more activities geared toward the group during the conference.