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A Special Thank You to FEDA's Many Partners, Supporters and New Thought Leaders


Tracy Mulqueen
Publisher, FEDA News & Views
[email protected]

As we close out 2023, I wanted to give a huge thank you to the hundreds of individuals and companies who have supported FEDA in multiple ways over the past year. As we forged ahead with the continued expansion of the FEDA Data Portal — the first and only industry-owned and uniform foodservice equipment and supplies product database — we built important technology partnerships with more than 350 suppliers and dealers. We also reestablished old relationships and built new ones with a record number of event sponsors, advertisers and Education Foundation contributors. In addition to those successes, FEDA launched two new “thought leadership” groups — the Future of Distribution Council (FDC) and Small Dealers Council (SDC), both of which are uniquely designed to address the current and future needs of the foodservice equipment and supplies distribution industry.

Thought leaders are generally individuals who specialize in a given area and whom others in that industry turn to for guidance. Appointees to these new councils include some of our industry’s most knowledgeable and visionary leaders who will guide FEDA’s strategic priorities going forward. In 2024, the Future of Distribution Council, composed of 12 dealers and 12 manufacturers, will complete issue prioritization, begin examining the latest distribution research and data, and hear from business and academic experts on our evolving distribution channel. Further, the group will participate in inclusive and challenging discussions about the impact of the economy, new technology, labor and other factors affecting distribution, including how business models might look and operate in the future.

Via consensus-building, the council will make recommendations for upcoming and future FEDA initiatives, potentially including revised mission mandates, special projects, or new education and training programs that will strengthen and position the distribution industry for success. The FDC, facilitated by FEDA’s attorney and industry experts, will meet four times in 2024. FEDA is grateful to have as its FDC co-chairs Hotel and Restaurant Supply Chairman Mason Greene and Ice-O-Matic President Erica Motes.

The Small Dealers Council, meanwhile, focuses primarily on the operational, financial and technology needs of small distributors and, like the FDC, will complete needs prioritization in 2024. This 35-member council, which includes successful dealers with annual sales at around or less than $40 million, first met in September and began discussing a wide range of small dealer needs, including the importance of effective and accessible industry technology and customer lending resources, as well as resources for evaluating emerging markets. The SDC will also consider the latest research and data on distribution and hear from business operations, financial and technology experts.

While, like the FDC, the SDC will review the impact of the economy, new technology, and labor on distribution, the SDC will do so from the specific perspective of smaller dealers. As such, the consensus-driven recommendations that come out of this group will ensure the specific needs of smaller dealers are incorporated into FEDA initiatives. The SDC will meet four times in 2024 and we truly appreciate Zepole Supply President Gary Thiakos and Curtis Restaurant Equipment COO Ryan McPhail for co-chairing this important council.

These new groups are integral to FEDA’s strategic planning and work, and you will hear about their progress in upcoming issues of FEDA News & Views. We cannot wait to see what innovative ideas and deeper industry understanding emerge from this all-star collection of thought leaders and we’re confident their guidance will help FEDA provide the right support for the next generation of distribution.   

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