DSR of the Month

The only monthly feature that profiles the careers of the industry’s most accomplished foodservice equipment and supplies dealer sales reps by presenting their achievements, views on customer service and secrets to their success.

Scott Ellerhorst,Sales, Design, Consultant C&T Design and Equipment Co., Cincinnati

Working in the restaurant industry from the ground up for more than two decades has served Scott Ellerhorst well in his sales, design and consulting career in C&T Design and Equipment Co.’s Cincinnati office. “I started in high school bussing tables at restaurants, moved up to washing dishes and eventually became a general manager,” he says.

Jeff Fortier, Territory Manager, Fortier Inc., Conway, Ark.

When Jeff Fortier joined his family’s company, Fortier Inc., 18 years ago, the main concern was his unfamiliarity with the products he’d be selling. “I was doing well as sales manager for a sunglasses company out in Virginia, and didn’t know much about the foodservice equipment industry,” he says. “But my uncle Rick said he could teach me, and I knew that learning about a gazillion different products wouldn’t be an obstacle for me.”

Nick Pope, Project Manager, The Boelter Companies, Chicago

Nick Pope had visions of becoming a chef while attending culinary school and working at an equipment dealership part time. He realized being a chef wasn't for him when he took a 12-hour class that ended at 2 a.m. "It put me over the edge," he recalls.

Jim Bologna, Account Executive, Great Lakes Hotel Supply Co., Southfield, Mich.

It wasn't until Jim Bologna took a cooking class while working toward a degree in hotel hospitality at Michigan State University that he realized his calling. He went on to earn his Associate's Degree in Culinary Arts, and worked as a chef for more than 20 years.

Eric Hsieh, Equipment Sales, Action Sales, Monterey Park, Calif.

Eric Hsieh has always enjoyed eating out. In fact, growing up, he rarely ate at home. "My family in Taiwan was in the foodservice industry, so that may have had something to do with it," he says.

Gretchen Chiasson, Sales Manager Associated Food Equipment and Supplies Inc., Gulfport, Miss.

At 15 years old, Chiasson worked every day after school at Associated Food Equipment and Supplies Inc., the Gulfport, Miss.-based company founded and owned by her aunt and uncle, Lonnie and Roberta Shelton. She graduated college from the University of Southern Mississippi with a degree in accounting and was well on her way to a successful career as director of finance for an area hospital.

DSR of the Month: Michael L. Scheiman, Vice President, Business Development + Design, Myers Restaurant Supply, Alameda, Calif.

Michael Scheiman started his career cooking at some of the country's most notable restaurants, including New York's Nobu, Tribeca Grill and Soho Grand Hotel, where he earned accolades as a rising star chef. Scheiman then found his way to California Café in Palo Alto, Calif., as the executive chef.

Mariah McManaman, Account Manager for Avanti Restaurant Solutions, Folsom, Calif.

After joining Noah's Bagels out of high school, Mariah McManaman felt she found a home in the foodservice industry. Nine years later the equipment side started calling her name and she wound up working for an independent manufacturers' rep firm. That eventually led her to Avanti Restaurant Solutions, where she's resided for the past 12 years.