Labatt, Martin Bros., and Dot Foods Named Inaugural Winners of IFMA's New Distribution Awards

November 2007

IFMA Press Release Reprint

Chicago, Illinois - The International Foodservice Manufacturers Association (IFMA) recently recognized its inaugural winners of a unique series of new foodservice distributor awards. The three awards were presented at the IFMA/IFDA President's Conference on November 13 at the Renaissance Esmeralda Resort and Spa in Indian Wells, CA. Two awards are for distribution companies and one is for an outstanding distribution leader. ConAgra Foods/Lamb Weston, PepsiCo Foodservice and Ventura Foods, LLC, sponsored the awards.

LBT Martin Bros Article Image IFMA Presentation

This year's award winners are as follows.

Labatt Food Service is winner of the IFMA Excellence in Distribution Award, which honors a company that has demonstrated excellence in management and leadership, customer relations, supplier relations and industry contributions.  Labatt Food Service maintains a strong leadership and business ethic, and in its quest to be each customer's primary distributor, forms long-term, partnering relationships with customers.  The company employs innovative systems tailored to each customer's business needs and uses sophisticated technology and logistics to reduce distribution costs and lower customer's purchasing costs. Labatt carries 100 percent national manufacturer brands and was the first to provide customer business reviews. The company has developed ongoing sales training and a successful mentoring program for distributor sales reps.

Martin Bros. Distributing Co., Inc., is winner of the IFMA Distributor Sales & Marketing Performance Award, which recognizes a single independent distributor for successful planning and execution of creative sales and marketing. Martin Bros.' creative sales management and marketing savvy support its reputation for legendary corporate structure focuses on teamwork; Martin Bros. even has a separate facility, the Martin Marketing Center, which serves as a gathering point for suppliers and customers. The company offers high-tech solutions for online ordering and virtual food shows. Its Creative Services Group not only helps the sales team create exciting proposals for customers but also serves as an ad agency for customers.

The Tracy Family of Dot Foods, Inc. is winner of the IFMA Distinguished Industry Achievement Award, which honors an individual or individuals who have contributed to the growth and development of foodservice distribution through enlightened leadership and innovative management. Since Dot Foods' inception more than 40 years ago, the Tracy Family has exhibited a strong commitment to overall industry collaboration and excellence and has shown a high level of support for industry best practices. They have made redistribution a critical business solution for distributors. The family has expanded the company's geographic reach to cover the entire United States and has created cyberspace shopping, via DOT Expressway, which extends a distributor's offerings from 7,500 items in the physical warehouse to 30,000 items in Dot's virtual warehouse. The Dot Foods Learning Center provides 40 hours of training per year for every employee. The family supports many local charities, including construction of the Mt. Sterling Community Center YMCA in 2003.

IFMA's newly launched distinguished distributor awards program is the result of collaboration between IFMA and Caroline Perkins, CEO of Foodservice Insights, based in New York City. Perkins, former editor-in-chief of ID magazine, a publication for the distribution community, has continued a business focus in foodservice distribution. She writes about the industry as a contributing editor for Nation's Restaurant News.

Explaining the new initiative, IFMA president and CEO Michael J. Licata says, "This new awards program highlights the achievements of our distributor partners and emphasizes the strenth of the partnership between IFMA members and their distributor partners." Perkins notes that there presently is no other program that recognizes distribution leaders and says, "This program celebrates the sophistication and value of the distribution industry, and it's a natural fit for the manufacturer community to grant these awards."

The company awards were selected by a jury, and the leadership award was decided by an awards committee. The jury that selected the two company award winners is made up of the following industry leaders:

  • Rick Abraham, President and CEO of the Foodservice Sales & Marketing Association
  • Bill Hale, President of The Group, Ltd.
  • Ellen Koteff, Editor of Nation's Restaurant News
  • Ron Paul, President of Technomic, Inc.
  • Alan Plassche, BP Partners and former CEO of UniPro Foodservice
  • Jim Sullivan, CEO of Sullivision, Inc.
  • Caroline Perkins is chairman of the newly formed IFMA Distributor Awards Committee.

For more information on IFMA's distributor awards, contact IFMA at (312) 540-4400.