November/December 2016

Every snowflake has impact.
by Jeff Couch, Preferred Marketing Group

"Every piece of the universe, even the tiniest little snow crystal, matters somehow. I have a place in the pattern, and so do you.”- T.A. Barron

No matter which year-end holidays you celebrate (or none at all), the fact that most people take some time off during this last couple of weeks of December, creates an opportunity for reflection. Myself included. (Less the time off.)

My MAFSI presidency will come to a close at NAFEM 2017, and I’ve spent some recent days reflecting over the last two years. We had an amazing conference, launched SpecPath, compiled a board of directors who are making a tremendous difference, and our membership is more engaged than ever.

Above all, here’s what I realized: All our members make an impact. Whether they realize it or not.

Each person that attends our conference, or participates in the Barometer or Market Forecast; they make a difference. Even if you’ve just joined, or been a member for decades -- you make a difference.

The proof is in the hundreds of agent members that submitted surveys for our 2017 Market Forecast, and our Barometer. Each of these surveys help us compile more data, and provide the smartest report possible - and every single survey matters. The data used to create these reports help the entire industry set attainable goals, and function in a smarter way. And because of these members, we know we’re on deck for more positive growth. The Barometer is forecasting +3.6% for the fourth quarter, and the Market Forecast is predicting +4.4% increase in overall sales for all of 2017. Intelligence we now know, thanks to those many members, and their contributions.

The proof is in the cross collaboration we’ve done with the sister organizations of our industry. CFESA, FCSI, FEDA, MAFSI, and NAFEM have been working hard to tackle the big issues of the commercial foodservice industry. Leadership from all five families met once in June, and again in September, to hash out solutions for finding new talent, and better telling the story of our great industry.

The proof is in the record attendance levels set at our 2016 Business Development Conference & Sales Management Forum. Almost 600 foodservice equipment reps, manufacturers, allies, and more convened in Phoenix for three days of networking and learning with a single goal: to be better at what they do.

The proof is in the 475 rep members, on SpecPath. Their participation in this program helps to ensure credits are tracked, and manufacturers get priceless market and consultant intelligence. Built on a crowd-sourced system, this program wouldn’t be possible without our members’ participation.

The proof is also in the dedication of our board of directors and executive committee. Their combined efforts have helped us move the association in directions previously unheard of. I’m personally grateful to each one of them for their ongoing dedication, and leadership.

In particular, your incoming President and current Vice President, Chris Jeens, of W.D. Colledge in Mississauga, Ontario. I can think of no one you would be in better hands with. Chris was this year’s FES Top Achiever – Rep, was a MAFSI conference chair in 2014, and won MAFSI’s Special Achievement award not once, but twice. Both in 2014, and again at this year’s conference. He will be a tremendous ally to reps, manufacturers, and the industry.

It’s also important to note, Chris will be supported as President by Kevin Eaton of Eaton Marketing (Treasurer/Incoming Vice President) and Melissa Greenwald of Zink Foodservice Group (Incoming Treasurer.) Both members are top-notch reps, and have collectively given many years of support to our Board of Directors. I’m thankful to both of them for their service, and their dedication.

I will hand Chris the gavel on Friday, February 10th at the MAFSI Membership Meeting and Cocktail Party during NAFEM. I’m looking forward to the event, and to the show.

I hope you will join us.

Happy Holidays to all of you.

altJeff Couch

Jeff is the 2016 MAFSI President and principal of the Preferred Marketing Group, an independent multi-line foodservice equipment and supplies rep firm. A former chef himself, and a prudent business man, Jeff prides himself in helping brands improve efficiencies through engineered solutions.

Prior to PMG, he held the positions of Corporate Chef, Product Manager and Vice President of Garland/US Range, a Manitowoc company. Jeff brings vast knowledge and practical experience to all facets of foodservice. Jeff can be reached at or (800)-292-4764.

Questions or Comments? Please contact us today at (404) 214-9474 or