The Ultimate 2020 Conference Recap: The Future is Clear

“This year’s conference was like nothing I’ve ever seen. The keynotes, the breakouts, the networking – all of it was off the charts. It’s a real privilege to contribute to such an amazing group of professionals who’re challenging the industry like this. The amount of ideas and knowledge exchanged were nothing short of extraordinary. It makes me proud to be a manufacturers’ rep, and I hope it made others feel the same way.” - Kevin Eaton, MAFSI President, Eaton Marketing Associates, Inc.

Well, our members did it again. They took another record, and obliterated it.

On January 22-25, over 730 attendees descended upon the Omni La Costa Resort & Spa, San Diego to learn, network, and inspire the future of foodservice – and most importantly – the future of themselves. Discussions occurred. Ideas emerged. And we all left knowing more about the issues facing us, our industry partners, and the future of the foodservice industry.  MAFSI 2020 was our  largest conference to date, beating last year’s record by over 100 attendees with 377 reps from 151 different rep agencies and 216 manufacturers from 104 different factory brands. Add the spouses, speakers, guests, allieds, and everyone who came ready and eager to learn and prepare their business, careers, and themselves for what’s next, and the grand total of attendees was 730.

Check out the video from Kevin Eaton, MAFSI President

 And learn they did. 
Kelly Decker, Decker Communications

Themed "The Future is Clear," this year’s conference was singularly focused on providing the tools, resources, trends, and tactics to prepare attendees for the opportunities of today, and tomorrow.

They heard from great keynote speakers like Thom Blischok, a world-leading expert on the convergence of retail and restaurants, and heard his predictions on the opportunities the merger of these two industries will bring.

They welcomed back MAFSI favorite Dave Mitchell, who taught them that to better understand ourselves is to better understand our employees, our businesses, and our future.  

They listened in awe to sales icon, Brian Tracy; communications expert Kelly Decker; teamwork authority Ross Bernstein; social selling leader Jeff Molander; life expert Ben Nemtin and American hero; and philanthropist, Lt. Dan Rooney. 

They also learned about the future of industry partners, with keynotes from Dave Groff, Webstaurant and Jerry Hyman, TriMark and the channel partner association presidents on how they move forward as the five families featuring Kevin Eaton, MAFSI; Joe Carlson, NAFEM; Michael Keck, FEDA; John Schwindt, CFESA and Eric Norman, FCSI. 

Ben Nemtin,  co-founder of The Buried Life movement Brian Tracy, Speaker and head of Brian Tracy International

They know now that in just five short years, most meals currently cooked at home will be ordered online and delivered by restaurants and central kitchens; how off premise dining will rise from 35 billion to $365 billion; that grocery stores will be 60% retail, 40% foodservice; and that the North American E & S industry will close to double, from 14.5 billion to a 25 billion dollar industry. 

All in all, MAFSI 2020 offered 68 educational sessions including 11 keynotes, 42 breakouts, 13 roundtables including five operator segments and best practices, and two pre-conference workshops taught by 70 experts from both inside and outside the industry. They taught them how to see the future and gave them the tools to transform their companies. As reps and manufacturers they know how they need to work together and they know how to capitalize on the opportunity ahead. See our full conference schedule and speakers

The conference was also host to over 20 member service companies, and over 20 manufacturer exhibitors looking for reps.

Speaking of the future.

We welcomed over 141 rep and manufacturer members under the age of 40 at this year’s conference. They know that their future is clear. And that we’re here to support them as much as they support us. 

The Green Machines

For a complete list of MAFSI's 2020 Board of Directors and Executive Committee, please CLICK HERE.

The MAFSI Board of Directors are devoted to progress and serving the needs of you, our valued members. Our board fearlessly confronts the obstacles facing foodservice reps with the ever-changing landscape of the industry, while identifying and maximizing opportunities to advance reps in every way possible.   

You could easily spot one of our green machines by their bright, cheerful green blazers. They were easy to spot in the crowd, and many folks came up to share their thoughts, compliment the conference, or simply introduce themselves. 

(From left) MAFSI Board Members Carl Kisner, Ignite Foodservice Solutions, & Mitch Marcotte, GMV Sales

Representing a great deal of our individual regions, our board is a culmination of the unique perspectives all of our members bring. And moreover, they’re here to listen to YOUR issues and YOUR challenges. They’re your voice to the tactical and strategic direction of our association, and they want to hear what you have to say.

Additionally, if you’re interested in becoming involved with the Board, or with one of our many committees, please feel free to let us know. Our volunteer members are the backbone of the great things we do, and we can never have too much help.   

For a complete list of MAFSI’s 2020 Board of Directors and Executive Committee, please CLICK HERE.

Continuing the Conversation

Click here to see all the 2020 Conference Photos
Tweet/Facebook/InstaGram your conference story using #MAFSI2020
Click here to see the 2020 MAFSI Award Winners
Click here to see MAFSI's 2020 Officers & Leadership Team

Our Conference Chairs Helped Us See the Bigger Picture

Thank you to this year’s MAFSI Conference chairs. 

They knocked it out of the park with their content programming and speaker selections, and it’s their hard work that made this year’s conference the most successful EVER. We not only appreciate their input and Oscar-worthy acting skills but also their very hard work (and manual labor) in making this conference the best one yet! We can truly never thank them enough. 


2020 Rep Conference Chairs

 Karey Clements 
Vice Principal
Forbes, Hever & Wallace

 Dave Hartlerode
Redco Foodservice Equipment, LLC

Mike Klosterman 
Outside Sales
Apex Commericial Kitchen Co.

   2020 Manufacturer Chairs

 Christina Barker 
Director of Sales
Imperial Commercial Cooking Equipment

 Deb Hanson
Vice President of Sales 
Vulcan Food Equipment Group

 Emma Stamm
Senior Marketing Manager
Lakeside Manufacturing, Inc.


And Then They Were One

Over the next two days of the conference, our reps, manufactures, allies, and media came out from their respective hives, and became one. 

Our all-attendee keynotes, breakouts, and roundtables included 40+ industry experts from our own industry, and outside of it. They spoke on issues ranging from the impact of Amazon Business on reps and manufacturers, energy efficiency, to connecting with other people, and the power of personal charisma. The sessions also included eye-opening economic forecasts, protecting your online reputation, and much, much more. 

From Left: 
John O’Hallaron, CLV Marketing, Larry Cantamessa,  PBAC & Associates, Ltd., Michael Posternak, PBAC & Associates, Ltd., Ed Pecinka, Pecinka Ferri Associates, Jason Butler, BSE Marketing, Jeff Hessel, BSE Marketing, Rob McKeown, Lehr McKeown Marketing Associates,
Adam Kaufman, Kaufman & Associates, Kevin Eaton, Eaton Marketing Associates, Inc. and MAFSI President

And the Award Goes To...

On Friday, January 26th, we hosted our biennial Awards Ceremony.  During the reception, 17 MAFSI members, one MAFSI chapter, and two non-members were presented with eight awards for their demonstrated leadership, as nominated by their peers. 

For full details on our 2020 Awards Ceremony, please CLICK HERE.





And, oh yeah. Almost forgot.  We had a LOT of fun, too.

From our biennial golf tournament to our numerous cocktail hours and first ever Top Golf party, there was no shortage of fun opportunities to network and catch up with fellow colleagues and friends. Attendees had a blast learning hard, working hard, and playing hard at 22 networking functions. Special thanks for all the laughs, memories, and good times! 





Kevin Eaton appreciating his Golf Tournament Trophy

Our Keynotes

Here’s a listing of our keynote speakers with links to their books where applicable.  (presentations - if available, along with books they’ve written:

Dave Groff

Thom Blischok

Dave Mitchell, The Power of Understanding Yourself 

Jeff Molander, Off the Hook Marketing

Jerry Hyman

Brian Tracy, Eat That Frog 

Kelly Decker, Communicate to Influence

Ross Bernstein, The Code

Ben Nemtin, What Do You Want To Do Before You Die

Lt. Col. Dan Rooney, A Patriot's Calling: My Life as an F-16 Fighter Pilot

2020 Sponsors 

We can never thank our sponsors enough. Without you, none of this would've been possible. 

Similarly, each and every MAFSI Conference is an example of just how vast our support is. Thank you to the following sponsors for making this event possible.

Platinum Sponsors:

Middleby Corporation

Gold Sponsors:

AFS  Anderson Foodservice Solutions
BSE Marketing
High Sabatino Associates
Jackson WWS, Inc.
KCL / Kochman Consultants, Ltd.
Rhinocan Filtration Inc.
Squier Associates, Inc.
T & S Brass and Bronze Works
Tablecraft Products Corporation
The Hansen Group
Vulcan Food Equipment Group 

Silver Sponsors:

Apex Commercial Kitchen Co.
Continental Refrigerator
Dave Swain Associates, Inc.
E. Ruff & Associates, Inc.
Eaton Marketing Associates, Inc.
HRI, Inc.
Ignite Foodservice Solutions
Jackson And Associates, Inc.
New Age Industrial Corporation, Inc.
Roy Siegel & Associates

Bronze Sponsors:

Federal Industries
Georgia Power Company
LMS Associates
PBAC & Associates  LTD
Redco Foodservice Equipment, LLC
Total Source Equipment & Supply
Vader & Landgraf, Inc.
Vita-Mix Corporation
W. D. Colledge Co., Ltd. 

Supporting Sponsors:

Agences Hamilton Agencies
Bizerba North America
Channel Manufacturing, Inc.
Chrane Foodservice Solutions
DJ Marketing & Associates
Forbes, Hever & Wallace, Inc.
Greenwald Sales & Marketing, LLC
Griffin Marketing Group, Inc.
Permul Ltd.
PRIDE Centric Resources
Winholt Equipment Group 

Golf Sponsors:

Arctic Air
Brucha Corp
Chill-Rite 32 Mfg.
CookTek Induction Systems, LLC.
C.R. Peterson Associates, Inc.
Crown Brands, LLC
Duke Manufacturing Company
Eaton Marketing Associates, Inc.
Electrolux Professional, Inc.
EVO Inc.
Hubbell Electric Heater Company
Imperial Brown, Inc.
Jade Range/ Beech Ovens
Lakeside Manufacturing, Inc.
LTI, Inc.
Perlick Corporation
Premier Marketing Group, Inc.
Premier Metal and Glass
Restaurant Equipment Professionals
RPI Industries, Inc.
Spray Master Technologies
Structural Concepts Corporation
TAFCO – TMP Manufacturing Co.
Thermo-Kool/ Mid-South Industries, Inc.
TLC Marketing Inc.
TMC Digital Media
TurboChef Technologies
Vulcan Food Equipment Group
W.D. Colledge Co. Ltd
Wood Stone Corporation


 Non-Extreme Sports Party Sponsor:

Excell Foodservice Equipment Dealer Network


Questions? Please contact us today at (404) 214-9474 or [email protected].