Supplier Square

B Kloeckner Cropped 2

Bob Kloeckner , Vivreau

SHFM is kicking off a new feature in our newsletter, the Supplier Square. We want to showcase the talent and knowledge of our supplier community. Our first feature is our current Industry Advisory Board (IAB) Chair and Senior Supplier on the SHFM Board of Directors, Bob Kloeckner with Vivreau.

As our IAB Chair, what message would you like to give to our Supplier community about SHFM and the benefits of SHFM?

There are many organizations and associations in the realm of the food and hospitality world that offer great connections, educational content, and the ability to present your organization's value proposition to prospective clients, but NONE holds a candle to the commitment and quality of interactions that SHFM brings to the table. This is directly related to the quality of our membership and their willingness to help connect each other in meaningful ways. 

A lot of members asked about the IAB and how to get nominated for the Industry Advisory Board, what advice would you give them?

The Industry Advisory Board is comprised of a nominated group of supplier individuals from our SHFM community that offer a broad spectrum of knowledge and expertise to the larger SHFM community and SHFM Board of Directors. Our purpose is to ensure that our supplier voice is being heard and to provide industry insights to our clients and foodservice contractor membership groups. This is also inclusive of identifying new suppler member partners that have a unique perspective on the foodservice industry that would be of benefit to the SHFM community. Having said that, we only know about you and your organization if you choose to get involved. There are many ways to do so, so please do reach out to myself or the FSA staff to understand the unique opportunities our association offers.

 Our IAB not only represents our Supplier community but also plans our annual Hunger Games event, what do you say to those who haven’t yet participated in Hunger Games?

The Hunger Games is one of the highlights of the SHFM national conference. The Hunger games (think of it as an adult version of a series of obstacle courses) is the BEST opportunity to network with peers and senior leaders alike from supplier, foodservice management, and client SHFM membership groups. The primary purpose of the Hunger Games is to provide a charitable monetary benefit to a vetted and selected local area relief group. We do this by raising funds from our membership to help support hunger relief in the community where our national conference is being held. Your sign-up fee (donation) when you play the games helps support these efforts. The by-product of being a part of this activity is not only the ability to make a difference in the lives of others, but also establish meaningful connections amongst your teammates in the industry.

SHFM is about relationship building. For those new to SHFM, what advice would you give to get the most out of involvement with the Society? 

My advice would be to look to join a group within SHFM (membership, marketing, locals, various planning committees) that means something to you. If it feels like work, it’s likely not the right group for you. We all have areas of expertise and our ability to show value through our shared experience enriches our community as a whole. Once you are within the group that you feel works best for you and your schedule, engage with the leadership of that group. Ask for advice on how to make a meaningful impact to your group and also seek to understand other members who could benefit from what your organization offers. Keep in mind that if you are selling your organization hard to the membership you likely will not make much headway. Our community seeks solutions for their businesses, not a sales pitch. 

As a long-time SHFM member, what is your favorite memory of SHFM?

There are many memories that come to mind in thinking of past virtual, local, CIC, golf outings, and National conferences for SHFM. Some that are appropriate for this newsletter and others that involve Russ Benson. Side note- if you do not know who that is- Russ is a wealth of knowledge for our community and he has held many different positions within our industry. Russ is a great person and gave me the opportunity to lead the SHFM Chicago local group. Find your Russ!

Having said that, the Hunger Games likely takes the cake when it comes to MANY favorite memories. The one that stands out the most was the check presentation for the charitable funds that we were able to raise for Dana and our Hunger Games 2019 Charitable partner group Food Now. The sheer tears of joy that he expressed for the $25K impact that we were able to provide to his organization is something that stays with me and drives me to continue to give back to our great industry.

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