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Madison Stampley
March 2014
“You are never doing the same thing. That’s why I like being a DSR,” says Madison Stampley, a distributor sales rep (DSR) for Merchants Foodservice. She has been with Merchants for three and a half years. Previously she was a sales rep for a printing company. Merchants is headquartered in Hattiesburg, Miss.,  but Stampley works from the company’s Jackson, Miss. Distribution Center. Her territory is Natchez, a small town 90 miles from Jackson.
Cheryl Ho
February 2014
Working in purchasing prior to becoming a distributor sales rep (DSR) has given Cheryl Ho an edge in understanding everything she needs to know about products for her customers. She has been a rep with Y. Hata, headquartered in Honolulu, for two years. Prior to that, Ho worked in purchasing and, later, in sales for another foodservice distributor. In-depth product knowledge makes her a valuable resource when it comes to helping operators build their businesses.
Jack Lorenzo
January 2014
Quality of life is important to Jack Lorenzo, distributor sales rep (DSR) at Jake’s Finer Foods in Houston. “You have free evenings. The hours are better as a sales rep,” he says comparing his present life with his prior 30-year career in the restaurant business. “You work just as hard but it’s a better life style.” Lorenzo was in the family’s business, which at one time consisted of 30 Mexican- and Italian-themed operations. Now, he explains, he can spend time with his children and his grandson and do some volunteer work.
Jim Bibb
December 2013
For Jim Bibb, every week is a balancing act. But he thrives on it. He is a DSR (distributor sales rep) at Mattingly Foods in Louisville, Ky. and also acts as sales manager. It takes a lot of attention to time management to keep his customers happy and, simultaneously, stay on top of the company’s overall sales effort. While it takes time and planning, Bibb has experience on the operator side of the business and the hours and stress are far greater there, he says.
Telly Simou
November 2013
Telly Simou has been involved in foodservice all of his life. His family had a restaurant, he is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America and he and his wife had a pizzeria/family restaurant in Millerton, N.Y. He left the operator side of the business nine years ago to become a distributor sales rep (DSR) so that he could spend more time with his family. While being a DSR is a seven-day job, he says, he is still able to be involved in his kids’ sports and activities.
Paul Body
October 2013
How does Paul Body help customers improve their business? He plays detective. Body (rhymes with “roadie”), sales rep at Florida Food Service, sits in the corner of a customer’s dining room and watches and listens. He pays attention to servers as well as customers and is able to spot issues or opportunities as they arise. He gives the operator a report on what he saw that worked and what didn’t, making recommendations on what to change to make the business more profitable.
Becky Hughes
September 2013
Becky Hughes has been a distributor sale rep (DSR) at Wood Fruitticher Grocery Company in Birmingham for 17 years. She loves it and credits being a rep with surviving a devastating bout with cancer. In 2011, Hughes was diagnosed with Stage 4 breast cancer. After radical chemo, surgery and radiation therapy, all of which she say are worse than cancer, she worked from home. As soon as she was able, she got out and visited customers. “It gave me the will to live, to get up every morning,” she says. “It saved my life.”
Kent Schultz
August 2013
“I made the switch because I had always wanted to be a food salesman,” says Kent Schultz about why he left a job as a manufacturer rep to became a distributor sales rep (DSR). Schultz, who joined Martin Bros. Distributing Co. in 1994, had been selling a single category – snacks – for a major consumer goods company. ”I thought it would be fun and it is,” he says. His decision to make the move was a wise one. He now rings up $12 million a year in sales and loves the relationships he has with his 70 accounts.
Matt Weaver
July 2013
While the physical demands are different for being a white water rafting guide and a distributor sales rep (DSR), there are parallels. As a rafting guide, your charge is to ensure the rafters have an exciting ride while getting them back to shore safely. As a DSR, your goal is to guide your customers through the rapids of competition, diner satisfaction and economic concerns and help get them to bottom-line success. Matt Weaver gained customer satisfaction experience as a rafting guide on the Androscoggin River in Maine.
Eddie Gamez
June 2013
Eddie Gamez has been a distributor sales rep (DSR) for 15 years. He spent the first part of his career with two large distributors in the Houston area but has now found a home at Glazier Foods. According to Jeff Oetken, vice president of street sales at Glazier, Gamez has more than doubled his dollar sales this year and his case sales are up 85% compared with last year. “Eddie is like a magnet when he walks in the room,” Oetken says. “His customers would find it hard to survive without him. He has great experience and is a good listener.”