It’s such a joy and a privilege each year for the International Foodservice Distributors Association (IFDA) to recognize our esteemed Hall of Fame drivers. Our drivers are the people who make our work possible, going above and beyond to deliver the foodstuffs behind millions of meals in the U.S. This year, not only do we have the largest class of inductees—87 drivers from 13 companies—we also have our first woman to receive the honor.
Alicia Seyler might be new to the IFDA Hall of Fame, but she’s not new to the road. In August 2023, she clocks her 28th year driving with US Foods.
Like many of her peers behind the wheel, she became a driver in civilian life after leaving the Army, where her specialty was driving all types of vehicles, from smaller 5-ton cargo trucks to big tank haulers. Describing the experience as “fun," she credits her military experience for leading her to pursue a driving career after the military.
Initially hired as a truck delivery driver with Yancey's Food Service, after six months in this role, a class A route opened, and she jumped at the chance to take on the new route. It was only after many years and numerous overnights serving that route that she opted to take a local Fort Collins, Colorado route five days a week. Eventually, Yancey's was acquired by Food Services of America, which was ultimately acquired by US Foods. “I’ve been in the foodservice distribution industry for the entirety of my 28 years since my military service with the U.S. Army,” she says proudly.
And IFDA is proud too, of her stellar safety record and the outstanding customer service she’s known to deliver along with the products in her vehicle. Whereas long haul truck drivers spend many lonely hours on the road, in foodservice distribution, frequent client contact is a part of the job, the part of the job Alicia most treasures.
“My favorite part about being a driver is my varied interactions with the customers I deliver to,” she says. “You tend to build relationships with many of them, and it's very satisfying when they look forward to you showing up with their order. Often, their enthusiasm stems from the personal interactions we have together—as a foodservice delivery driver, you can make someone's day by providing great service!
Alicia credits both customers and the culture at US Foods as factors for why she’s stayed in the business as long as she has. “Having the respect of my peers as a woman driver is fantastic.” That respect has been well deserved after nearly three decades of dedication to the industry. To those who may want to follow her footsteps—especially other women who might be reluctant to pursue a career as a driver, Alicia recommends they follow their passion. “With the right attitude, anyone can excel in this profession. It’s a profession that allows you to be out there and not be stuck behind a desk, so that’s fun too!”
IFDA is thrilled that 28 years ago, Alicia Seyler opted for foodservice distribution as her post-military career, and we are even more thrilled that she has found it fulfilling for all these years. We hope she stays behind the wheel for many, many more!
About the International Foodservice Distributors Association
The International Foodservice Distributors Association (IFDA) is the premier trade organization representing the $350 billion foodservice distribution industry and the 350,000 people it employs. This industry ensures a safe and efficient supply of food and products to more than one million restaurants and foodservice outlets in the U.S. daily. For more information, visit www.ifdaonline.org