Graduates - 2017 IFDA Executive Development Program

for Foodservice Distribution Executives

A list of the 2017 class is available at the bottom of this page.

Members of the 2017 Class shared their thoughts after their first Darden Session

“Simply stated, Darden is the single greatest experience in my professional career. The Professors are passionate, engaging and have a contagious energy. An outstanding program!
Frank J. Case III, Executive Vice President, Performance Foodservice - Temple, Texas

“Learned so much in just 3 Days! I can only imagine what I would learn if I went full time!”
Karla Bulluck, Vice President/General Manager, SYGMA - Southern California

“I have participated in several other further education programs and the Darden Executive Education program ranks at the top. The instructors were able to thoughtfully connect the dots between academic theory and the business world we face every day. The information provided is clear, concise and thought provoking. The strength of the program is the faculties’ ability to effectively engage the entire group, challenging you to view every topic from entirely new angles.”
Kevin Ullrich, Chief Executive Officer, Jake’s Finer Foods

“In three days of Darden classroom instruction, I significantly added to my knowledge base on how to strategically engage our team members, operators and supplier partners in a process which will create value for all us.”
Randy Tollison, Director, Center of the Plate & Mfg., Ben E. Keith Foods

“This program will challenge you to rethink what you think you know about leading, learning and change in a very positive way. You don't get humbled; you get inspired!”
Tom West, Vice President, Purchasing, Merchants Foodservice

This program allows you to focus, learn, and dedicate yourself to improvement. We all get distracted every day. This program requires your attention and dedication. Preparation, attendance, and participation are required for success. Any decision maker should attend this course. My strategic thinking has greatly improved because of this program.
Aaron Kerkhoff, Director of Sales, Kohl Wholesale

“An outstanding program that refreshes forgotten knowledge and challenges one to think in new ways. The entire program was engaging. It is amazing to see a group of industry leaders sitting in a room fully focused on learning.”
Ethan DeWall, Director of Warehousing, Martin Bros. Distributing Co., Inc.

“The program was extraordinary in every sense of the word. I have since expressed to family, friends and peers that it was a life changing opportunity. I am already looking forward to getting the additional reading assignments and the next set of assignments so that I can continue to learn and look to find ways that I can be a more effective leader in my organization. I cannot wait until we return in July!”
David Ruff, Vice President, Procurement & Marketing, Performance Foodservice - Batesville
The 2017 Graduating Class

ROW 1: Dean Curtis - Shamrock Foods Company - Southern California, Toby Bronson - Reinhart Foodservice - Milwaukee Division, Danielle Graves - Ben E. Keith Foods, Rob Krakenberg - PFG-Customized Support Services, Autumn Kletzien - Reinhart Foodservice, LLC, Bryan Langston - Dot Foods, Inc., Betsy Miles - Sysco Corporation, Brian Lynch - IFDA, Charlynn Driscoll - IFDA

ROW 2: David Ruff - Performance Foodservice-Batesville, Joseph Mott - Gordon Food Service (HQ), Joe Reynolds - Performance Foodservice - IFH Florence, Roger Tiberio - UniPro Foodservice, Inc., Spencer Warren - Gordon Food Service Freezer Facility, Aaron Kerkhoff - Kohl Wholesale, Brad Fielding - Centennial Foodservice, Cortney Jones - Centennial Foodservice/Eleven Food Group, Mark Hurley - Poultry Products Northeast

ROW 3: Ted Simes - Lentz Milling Company, Stephen Greer - Reinhart Foodservice - Valdosta Division, Randy Tollison - Ben E. Keith Foods, Jay Larsen - Shamrock Foods Company, Michael Oliver - Jacmar Foodservice Distribution, Jeff Ray - PFG Customized Support Services, Jason Goodman - Performance Foodservice - Somerset, Ethan DeWall - Martin Bros. Distributing Co., Inc., Rene Acuna - McLane Foodservice Distribution - Riverside

ROW 4: Darshan Patankar - Reinhart Foodservice, LLC, Karla Bulluck - SYGMA-Southern California, Kevin Ullrich - Jake’s Finer Foods, Michael Push - Legacy Foodservice Alliance, Frank Case III - Performance Foodservice-Temple, Texas, Tom West - Merchants Foodservice, John Stevens - UniPro Foodservice, Inc., Brent Keegstra - Van Eerden Foodservice, Andrew Roman - Quaker Valley Foods Inc., Shawn Mullins - Ben E. Keith Foods

Not Shown: Kirk Stowell - B&C Food Distribution, Chae Lim - Saval Foodservice, Jackson Pearce - Ginsberg’s Foods, Inc.