Joe Adams, Vice President Sales and Purchasing, Honor Foods
"I now have a much deeper understanding and respect of how other senior managers in different areas of responsibility problem solve and interact with others."
Honor Foods of Philadelphia, PA, is a redistributor in the mid-Atlantic region that serves customers stretching from Virginia through Maine and westward through Ohio.
Joe Adams is the company’s vice president of sales and purchasing, and oversees the companies sales group. He has more than 20 years in the food business including previous management positions at McCain Foods and Campbells Soup Company.
In 2015, Adams participated in the first IFDA Executive Development Program conducted with the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business. The program has a number of facets that take place over seven months, but the core of the curriculum happens during two sessions at the Darden campus where case studies are used to drive discussions around problem-solving, ethics, leadership, finance, and much more. The time at Darden includes teamwork with other participants in the program and discussions led by Darden professors. Adams said the experience has made a difference for him professionally on many levels.
“The opportunity to work with a group of high level executives from many different facets of the distribution business has helped me the most,” said Adams. “In our sessions, I knew how I problem solved and worked with others. What I learned during my time at Darden was how a financial person, or an operational manager problem solved. This has allowed me to have a new perspective in my day-to-day tasks. I now have a much deeper understanding and respect of how other senior managers in different areas of responsibility problem solve and interact with others,” said Adams.
He also came away with ideas and lessons that he applies in his strategic thought process.
“An example is that I need to think outside of the box and not just look at things in the now, but instead, pull the layers back and look at how an issue came about — look at the possible outcomes based on the facts that I know.” From there, Adams says he can make improved decisions.
On a personal level, Adams made many bonds in the program. “There is nothing I enjoy more than walking through an industry conference or an IFDA event and seeing one of my fellow Darden graduates,” said Adams. “Even though I only spent a few days with these folks, there is a genuine camaraderie that we have all come to cherish. If we see each other, we are all sure to stop and catch up on how each other has been doing and share a memory from our class time together. I believe we all take great pride in being the first to attend this excellent program.”