August 15, 2018

IFDA today announced that Kirk Stowell, Sales Manager, B&C Food Distributors, a Centennial Foodservice company, is the winner of the 2018 Mike Roach Leadership Award.  Established in conjunction with Ben E. Keith Foods, the award honors a top student at the IFDA Executive Development Program at the University of Virginia Darden School of Business, who embodies leadership qualities of former Ben E. Keith Foods President J. Michael Roach.

“More than ever, we need exceptional leaders to help lead us into the future,” said Mark Allen, President and CEO of IFDA. “Clearly the feedback from his foodservice distribution industry colleagues proves that Kirk is an exceptional individual who serves as an example of excellence.”

"To be recognized by those that I consider to be tremendous leaders, and incredible mentors, is a true honor,” said Stowell. “The depth of knowledge and perspective in this program is truly remarkable and I would urge companies to invest in their leaders by sending them here.”

The criteria considered included being an exceptional communicator, being a strong critical thinker, showing a passion for people, having vision as a leader, and showing respect to his or her peers. A selection committee that includes Mike Roach and executives from Ben E. Keith Foods and IFDA determine each year’s award recipient based on Darden participant and faculty feedback.

The award honors former Ben E. Keith Foods President J. Michael Roach and his many contributions to the foodservice distribution industry in his leadership role at Ben E. Keith Foods, serving on the IFDA Board of Directors for 16 years, and serving for two years as the IFDA Chairman.

For more information on the IFDA Executive Development Program, click here.