October 29, 2018

San Antonio, TX - The International Foodservice Distributors Association (IFDA), today opened the 2018 Distribution Solutions Conference (DSC) to the largest show attendance in IFDA history at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center in San Antonio, Texas. During today’s program, IFDA announced the winner of the IFDA Cornerstone Award and, in collaboration with the Women’s Foodservice Forum, announced the winners of the first-ever Women in Distribution Award.

“Only at the IFDA DSC can attendees gain actionable insights into improving their bottom line while connecting with the people, innovations and tools they need to tackle the challenges of today and tomorrow," said Mark S. Allen, President and CEO of IFDA. “With our largest attendance in history, the DSC is truly the stage for distribution innovation.”

The IFDA DSC is the premier annual event on the industry calendar where leaders in operations, transportation and technology gather with renowned speakers, innovators and disruptors to chart the future of foodservice distribution.

Highlights include:

  • Tom Zatina, President of McLane Foodservice was honored with the 2018 IFDA Cornerstone Award on the general session stage. This award honors an industry leader who has given above and beyond what is expected and achieved a positive, lasting impact on IFDA’s success.
  • The first-ever Women in Distribution Award, sponsored by Women’s Foodservice Forum (WFF) and IFDA, were presented to seven major food distributors that have shown commitment to drive gender equity in their organizations and across the industry. The awardees are: Ben E. Keith Foods, Gordon Food Services, McLane Company, Inc., Nicholas and Company, Reinhart Foodservice, Sysco Corporation, and US Foods.
  • The WFF/IFDA Women in Distribution Award will be presented annually at DSC to a foodservice distribution company with demonstrated commitment to, and results in, advancing women leaders. The award will be presented to a company with revenue exceeding $1 billion and to a company with revenue under $1 billion.
  • The launch of the inaugural IFDA Executive Leadership Summit, an exclusive, invitation-only program for foodservice distribution senior executives. The summit provides a platform for industry leaders to address industry opportunities and challenges in talent, innovation, business-model disruption and future growth. Sessions include Tom Bené, President & CEO, Sysco Corporation who discussed the importance of diversity in the workplace, an overview of Wholesale Distribution Trends from Deloitte Consulting, and in-depth look at the future of foodservice distribution from Harvard University.
  • Unlimited industry connectivity with 1300+ industry peers and nearly 160 exhibitors showcasing the latest innovations including drones, new vehicle technology, virtual reality and more.
  • A keynote speaker line-up including Josh Linkner, tech entrepreneur, New York Times best-selling author and venture capitalist, Admiral William McRaven, Former University of Texas System Chancellor, Retired four-star admiral, 37-year veteran of the United States Navy and best-selling author, and Sarah Thomas, the First Female NFL Referee.

This year's DSC program features unmatched educational opportunities including five conference tracks and increased opportunities for networking. For more information, visit www.theifdaconference.org

For media inquiries, Meghan Cieslak, mcieslak@ifdaonline.org/ 703.962.9950.                     
About the International Foodservice Distributors Association
The International Foodservice Distributors Association (IFDA) is the premier trade organization representing the 280 billion foodservice distribution industry. There are 15,000 foodservice distribution center locations in the U.S. that have a total employment impact of more than 1 million jobs. For more information visit: http://www.ifdaonline.org

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