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Jim was the first addition to the Account Executive Team in 2013 for Great Lakes Hotel Supply, which had worked solely with Foodservice Consultants in the contract/bid world before his arrival. He worked as a chef for over 20 years prior to joining Great Lakes.
Jim treats every new project as if it is his own kitchen, which gives him a unique perspective to relay to his clients on not only the flow and placement of equipment, but also on the right choice of equipment to fit their menu.
Well known in the Detroit Area restaurant community, Jim has worked as Chef at many popular and successful fine dining establishments over the span of his career.
When asked how his experience as a Chef helps his current role, Jim says “I understand more than most how to use the units and where they should be placed….it all starts with getting to know the customer and their goals.”
One of the best qualities of Jim’s?
“I’m never afraid to talk someone out of a piece of equipment just because they think they need it.”
Matthew has been in foodservice one way or another since he was 19, when he worked at The Post Bar. Matthew spent part of his career as the Executive Sous Chef for the Bloomfield Hills Country Club, started his own Company, Matt’s Mix (all-purpose special blend seasoning), worked as Caterer and Chef Manager for Holiday Market Catering, and as Chef De Partie for The Hill Seafood and Chop House.
As an Account Executive for Great Lakes Hotel Supply, he says “Previous knowledge of the inner workings of an a la carte or production kitchen are extremely helpful in understanding what my clients’ needs are.”
Matthew loves the personal interaction with his clients and spends the time needed to thoroughly understand their goals and making sure they are fully informed along the way. Although he doesn’t cook for a living anymore, we still convince him to through his Chef Coat on once in a while in the Great Lakes Test Kitchen!
“There are things one can only know or have learned from actually working in a professional kitchen.”
Ryan is a Design Project Manager for Great Lakes Culinary Designs. He has worked in every possible position in a kitchen from dishwasher to Executive Chef, starting out with his first cooking job at Buddy’s Pizza. Ryan held the position of Executive Chef at a Bib Guormond listed restaurant for 4 years running.
Such an extensive background tremendously helps Ryan when working on culinary designs because he has ‘been there done that’ in a kitchen. Ryan has a keen understanding of the flow of a kitchen. He believes that talking with his clients and understanding what they will be cooking goes a long way recommending the best line of equipment for their needs.
“I can ‘talk chef’ – I ask leading questions about the menu to help identify the best flow possible.”
Ryan’s experience contributes to the collaborative nature of the Great Lakes Culinary Design Team.
Chef Shaun brought 22 years in foodservice before joining the Great Lakes National Accounts Team. His family owned and operated an Italian restaurant which is where he got his start. He moved on to work in a high-end casino and resort as Chef for 19 years. His experience is invaluable to his current position with National Accounts as he advises his customers on the correct equipment for their needs.
Shaun believes in providing the best recommendations on kitchen equipment based on what the ‘final results’ will be - there is no cookie cutter approach for Shaun!
Fun Fact: Prior to joining Great Lakes, Shaun spent time travelling the state of Michigan in his food truck, winning many awards at festivals. He used his platform to donate time and food to people in need.
“I want the customer to feel like I have their best interest in mind and want them to know that I will assist them with the right equipment for their needs.”