An Interview with the MAFSI President: Our Own Jeff Couch

March 13, 2015

couch_2013newFor PMG, NAFEM15 was an even bigger event than it usually is. First, the show was hosted on our own home turf, and we’d like to thank everyone who attended our party at the Catal Restaurant. Second, it marked an important milestone for our principal, Jeff Couch.

During the MAFSI Membership Meeting, Couch began his two-year term as MAFSI president. Once a casual member, he now looks to move the organization forward and make everyone’s membership more valuable. As he said during his acceptance speech, “If you want to learn exactly what’s going on in the industry, then you’ll want to be involved with MAFSI.”

After the NAFEM Show, Couch shared more of his thoughts on his term and the state of the industry.

Q&A with MAFSI President Jeff Couch

Q: How have your first few weeks gone as president? Has it gone as you’ve expected?

Couch: It has been everything I expected, and much more. We had record-breaking attendance at our NAFEM Membership Meeting and an equally successful meeting of our Board of Directors. Their industry knowledge, can-do attitudes, and overall leadership of our board are nothing short of inspiring. Suffice it to say, it’s a terrific time to be involved with MAFSI, and I’m happy to be a part of the leadership.

Q: How do you foresee the position changing now that it’s a two-year term?

Couch: The two year term was specifically changed to align us with other industry associations, along with the MAFSI conference. The overall term length of the Executive Committee hasn’t changed; we simply rearranged some of the “past” positions. We encourage all our members to join the board, be a part of MAFSI, our message, and our goals.

Q: What are the biggest challenges you think the industry will face during your term?

Couch: I think the biggest challenge will be the continued pressure on margins in all areas of the channel. Consolidation, mergers, & and acquisitions, will continue to play a large part in all areas of the channel. However, what’s paramount is not how we not only deal with the change, but also continue to position MAFSI reps as flexible, industry leaders taking charge of that change.

Q: How do you think the industry is changing?

Couch: It’s no secret our industry hasn’t kept pace with the speed of usual business. Primarily, because the basic fundamentals of foodservice remain the same. That said, anyone that was at NAFEM will tell you that’s been changing, and is about to change exponentially. The need for better technology, for big data, (and how it’s exchanged across the industry) has, and will continue to be, the biggest advancement for Manufacturers, Dealers and Reps over the next few years (if not months.) The players in our industry all have typically been unwilling or known how to share their data. But, when we look at other industries, and the current landscape of business, we know it’s far more important to share our data, and our knowledge, to help continue to move the industry forward for the betterment of everyone. Our industry is facing a drought of fresh talent, and it’s also important to attract fresh faces to the industry by education, outreach, and transparency as to what we do every day. As it stands, there are little resources for newcomers to our great industry, and MAFSI is leading the charge in this area with development of a comprehensive foodservice industry training manual, and other resources, to help attract and secure new talent. And I couldn’t be more proud to be a part of it.

Q: What was your overall perception of NAFEM15?

Couch: Unbelievable! I call it the industry’s Super Bowl. Three days tailgating (learning and getting prepared), and three solid days on the field. I thought the show was very well attended, organized, and laid out. Hats off to everyone at NAFEM!

Jeff Couch and PMG: Moving the Industry Forward

PMG is proud to have our principal serve as the MAFSI president. As part of his philosophy for both organizations, Jeff Couch is dedicated to providing engineered solutions to help solve the industry’s problems. To learn more about PMG and how we can help your foodservice management team and foodservice operation,

Download the Free PMG Guide to Engineered Solutions.