Our Chairman, Jerry Hyman, is a foodservice industry veteran who spent 17 year as CEO of TriMark USA, from 2003 to 2020, leading it to become the largest foodservice dealer in the United States. Jerry joined the business that became TriMark USA in 1981. During his time as CEO, annual revenue increased from approximately $50 million to $2.1 billion. Under Jerry's leadership, TriMark USA successfully executed an industry roll-up strategy with four successive private equity sponsors. During his tenures with each private equity sponsor, including Bradford Equities, Audax Group, Warburg Pincus, and a joint venture of Blackstone and Centerbridge, Jerry transformed the businesses, through both acquisition-driven and organic growth. Notably, during his tenure as CEO, many of the acquisitions TriMark USA completed were sourced on a proprietary basis, demonstrating his repeated ability to achieve compelling acquisition multiples. Beyond acquisitions and growth strategies, Jerry undertook a number of initiatives as CEO, including e-commerce, private label product development, and employee development. By 2019, the business had grown to encompass 3,100 employees, over 60 locations, and approximately 3.1 million square feet of warehouse and office space. During the 2008 financial crisis to 2021, Jerry founded NexGen Procurement Corp., a unique industry buying group, whose members consisted of TriMark USA and several of the other largest, competing distributors in the foodservice equipment space, which was created to focus the supply chain of the industry's largest manufacturers and dealers to maximize profitability through increased volume. From NexGen's establishment through January 2020, Jerry has served as its President and was also a member of its board until he stepped down from his role as TriMark CEO. Under his leadership, NexGen grew to over $4 billion in purchasing volume and changed the dynamics in the industry.
Chief Executive Officer
The career of our CEO, Keith Jaffee, has spanned four decades with a focus on buying and building companies in the commercial foodservice equipment and consumer products sectors. He is a career operator focused on manufacturing and distribution process improvement, business simplification/consolidation, industry relationships, and opportunistic acquisitions that offer value creation through synergy. Keith began his career at AMCO Corporation in 1982, a Chicago-based manufacturer in the foodservice equipment and supply industry, with a primary focus on commercial storage products. Keith served as President and CEO of AMCO from 1986 through 1997. As CEO, Keith oversaw its acquisition by Leggett & Platt ("L&P"), a publicly traded diversified manufacturer. Following the transaction, at L&P Keith served as the President of the Storage Products Group and eventually the Store Fixtures Group. While overseeing these divisions, Keith’s focus was on the acquisition and consolidation of 15 separate businesses in the categories, amounting for hundreds of millions of dollars in completed acquisitions. At L&P in 2000, the combined 25 operating businesses under his management produced significant revenues, primarily from the foodservice and big-box retail channels. In 2001, an investment group led by Keith purchased select businesses of the Storage Products Group division from L&P to form Focus Products Group, where he was the Chairman and CEO from 2001 through 2009. Focus Products Group went on to become a collection of brands and businesses in the housewares, foodservice, and hospitality industry. Through both organic growth and 16 accretive acquisitions, Focus Products Group grew to a business hundreds of millions of dollars in annual revenue in 2006. Keith sold Focus Products Group in 2006 to a Chicago-based private equity group, Sterling Partners, realizing a significant return on invested capital. Since then, Keith has remained active in the industry, most recently serving on the Board of Directors at Edward Don, as Strategic Advisor at Adams Burch, and as financial sponsor of both Snapdrape Brands and FoodServiceExchange. Additionally, from 1998 to 1999 Keith served as the first 2-year President of NAFEM (North American Food Equipment Manufacturers). In 2015, NAFEM honored Keith with its Lifetime Achievement Award.
Chief Financial Officer
Our Chief Financial Officer, George Courtot, comes to us with 23 years of experience in the foodservice industry. In 1996, George joined the business that became TriMark USA as Chief Financial Officer. He partnered with Jerry Hyman to complete 14 acquisitions and assist in growing the business to $2.1 billion in revenue. Prior to joining TriMark USA, George worked for 16 years at V.P. Winter Distributing Company (Winter), a wholesale distributor in the millwork distribution industry, privately held and later a subsidiary of a publicly traded United Kingdom company. During his tenure at Winter, George held the positions of Chief Financial Officer and Division President.