As I mentioned, there are several of us at Cook’s Correctional that will be contributing to this blog. The goal is to bring you a variety of view points and topics that are relevant. We want to provide you with information that you will value and ideally – that you can apply to the task of running a correctional foodservice operation.
Janet St. Clair: Customer Service Manager
Janet took on the role of Customer Service Manager in 2013 after holding a variety of jobs within Cook’s, all of which involved helping the customer. Starting with the company in 2003 in a temporary position at the front desk, Janet was hired full-time in 2005 where she worked in the customer service function for a several years. She then moved to our Distribution Center where she was instrumental in improving our customer return process and helped to reduce freight expenses. Handling customer returns has given Janet an in-depth understanding of what can go wrong and how to avoid it or make it right fast. She has lots of useful tips that you can put in place immediately that she’ll be sharing with you!
John Yaeger: Business Development
John started with Cook’s in 2008 as a sales territory manager. Prior to joining Cook’s he had a long history in the financial securities industry, although we really believe he made the transition from financial to correctional security pretty well! He took on the role of Business Development two years ago to utilize his expertise in finding new solutions for our customer’s greatest challenges. This past year, John was the lead on our largest kitchen renovation project in the history of Cook’s. When there isn’t a set path, John is ready to roll up his sleeves and work with our customer to find a way to get them what they need and want. Having worked with hundreds of customers during his tenure here, he brings a hands-on, practical wisdom to his posts. We hope that much of what John writes will resonate with you immediately and that you’ll get some ideas to put to use in your operations right now.
Jeff Breeden: CEO
Many of you have seen Jeff’s picture in the catalog, after all he’s been with Cook’s for 17 years. He and his father, Howard Breeden founded Cook’s in response to customer requests for the products he was specifying in many of the projects he did. It was the realization that the correctional FSM didn’t have a reliable resource for the right kind of products they needed in their kitchen that launched Cook’s. Over the years, Jeff has done every function in the company – overseeing the Cook’s Correctional catalog, managing the sales staff and even the purchasing. As the company grew, so did our customers’ requests, and Jeff led Cook’s into developing and manufacturing innovative products made specifically for corrections. In January of 2012, Howard retired and Jeff purchased the company and took on the role of CEO. With his hands on experience, industry connections and vision – Jeff’s writing will range from day-to-day operational know how to industry trends and observations. When a project comes into Cook’s, Jeff still takes a look at it and reviews our strategy with the reps and other team members. His insights into correctional kitchen operations will be an asset we look forward to sharing with you.
There are two more team members left – you’ll hear about them in our next post and then we’ll be getting out there with some great tips, a first look at a product introduction and even the newest Cook’s Infographic that will help you better plan your next equipment installation. Our goal is to become a trusted resource for the correctional foodservice professional. As Jeff said when he took over the company; “the best is yet to come!”