Jason’s Deli – Grand Prairie, Texas Experience

Posted: Friday, May 13th 2016 at 6:00 AM

SHRM sponsors a trip each year for students to visit the corporate office of a major hospitality company in order to expose top seniors to senior executives who share their strategic perspective and decision-making processes.

This year, from April 7–10, 2016, seven students traveled to the Jason’s Deli Distribution Center (JDDC) in Grand Prairie, Texas.

Dr. Wanda Costen, SHRM executive director, organized the trip with Kari Gfrorer, manager for Human Resources. During their visit, they met with Blake Parker, partner & chief innovation officer; Wade Sterns, chief communications officer; Michele Kemplay, director of Human Resources; Michele Martinez, director of Training; Ashley Moshler, coordinator for Human Resources; and Chef Brandon Hudson, manager of research and development [recently recognized by Sandelman, story HERE].

Thursday evening, Costen and the students had dinner with senior executives and several district managers.

Friday morning, students met at JDDC for presentations on the company’s sales and training departments. They toured the JDDC’s warehouse and logistics areas and then met with Chef Hudson in the test kitchen to learn about some of the new products JD will be introducing.

Later that afternoon students had the opportunity to pair up with district managers to visit various store locations in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. Students had a peek behind the scenes and learned about the integrated business operations of each facility.

Students were enthusiastic about sharing their trip takeaways.

Evan Bruesehoff said, “Learning more about Jason’s Deli and having the opportunity to network with their executive team was great. My favorite part of the trip was getting to talk one-on-one with the research and development chef about trends in food and beverage.”

“I found the senior trip to be very helpful and beneficial,” said Janine Tantimonaco. “I enjoyed having dinner with the Jason’s Deli executives and making connections with them.”

“This trip helped me learn about Jason Deli’s restaurants and how they are not just delis; they are so much more than that. I gained an understanding of their corporate structure, their mission, and the value of their company [as well],” said Nick Sanicola.

Ellie Potter reflected on the experience as a whole. “I absolutely recommend that all future seniors apply for the senior trip. It is not often that you are able to meet with professionals in the industry who have set aside multiple days to help you learn and grow as a leader in the hospitality industry. I gained contacts with industry leaders that I wouldn't have if we didn't spend quality time with them, and I can honestly say that I will contact them in the future whether it is for advice, job opportunities, or recommendations,” she said.

Costen concluded, “This was a rewarding experience. The students had a great time, and they were impressed with the professionalism, the training, the accountability, and by the senior executives they were able to meet.”

Read about past corporate experiences under Events, HERE.



Categories: jason’s deli jason’s deli distribution center students 2016 spring 2016 kari gfrorer blake parker wade sterns michele kemplay michele martinez ashley moshler chef brandon hudson evan bruesehoff janine tantimonaco nick sanicola ellie potter