Foodservice Equipment & Supplies

FEB 2019

Foodservice Equipment & Supplies magazines is an industry resource connecting foodservice operators, equipment and supplies manufacturers and dealers, and facility design consultants.

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22 • FOODSERVICE EQUIPMENT & SUPPLIES • FEBRUARY 2019 a pro you should know Hal Block, YBR Marketing The new technology has enabled us to work faster and be more efficient. The representatives still need to present and educate the marketplace on the features of their manufacturers' products face to face. By Amelia Levin A t 87 years old, Hal Block, prin- cipal of YBR Marketing, is still going strong with more than five decades as a manufacturers' rep. FE&S: What keeps you active and avoiding retirement? HB: It's hard for me to walk away from this industry, mostly because of the people and the challenges that the industry presents. After so many years, I have many business associates who have become my friends. The manufacturers we represent are a part of our team, and I enjoy the close bond we have made with them. It's difficult for me to stop; the business energizes me and keeps me going. I enjoy showing my cus- tomers new products and educating them on what's out there. FE&S: Your business has changed names over time — what's the most recent change? HB: My business partner of 14 years, Rick Rivera, and I co-founded YBR Marketing (which stands for Young Block Rivera Marketing). We decided on this name change to show the change in leadership. We are co-owners, and we are growing. At present, we have four salespeople on the street. Prior to that, the firm was known as Young Block Associates, which was founded by Philip R. Young in 1960. FE&S: You have been a manufacturers' rep for more than five decades. How do you feel your role has changed over the years? HB: When I first started and the dealer wanted a quotation on a job, we needed to go to the dealer with pencil and onion- skin paper and do a tracing. This would be snail-mailed to the factory. If you were lucky, you would receive the quote back in a week. Then came the miracle of all miracles — that was the photocopier and the fax machine. Now we all have comput- ers, tablets and smartphones, along with sophisticated software, all of which have changed the way we go to market. The in- formation for the jobs now gets emailed to us, instead of our always having to visit the site. The new technology has enabled us to work faster and be more efficient. The representatives still need to present and educate the marketplace on the features of their manufacturers' products face to face. FE&S: It seems manufacturers' reps have to be more collaborative these days as well. What's your take on that? HB: You are correct. We, as reps, must continue to learn from each other, and the perfect vehicle for this is MAFSI (Manufacturers' Agents Association for the Foodservice Industry), the only profes- sional organization dedicated to improving the role of the food service rep. It gives us a chance to have a dialogue with each other, not just on a local basis but nation- ally. It enables us to forecast current and future industry trends. MAFSI provides us with many tools, which enable us in so Hal Block Principal YBR Marketing Neptune, New Jersey

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