Foodservice Equipment & Supplies

APR 2018

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 • APRIL 2018 months. Eleven foot surgeries later, she remains an avid hiker, something she picked up from her father, who climbed with the 10th Mountain Division of the United States Army. T he Climb Mount Kilimanjaro provides a clear metaphor for Seelye's climb up the ranks of the industry: It's a lot of hard work, is different for everyone and requires adapting along the way. "Tom and I often think about when we first became partners and merged with another company. It was only five days before the horrific 9/11 attacks in 2001," Seelye says. "It was such an unconventional circumstance, such that suddenly so many of our projects fell off the map or went on hold as the hospital- ity market plunged. We had to wonder if we were going to be able to hold the company together, quickly learning that no matter how much planning or prepa- ration you do, you can never really know what will happen." Ricca reiterates those thoughts. "Kathleen possesses an ability to have a vision of the future that allows her to guide us through rough waters like the financial crisis in 2008 and 2009 so that we came out of it healthier than we were before," he says. "She was able to bring five disparate partners into a cohesive group of leaders that gives us both confidence in the future of our company and allows me to sleep easily." Seelye says the experience has taught her and her team the importance of planning not just for the good times but also for the worst times. Seelye's son, Trevor, notes the em- pathy and compassion his mother has, not just for him and his sister, Jocelyn, but for clients as well. Trevor traveled with his mom to many FCSI confer- ences and other industry events. "I am continually amazed at the time and resources she expends on helping other people. Whether it is through mentor- ing a younger colleague or helping someone through one of life's chal- lenges, she is constantly up to the task. It is in her DNA." Seelye's daughter, Jocelyn Phipers, says her mother is "one of the hardest- working people I know, and she has instilled that work ethic into her children. She has taught us the impor- tance of honesty, integrity, humility and accountability." At Ricca, Seelye continues to mentor many of the up-and-coming associates and partners, including Principal Tarah K AT H L E E N S E E LY E A Good Life "The more I work with her, the more I admire her. She is truly a legend in the industry." —Martin Cowley, executive director, design and technical support, Ricca Design Studios, and FE&S' 2013 Hall of Fame award winner The Broadmoor holds a special place in Seelye's heart. She was once a server at the hotel, then returned many years later as a de- signer and consultant for several of the resort's signature restaurants.

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