CHICAGO — After 12 years successfully leading the largest foodservice manufacturers association, the International Foodservice Manufacturers Association (IFMA) and the IFMA Education Foundation, President & CEO Larry Oberkfell announced today that he will be stepping down when his contract ends at the close of 2021. Until then, he will continue to lead the Association and Foundation, and assist the Board leadership in the search for a new CEO.
“I have made the decision to return to the industry that I love and to begin my path on a new journey,” Oberkfell said. “Serving the foodservice manufacturer community for the last twelve years has been an extremely rewarding experience for me personally and professionally.”
Oberkfell joined IFMA as President & CEO in 2008 after successful roles leading several food industry companies including Schwan Food Company, Anchor Food Products, and GESD Capital as Managing Director. Through his leadership and vision, he steered IFMA through unprecedented growth and navigated the association to success in service of the industry.
“I have had the great benefit of an extraordinarily active and committed board of directors that has made my journey both fun and rewarding,” added Oberkfell. “Together since 2008, we have grown IFMA member value to a level that we could not have imagined. The IFMA team has successfully grown member value and overall membership even during 2020, when the pandemic was especially brutal to our industry. Rest assured, I will not leave until the transition occurs smoothly with the Board selected new CEO. I am confident that we will identify a new leader who will take IFMA to a new tomorrow.”
IFMA Board leadership has selected Russell Reynolds Associates (RRA), a leader in executive search and assessment, to partner with the search committee in conducting a nationwide search for Oberkfell’s successor. For more information, contact Stephanie Tomaso and Andrew Hayes at RRA: IFMA@russellreynolds.com.
“Larry has been our beacon for over a decade, leading us through a litany of industry challenges and a complete remaking of IFMA,” said Hugh Roth, Chief Customer Officer at PepsiCo Foodservice and 2021 IFMA Board Chair. “Through his vision and leadership, the association’s value proposition is stronger and positioned for further innovation and growth. We salute Larry for paving the way for the future of IFMA and our great industry.”
In addition to serving as IFMA President & CEO, Oberkfell currently serves on the National Restaurant Association Board and is active in many industry related groups such as the GS-1 Executive Committee.
About International Foodservice Manufacturers Association (IFMA)
The International Foodservice Manufacturers Association (IFMA) is an established trade association serving foodservice manufacturers for over 65 years to improve industry practices and relationships while equipping every foodservice manufacturer with the tools to navigate their future with confidence. By providing insights, developing best practices and fostering connectivity through events, we enlighten members and motivate change that leads to betterment for the individual member organization and the industry at large. For more information, visit IFMAworld.com.