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Chairman’s Challenge Award and Best in Class Awards Presented at 2015 Partners’ Meeting


Congratulations to Sydney, Australia for winning the 2014 Chairman’s Challenge Award! The award was announced February 17 at the 2015 Partners’ Meeting held in Newport Beach, California, and was accepted by John Wafer, Managing Director, GSF Australasia, on behalf of the entire Sydney team. This award marks the second win for Sydney, the first in 2003. The facility also took home the Best In Class Award for Food Processing. “Leading the team who were recognized again this year is a real privilege,” says John. “I am blessed with a team of individuals who know their jobs, who are aligned on what needs to happen to delight the customer, and who are focused on achievement.” The Chairman’s Challenge Award is an annual award that recognizes outstanding facility achievement in safety, customer service, employee satisfaction, plant efficiencies, profitability, and innovation – the all-around facility leader for a given year. The Sydney, Australia team was recognized because they demonstrated outstanding performance in a number of significant areas, including: • Overachieving more than 100% EBITDA Plan during a challenging environment; • Significantly reducing frequency of customer complaints and achieved excellent Customer and Associate Survey scores; • Effectively implementing safety programs to achieve better-than-Plan recordables and DART metrics, while substantially improving their delivery and quarterly performance; • Supporting their customer with substantial market efforts in China, while managing significant volume growth domestically; • Establishing a separate liquid products company and managed production in two plants, while reconfiguring a plant without loss of supply to customers; • Improving their CSR efforts, including becoming ISO 14001 certified; • Receiving outstanding multi-site company HACCP award. “GSF Australia is a great example of putting a strategy together, fitting it to the right structure, and rounding it out with our rich culture,” explains Chairman and CEO, Mark Wetterau, who spoke on this topic during the Partners’ Meeting. “This has enabled them to take the business from one that was struggling to one of the best of the best in GSF.” “For the team in Australia, this recognition comes after a lean period where we have had to re-configure the business, both figuratively and literally, to meet the changing needs of the market,” explains John. “We have been through the pain of downsizing which nobody wants to do. However, we had a crystal clear vision of the business in the future, and with the capital expenditure support of the senior leadership have delivered on that vision. So being recognized as the best performing division within GSF means a lot to us, especially as the standard of performance across the company is so impressive.” In addition to the Chairman’s Challenge Award, the fourth annual “Best In Class” Awards were announced as part of the evening’s recognitions. This award, intended to bring more emphasis to the Chairman’s Challenge Award and to add more categories to recognize the many high achieving facilities in the company, honors the achievements of three specific GSF business categories: Quality Custom Distribution (QCD), Food Processing and GSF Distribution. QCD-Portland, Oregon won in the QCD category, and the award was accepted by Eric Lard, Regional Facility Manager, QCD Northwest. Sydney, Australia won in the Food Processing Category, and the award was accepted by John Wafer. GSF-Phoenix, Arizona won in the GSF Distribution category, and the award was accepted by John Marin, General Manager of the Phoenix DC. Each winner of these awards receives a permanent award that will reside at their facility, along with a cash award to spend as they see fit. “Congratulations to GSF and QCD for their recognition as ‘Best In Class’ in their categories,” adds John. “I’m sure all the teams are proud of their achievements, as I know the team in Australia is hugely proud of their recognition. They look forward to hosting the eagle again in Sydney and to celebrating with Mark and the rest of the senior leadership team during their visit!” A celebratory Chairman’s Challenge Award bar-be-cue will be held in Sydney, Australia in May, along with celebrations in Portland and Phoenix for the Best In Class Awards.

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