We focus on providing the strongest purchasing programs and operating on a transparent model to provide the highest return to our dealers.

the dealers’ digital exposure and to obtain new customer opportunities for all our PRIDE dealers.

What kind of members do you serve? We have a diverse group of members ranging in

size from $4 million to over $100 million in annual sales. The main dealerships are located throughout the United States but their customer base extends all over the world. As a group, PRIDE is involved with all segments of the industry – restaurants (both chain and independents), institutions, hospitality, concessions, and B&I (business and industry). The members provide product, design, installation, consulting, service, customer services such as local inventory, delivery, financing, credit, purchasing technology, and local cheerleading for their customers.

How has the group changed over the past five years?

The PRIDE organization has faced some

interesting challenges and opportunities during the past five years. The group has always been creative and willing to try new ideas. One of these ideas was to create a company to facilitate online sales, but the plans for this company went off-track in 2015 when it became over-leveraged. The PRIDE dealers and many of our channel associates were severely impacted as a result. Fortunately, however, core dealers were

determined to honor the obligations PRIDE committed itself to and worked to overcome the financial challenges. Our suppliers and rep organizations recognized that the individual dealers were not to blame for the problems and stood by the dealers and a revamped PRIDE organization. Without their confidence and support, PRIDE would not be here today.

In 2016 and 2017, we reorganized our structure and, after much self-reflection, brought our focus back to the basics of the mission of the cooperative. This is reflected in our slight name change to highlight the organization’s role as the central hub

50 FEDA News & Views

for information and resources that our dealers can use to improve or augment their own businesses. Today, PRIDE is a strong organization with a renewed focus on independent dealer success.

What are some of the accomplishments PRIDE is most proud of in recent years? We are proud of the resiliency of the

organization and of the individual member companies. They represent the best spirit of our industry – independence, confidence, competence, and grit. We are also very proud of our emerging next generation of business owners. Many of our members are multi-generational family-owned businesses. We see our members actively cultivating relatives and key employees to step into the C-suite, ownership, and full management within the next few years.

How have PRIDE’s members been affected by the COVID-19 crisis? Without a doubt the COVID-19 crisis has been a monumental disrupter for everyone. The PRIDE dealers remained open, at least virtually, to serve their customers’ needs and retained most of their teams. However, their businesses certainly suffered. Many were seeing record starts to 2020 and while business has been better than feared, they remain greatly concerned by the downturn that has impaired their customers’ operations.

What are some ways you’ve seen members respond to these challenging times, and how has PRIDE supported them during this period? The PRIDE dealers quickly pivoted to allow team members to work remotely and adjusted operations to safeguard their employees and their customers. Many began offering expanded delivery and curbside pickup. They also jumped on providing personal protective equipment (PPE) products to customers and other local businesses. PRIDE assisted in sourcing sanitizers, masks, gloves, and traffic-control items. The PRIDE office

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