PMR Preview: Mike Pollard

Have you missed seeing our PMR Preview that introduces you to one of our great team members? We have too! So this month, we're highlighting our Georgia Sales Rep, Mike Pollard. 

Working in the foodservice equipment industry since his college years, Mike knows what works best for each market segment, while also keeping on top of trends that are happening. Let's learn a little more about Mike and how far he'll go to enjoy Buckeye football. 

Mike Pollard fishing

Tell us a bit about yourself. How did you wind up at PMR?

After 23 years with Hobart as a Market Analyst and Territory Sales Manager, I was allotted the opportunity to make the transition to PMR in February 2013.

What do you enjoy most about working at PMR?

Working alongside some amazing associates within PMR is easily the most enjoyable part of my responsibilities. Sharing some of the technical knowledge I’ve accumulated through my ITW years is also an immensely satisfying component of my current position.

How did you get started in the foodservice industry?

I began as an Intern at Hobart’s corporate offices in Troy, OH, between my junior and senior years while attending The Ohio State University. I returned for a second three-month stint during my senior year and ultimately received a full-time offer upon graduation.

What excites you most about your job?

Adapting existing operations to equipment with new technology and new philosophies remains a very intriguing part of the job, along with dish room design and layout.

What do you see as the biggest challenges facing the restaurant industry today?

I believe the current post-Covid labor market is posing the greatest risk to a normal operating environment in the restaurant industry today.

Are there any current trends in foodservice that stand out to you?

The movement toward automation is very fascinating. While it may solve some of the issues posed by the labor issues mentioned above, the training element, risk of service complications, and industry-tested functionality remain a real concern. I also expect sustainability to remain a key trend as we move forward.

Where do you see the future of the industry headed?

As outlined above, I believe automation will play a key role in the industry’s future, with a focus on sustaining food quality and consistency while surviving current and future labor deficits.

What is your favorite restaurant and why?

Mama’s Fish House in Paia, HI, is at the top of the list for both sentimental (marriage dinner there) and food quality (perfection) reasons!

What are some of your passions outside of work?

Mike Pollard concert

I am a college football junkie. If I’m not in the stadium on fall Saturdays, I’m in the “command center” as my friends call it - my basement - from 9 am until midnight or later.

I relish music in all formats so I’m often found at concerts, festivals, & shows. When I’m not at a live event, I’m most likely reading the autobiography of a musician while listening to one of my favorites.

I also enjoy deep sea fishing, fly fishing, and tennis.

Who are your biggest influences?

My father certainly played a large role in my current work ethic. Jim Ginter, former Chairman of the Ohio State University MBA program who remains a close friend, played a large role in helping me to set and realize business and career objectives. Finally, I have been fortunate to work for some of the industry’s greatest minds throughout my career, and appreciate each and every one of them.

You mentioned college football, so we know you're a sports fan. Who are your go-to teams? 

Mike Pollard OSU football

I am a huge fan of my alma mater, the beloved Ohio State Buckeyes, regardless of sport. In fact, despite being 575 miles away, I remain a football season ticket holder. The Cleveland Browns (NFL) and Cleveland Guardians (MLB) are the next two on the list.

What is the one item you can’t leave home without?

Sadly, it is most likely my cell phone. While imperative for work, it provides access to - and helps to manage all of my social interests, hobbies, and family activities whether local or miles away.

Where did you grow up? Any interesting places you’ve lived throughout your life?

I grew up in the tiny village of Lucas, OH, in north central Ohio. We’re talking 'one-stoplight, a gas station, and a beer joint called Rainbow Gardens' small! Certainly the most interesting of the few places I’ve called home.

What is your favorite vacation destination?

The island of Maui ranks as my number one vacation destination. My wife Konda and I were married on the beach there in 1998. We visited again in 2003 for our 5-year anniversary, and again for our 25th anniversary this past March so we could share the site of our vows with our 20-year-old daughter, Karly Diana.

Tahiti ranks as a close second after our one-year anniversary trip there in 1999. A close third would be our most traveled destination due to proximity, the 30A area of the Florida Panhandle.

What’s at the top of your bucket list?

I really don’t have a strong bucket list as life has allotted me an unfair number of incredible opportunities, but if I had to select a couple, they would be:

  • Visit the few remaining B1G football stadiums that I have not yet experienced.
  • Continue to travel to new destinations with my bride and daughter.
  • Complete Tennis’ Grand Slam of visits by seeing the French Open and Australian Open live (Wimbledon and the US Open already accomplished).

Ready to work with the PMR team to find solutions that will make your businesses run more efficiently? Schedule some time to come into our test kitchen and find the best equipment for your needs. 

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