Jody Birnbaum is brand new to the Catering by Michaels family but we’ve known her for many years! Her culinary and catering accomplishments precede her.
As of her recent hire, Jody added a new job title to her already decorated dossier—Director of Sales and Marketing! Today on the blog, she goes through her past, her new role at Catering by Michaels, and some fun facts you might not know about her.
Let’s get started then, shall we?
What did you do before working at Catering by Michaels?
It was kind of an unusual situation because I used to own a catering company of my own.
My company and Catering by Michaels were friendly competitors in the market. I sold my company 11 years ago (after owning it for 25 years!) and since then, I’ve been a business management consultant to the food industry. I help caterers, restaurants, food trucks, personal chefs—you name it—either start up or grow their businesses.
At this point, I feel like the reason I accepted this opportunity as Catering by Michaels’ Director of Sales and Marketing is because at this time in my career, I’m passionate about teaching, training, mentoring, leading, and inspiring.
The current sales team is made up of 11 people—I hope to dip into my skill set as a former catering business owner, consultant, leader, and inspirer.
Fun fact: When she was consulting, Jody also taught at Kendall College for 11 years. It was an entrepreneurial class attended by culinary, hospitality, and even business students. The class was all about the business of being in food service.
I’m excited about working with this great company. I think we can accomplish a lot together.
Tell us about your position: what does that day look like on a daily basis, and in general?
I started January 8, 2018, so I’m still very fresh to this role!
When I first came in, it was a study of Catering by Michael’s operations. This took awhile because it’s such a big company. We dug deep into warehousing, the kitchen, sales, and operations. It was an onboarding round robin with a lot of observation.
In the last few weeks, I’ve taken a deeper dive into sales, getting to know everyone. It’s going to be my job to help some of the newer/younger team members understand the industry and fill in some of the blanks regarding why things are done certain ways.
I’ll be helping them meet and exceed their goals for the year. Everyone seems very passionate about the industry— it’s heartwarming! And everyone’s been very receptive to me. No one has had this position for awhile and it’s time to build a group that works well together.
I have a lot of contacts in the industry and in general and I hope to be able to call upon my network to benefit my team.
What’s the best part of your job?
Knowing that I’m working for a company with some great food and very solid operations. In terms of having the support anyone would need to handle a wide range of events and things, there’s a solid team, amazing kitchen, and a lot of delighted clients.