Catering By Michaels
February 21, 2018

Employee Spotlight: Jody Birnbaum

February 21, 2018

Employee Spotlight: Jody Birnbaum

Catering By Michaels

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.

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Catering By Michaels
August 23, 2017

Employee Spotlight: Cynthia Senecal

August 23, 2017

Employee Spotlight: Cynthia Senecal

Catering By Michaels

Have you met the lovely Cynthia (call her “Cindy”) Senecal? She’s an amazing member of the Catering by Michaels team, working in the Accounting Department as the Accounts Receivable Specialist since 2008.

It’s always fun to see what makes our staff tick, and Cindy had a lot to say about her time at Catering by Michaels, and what she likes to do outside of work!

What did you do before working here?

Did I even have a life before CBM?  Honestly, what I did was nothing exciting: Banking, Management Office of Currency Exchanges.

I will say that regardless of where I’ve been and where I’m going, I’m all about Accountancy – only.  Accountancy is my life. I wouldn’t be as happy in another role!

What does a typical work day look like?

It involves lots of computer time divvied up between bookkeeping, invoicing, accounts receivable, and assisting with accounts payable. But I make sure to take breaks as I need them to sample the delicious dishes being cooked up in the kitchen!

What’s the best part of your job?

I love my team – from the executive level on, they are great people to work with! It wouldn’t be the same without the amazing people I share my time with.

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Catering By Michaels
June 20, 2017

Employee Spotlight: Stacey Combrzynski

June 20, 2017

Employee Spotlight: Stacey Combrzynski

Catering By Michaels

We love our team and can’t help but dish about how amazing they are during our employee spotlights. In the past, we’ve introduced you to: Dave Sandler and Alexander Rufus.

This week, we’d like to introduce you to Stacey Combrzynski, our Special Events Coordinator.

What does a Special Events Coordinator do?

I get to spend my day helping people take their vision and make it a reality. Whether it be just a simple delivery for a corporate lunch, a 600 person corporate meeting or a large scale social event such as a wedding or mitzvah, everyone has a vision—we just have to help them bring it to the surface.

What’s the best part of your job?

I get to be with people on some of the most important days of their lives – their weddings, their child’s Bar or Bat Mitzvah, and their showers to welcome new members of the family. Each one is an amazing snapshot into a set of memories these people will have for the rest of their lives, and we get to be a part of that!

What’s the hardest part of your job?

The hardest part, in my opinion, is getting someone who has big dreams to understand that those dreams also have big price tags. 

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Jeff Ware
September 27, 2016

Leading Caterers of America

September 27, 2016

Leading Caterers of America

Jeff Ware

Leading Caterers of America is an exclusive group of caterers, considered to be at the highest level of service and knowledge in North America. Catersource magazine, a catering industry professional’s leading B2B publication, is in charge of the selection process to become a part of this group. Besides being a leader in their respective market, a member of the Leading Caterers of America must also be a trendsetter. They contribute, in some way, useful knowledge gained by following industry best practices and pioneering new trends to the rest of the catering industry.  Catering by Michaels is honored to be a member of the Leading Caterers of America.

Here’s exactly what it means to be a member of this truly prestigious group.

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Catering By Michaels
August 16, 2016

Employee Spotlight: Dave Sandler

August 16, 2016

Employee Spotlight: Dave Sandler

Catering By Michaels

Have you met David (“Dave”) Sandler? He insists that he’s a boring guy, but interviewing him led to a lot of interesting industry insights, not to mention some great suggestions regarding proper storage of cheese and how to use different types in the perfect homemade macaroni and cheese dish.

Dave Sandler is the Executive Vice President of Catering by Michaels, and has been involved with the company from a very young age. It’s pretty safe to say that working here is something that will never change!

What did you do before working at Catering by Michaels?
Honestly, I’ve worked here more or less my whole life, originally starting when I was 12. I’ve done other things, like when I went away to college (where I ran a local restaurant and bar program), but all of my jobs have been in this field. For the most part, Catering by Michaels has been my career.

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