Jerry Whitmore and Bob Wilson are two worthy selections for the Food Industry Hall of Fame, based on the amount of feedback The Shelby Report received when members of the California food industry learned that these men had been chosen for the distinction.
They gladly weighed in on these two gentlemen’s contributions not only to the company from which they are both retiring, Nestlé/Dreyer’s Grand Ice Cream, but to the industry as a whole as well the lives of their families and friends. Through this Shelby Report special section, it will become clear that Jerry Whitmore (who covered Southern California for the ice cream company) and Bob Wilson (who covered Northern California), while very successful in building the company’s business, realized that relationships with people were ultimately the most important. These two “trade relations specialists”—a distinction that perhaps is fading away—knew the people they were calling on, both professionally and personally. And the term “calling on” actually meant picking up the phone and dialing to make a face-to-face appointment or get an answer to a question. While email and text have their place, these gentlemen know the value of real connection. Even when those they called on retired, they made sure to keep in touch, evidence that the relationships were built on more than just business.
Though different in personality—Whitmore is more an extrovert and Wilson more an introvert—both excelled at their careers and were very active in giving back to their communities.
And they both gave away a lot of ice cream. So they had a lot of fun, too.
Go here to view the special section about Whitmore and Wilson. It also appears in the July print edition of The Shelby Report of the West.