SCOTTSDALE, AZ (Sept. 9) Tom Staley, former Food Services of America (FSA) president and ceo, passed away Saturday, Sept. 5, 2009, following a long illness.
Staley served as president of FSA from 1995 until December of last year, when he stepped down and was replaced by Doug Minert. He also had recently served as a member of the board of directors at FSA’s parent company, Services Group of America (SGA).
"Tom’s knowledge, expertise and leadership proved invaluable to us during his 13-year tenure as president,” said Thomas J. Stewart, chairman and ceo of SGA. “The breadth and depth of his experience in the foodservice industry was second to none and is responsible to a large degree for our growth and how we function today. When I think of all the contributions he made and how Tom touched so many people over the past 23 years, I know he will be missed.”
Staley joined Pacific Gamble Robinson (PGR) in April 1970 after completing two tours of duty in Vietnam with the U.S. Navy. He experienced all areas of the industry during his 38-year career, including driver, sales associate, produce and frozen foods buyer, credit manager, district sales manager, and president in three different locations.
He joined FSA in 1986 through the acquisition of Pacific Gamble and held the positions of president of the Missoula, Mt., branch from 1988 to 1992, president of the Spokane, Wash., branch from 1992 to 1995, and, finally, president and ceo of FSA from 1995 until the end of last year.
“When I first started, there was no such thing as technology,” Staley said in a recent interview. “You would make deliveries off of a pad with carbon sheets that had a handwritten customer order list. Orders from the list were filled in the warehouse using hand-pulled carts. There weren't even any racks, the products were simply stacked on pallets one, maybe two pallets high. It was very labor-intensive and grossly inefficient. When Tom Stewart bought PGR, there were 56 branches for distribution. Now, we cover the same area with more accounts from only nine distribution centers. Shows you how much more efficient we are.”
Staley said the changes he saw during his career were significant.
“The actual facilities are better and the working conditions are so much better now,” he said. “There is more of an emphasis on safe working conditions. The breadth of products and services we offer now are better and more relevant…which has really allowed us to become an integral part of our customers’ businesses.”
Staley is survived by his wife, Sue, to whom he was married for 21 years. The family requests, in lieu of flowers, remembrances in Staley’s name be made to Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, P.O. Box 19023, Seattle, WA 98109; Banner Good Samaritan Medical Center Bone Marrow Transplant Program, 1111 E. McDowell Road, Phoenix, AZ 85006; or Scottsdale Clinical Research Institute TGen Clinical Research Services, 10510 N 92nd St Suite 200, Scottsdale, AZ 85258.