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IFDA Presents Lifetime Achievement Award to Paul Gordon

The award was presented to Gordon by J. Michael Roach, IFDA chairman and president of Ben E. Keith Foods, during the association's Partners Executive Forum here earlier this week.

{mosimage}"Paul Gordon has been a true leader in our industry for many decades," said Roach in presenting the award. "He started in this industry the way many did, working in the family business and building his experience from the ground up. As a boy during the depression, he learned the lessons of faith instilled by his parents—lessons that would hold him steady in the face of wartime service and that would help him make decisions throughout his life."

In accepting the award, Gordon shared his thoughts about some of the early efforts in refrigeration and warehousing, and the steady advance of the foodservice distribution industry over the past 50 years.

"With all the growth this industry has experienced, it's hard to say what new changes we will see over the next 10 years. What we do know is that there will be change," said Gordon. "I thank you all for honoring me with this very nice award."

Following service in World War II, Gordon finished his college education that was put on hold during the war. With his freshly earned degree, he received many offers for employment. Though not as lucrative, it was the offer from his father to work at the family business that he accepted. That same year, he married his wife Dorothy.

In the following years, Gordon applied his skills and dedication to build Gordon Food Service into a leading distributorship and ID Top 50 firm. He worked on innovations to improve refrigeration in delivery trucks, expand the company's offerings, and better meet customer's needs.

After becoming president of the Grand Rapids, MI-based company, he continued innovations with many ideas for improving warehouse operations. At the same time, his commitment to integrity and concern for his employees and their families created a culture still flourishing in the company today.

The ceremony, which took place at the opening conference banquet, was attended by more than 400 industry executives. Also attending were Gordon's wife, Dorothy, and other family members including Dan and Jim Gordon and their wives.

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