Livaditis Joins IMA as Brands' Merchandising Director

HOUSTON - Earnest E. Livaditis, Jr., has been appointed director of national and specialty brands merchandising at Independent Marketing Alliance (IMA) here, announced Robert D. Planck, president.

Livaditis assumes the position created by the retirement of long-time industry veteran Jack Stone. He brings more than 32 years of foodservice experience in procurement, marketing and management positions to the IMA organization. His area of expertise covers national brands and the dry grocery category.

"Ernie is a long-term, experienced veteran of the industry. His experience spans not only broadline regional distribution but the group purchasing environment as well. He will be a great asset to IMA's rapidly growing organization," commented Mark Drazkowski, vice president and coo of Reinhart Foodservice, an IMA member-company.

Reflecting on the retirement of Stone, Planck said, "A bit over two years ago, I was able to lure Jack Stone out of retirement to help us build the IMA organization. Jack has now decided to take it a bit easier, although he will continue to work with us on special projects. All of us here appreciate the contributions he has made to our group and wish him and his wife, Carolyn, great happiness in the future."

In his three years at the top of IMA, Planck has guided the company from startup to one whose foodservice distribution member-companies generate annual sales in excess of $6 billion. Independent Marketing Alliance, a Delaware Limited Partnership company, serves as the procurement, marketing, and product development facilitator for IMA member companies.

Often referred to as the "third force" in foodservice distribution, IMA is neither a traditional buying group nor a corporate distributor. It creates value for their owners' customers and suppliers by combining its five member-companies' purchasing volumes, committing to shared marketing programs, supporting the growth and success of national brand vendor partners, and developing a wide array of top quality national IMA Branded products.


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