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A professional development program centered around strengthening connection and community with the future executive leaders of IFMA and the food-away-from-home industry.  



Launched in 2022, IFMA Next Gen Execs is a nomination-based program that provides executive leaders the opportunity to identify and provide high potential leaders with meaningful connectivity and engagement in the industry.


The Next Gen Exec cohort participates in and is offered leadership opportunities throughout select IFMA programs, events, and other touchpoints throughout the year. The program establishes a network of committed peers to build the future of their respective organizations and the industry at-large while serving as a professional development resource, providing opportunities for visibility and thought leadership as well as access to senior leaders in the community, including IFMA Board and Gold & Silver Plate Society members.  


How to Nominate 

A senior leader from an IFMA member company or IFMA Foodservice Leadership Council member may nominate up to three (3) individuals per annual cohort. Please submit nominations through the brief online form below.  


Nominations have closed. Please contact programs@ifmaworld.com with any questions. 



Who is considered a Next Gen Exec?  

Individuals identified within IFMA membership as the next generation of organizational leadership. IFMA Next Gen Execs are high-performing employees with characteristics such as: 

  • Inspiring others and driving impact in their own organization and beyond
  • Commitment to the industry and IFMA, potentially through committee involvement
  • Modeling inclusive behavior
  • Serving as a thought-leader among peers
  • Showing potential for the executive track
  • 10+ years of industry experience 


“The value received in the Next Gen Execs program has been endless; from networking with new peers in the industry, learning more about other foodservice segments, to getting access to several senior leaders across IFMA and other top world ranked manufacturers. I especially like being part of the small groups knowing the conversations/insights being provided is helping shape IFMA and the industry for future years to come.”  - Director of Foodservice Sales – Northeast Region, Hormel Foods Sales




Next Gen Execs participate and lead in the following ways: 

  • Welcome Session at IFMA Presidents Conference (November, annually) 
  • Peer network for shared solutions and best practices 
  • Quarterly cohort meetings (virtual) 
  • Project-specific sub-committees




Opportunities to participate in sessions/panels at IFMA Events, including:

  • Chain Operators EXchange – COEX (March, annually)  
  • Gold & Silver Plate Awards Weekend (May, annually) 
  • Virtual Marketing & Sales Conference (August, annually) 
  • Access to senior leaders such as IFMA Board Members and Gold & Silver Plate Society members 


IFMA's Next Gen Execs program was developed out of an organic desire to engage the future leaders of the association and the food-away-from-home industry. As the inaugural Next Gen Execs liaison to the IFMA Board of Directors, I’ve been overwhelmed at the progress the program and this year’s cohort have made in its first year. If you are a senior leader looking to engage your next level of leadership talent in the industry, I encourage you to nominate and take advantage of this member benefit.Oliver Kelly, President & CEO of Kerry North America


The program offers avenues for professional growth, networking, and interaction with esteemed industry figures. Next Gen Execs consist of individuals within IFMA membership who exhibit inspirational leadership skills, demonstrate dedication to the industry, showcase inclusive behavior, contribute as thought leaders, and display potential for executive positions. 



“The IFMA Next Gen Execs program was a great way to network with industry leaders and with a peer group that I would normally not be connected to. Through this program I had an opportunity to share and speak about the future of growth in digital and Ecommerce within the foodservice industry. The program allows you to participate within your areas of interest and make quality connections across the industry.” - Linda Owens, Director of Digital & Ecommerce Strategy, Nestlé Professional  



Nominations have closed. Please contact programs@ifmaworld.com with any questions. 



"The Next Gen Execs program accelerated my involvement into the IFMA world. The connections made, insights gleaned, and business benefits are something you cannot get elsewhere, especially as a newer face amongst the top industry leaders."Tim Strand, President, RESCO