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Team Member Spotlight: Christina Akers, Account Executive

In this Team Member Spotlight, we feature Christina Akers, a top-notch Southeast broker who represents our clients in major retailers in the Carolinas and Georgia.

Christina joined the Bay Food Brokerage family in 2011 as a retail representative. Today, as an Account Executive, she works with our food manufacturing clients selling in all grocery store departments.

Based in the Lake Wylie, S.C., office, she works with the following retail partners:

Get to know this all-star Southeast broker through her own stories and insights, which she shares below.

Christina Akers Southeast Broker Headshot

Can you tell us a little bit about your career and educational/professional background?

I graduated from Glenville State College with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology, and Marshall University with a Master of Science in Psychological Counseling and Human Behavior Patterns. I’ve been with Bay Food Brokerage over 11 years. I started as a field rep and have worked my way up through the ranks to Account Executive.

As a Southeast broker, what do you like most about working in the retail food industry?

My favorite part of the grocery industry is the fast pace and the fact that it is always changing. I am always anxious to see what is coming up next.

What do you like most about your current role as a Southeast broker and/or working at Bay Food Brokerage? 

I enjoy working with a strong team. As a leading Southeast broker, Bay Food has many years of experience to offer in the grocery industry. I like managing my own accounts but still contributing to the company’s overall success.

What’s the biggest work-related challenge you’ve ever faced and how did you overcome it? 

The biggest work-related challenge I have ever faced is building accounts from ground

zero. Our industry is about relationships, and building them from nothing takes time and a lot of hours of hard work. Once my foot is in the door, I work hard to gain respect from customers to continue building the relationship.

What advice would you give someone interested in pursuing your line of work? 

My advice for anyone entering the industry is to shadow people who currently have positions of interest and do your homework. This industry forces you to wear many hats, and you must be flexible.

What’s the best piece of business advice you’ve ever received, and why?

“Christina, you are not doing brain surgery. Stop being so hard on yourself. No one is going to die if you make a mistake!”

Care to share a highpoint in your career and what it meant to you?

The best feeling in the world is when you see your clients’ products on the grocery store shelf for the first time after all your hard work.

What are some of your personal hobbies outside of work?

Enjoying the outdoors and traveling.

Care to tell us about your family?

I come from a big family, and we are very close. Currently, I live with my two boxers, Gus and Gertie. Yes, I said live with because anyone who has boxers knows that it’s their house and we just live in it!

What might someone be surprised to learn about you?

I love to read.

What was the first concert you attended?


What are some small things that make your day better?


What’s your favorite sports team and/or sport?

College football.

What could you give a 40-minute presentation on with absolutely no preparation?

The grocery industry, camping, living with two boxers, and make-up application.

Lightning Round – Christina’s Favorites

  • Food or cuisine: Italian
  • Movie: Dirty Dancing
  • Song: Anything by Elton John
  • Place: Home

At Bay Food Brokerage, our team and our clients are like family! Contact us today if you’re interested in how Christina or another member of our Southeast broker team can serve you.

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Cammie Chatterton Joins Get Live 45 Foundation Executive Board

Our Owner, President and CEO Cammie Chatterton has joined the executive board of the nonprofit Get Live 45 Foundation.

About the Get Live 45 Foundation

Founded in 2021 by Tampa Bay Buccaneers linebacker Devin White, the purpose of the Get Live 45 Foundation is to give the magic of hope and comfort during life’s meaningful moments to Tampa-area foster children.

“Devin focuses on the youth in our community and how we can make their lives better, and my focus on giving back has always been connected with children,” Cammie said. “Our children are our future, and we all must do more to show them that they are loved and cared for in this world. Devin is doing exactly that with his foundation, and I am thrilled and honored to be a part of his vision.”

Devin White launched the Get Live 45 Foundation with a gala on Dec. 13. The event raised over $197,000 through sponsorships, ticket sales, live and silent auction items, and donations. Event proceeds supported the foundation’s 2021 Christmas program for children in foster care. They will also support the foundation’s future back-to-school and graduation outreach programs.

Community Involvement

Cammie is very active in the local nonprofit and business community. In addition to the Get Live 45 Foundation board, she also currently serves as as a member of:

  • The board of directors for the capital campaign of Feeding Tampa Bay
  • The board of directors for the Tampa Bay Chamber
  • CEO Council of Tampa Bay
  • The Jesuit High School Parent Alumni organization

“Getting involved in our local community is extremely important to me, personally, and to our whole team at Bay Food Brokerage,” Cammie said. “We love giving back and paying it forward.”

Community service is an important part of the Bay Food Brokerage culture. Learn about other nonprofit organizations we support here.

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Introducing Erin McCulloch-Crume, Our New Director of Deli & Emerging Business

Bay Food Brokerage is excited to introduce our new Director of Deli & Emerging Business, Erin McCulloch-Crume! A highly educated food industry professional, Erin joins our food brokerage company with more than 15 years’ experience in manufacturing, sales, marketing and product management.

In her new role, Erin will focus on continuing to grow the perishable side of the brokerage business by bringing on new food manufacturer clients. She will also collaborate with our food brokerage company’s clients and deli teams at existing retailer partners. This means leading Bay Food Brokerage’s deli sales team in growing sales and gaining new placement in the Southeast.

“It’s rare to find someone with Erin’s combination of extensive education and experience at all levels of the food supply chain,” said Cammie Chatterton, owner, president and CEO of Bay Food Brokerage. “She’s able to offer out-of-the-box thinking and creative solutions to help our clients succeed. We’re thrilled she’s joined the Bay Food family.”

Professional Background & Education

Prior to joining our food brokerage company, Erin served as national account manager at Reser’s Fine Foods. Reser’s is a manufacturer and distributor of fresh and refrigerated prepared foods. There, she worked with retailers such as Publix, Southeastern Grocers, Harris Teeter, The Fresh Market, Ahold Delhaize USA and Aldi to grow sales through strong collaboration. The company recognized her as National Sales Manager of the Year in 2020.

Prior to Reser’s, she worked as senior business development manager at SVZ. SVZ produces and supplies fruit and vegetable ingredients to food manufacturers. In this role, she oversaw inside sales, project management, marketing and business development departments, and worked closely with farmers.

Her career in the food industry began at Dot Foods, the largest food re-distributor in North America. There, she earned direct experience with the food supply chain. When she left the company, she was business development manager – new suppliers retail channel. She was Dot Foods’ Regional Sales Manager of the Year in 2015 and 2016.

Erin holds a bachelor’s degree in finance, a Master of Business Administration (MBA) and a master’s degree in supply chain, logistics and operations, all from Fontbonne University. She is a member of the Carolinas Food Industry Council (CFIC) and Grocery Manufacturers’ Representatives (GMR).

Why the move to a food brokerage company?

“I’m excited to take this next step in my career, with a leading retail food brokerage company here in the Southeast,” Erin said. “The industry is always evolving, and Bay Food Brokerage is constantly re-investing in both technology and people. This ensures we’re the best advocates for our clients and our retail partners.”

Get to Know Erin

  • What might someone be surprised to learn about you?

I am a small-town girl, growing up in Central Missouri, where my favorite pastime was spending time out at my grandparents’ farm. We had cows, horses, pigs, and quite a few dogs and cats. My cousins and I would love to play in the hay loft and feed the cows salt licks.

  • If you could meet anyone in the world, living or deceased, who would it be, and why?

Ruth Bader Ginsburg. I admire that she never gave up on her dream to follow her passion and break down barriers that so many before her could not figure out how to do. She changed the way society and the law view women’s rights. And she did it all while keeping family first, not wavering from her true self.

  • What are some small things that make your day better?

My son’s little hand in mine. The look our French Bulldog, Abel, gives me when he wants some attention. Hearing my husband tell me about his day. And a nice glass of red wine!

  • What’s your favorite food?

Italian. If I could eat pasta and bread every day, I would!

  • What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?

Where this is an issue, there is opportunity. Look at every problem with a solution lens and get creative on solving the problem. This is how you become a true partner versus just another salesperson.

When you work with our food brokerage company, you become part of the Bay Food family! Contact us today to learn how we can help your team grow in the Southeast.

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Team Member Spotlight: Gary Royal, VP of Sales

Our company recently expanded operations with the addition of a new division focused on consumer packaged goods (CPG). For over 27 years we’ve been known for our work with perishables, and now we’ve added “CPG broker” to our official resume. And at the helm of the Center Store Division is Vice President of Sales Gary Royal, who we’re proud to spotlight in this blog post.

Gary came to Bay Food Brokerage with more than two decades of experience in the specialty and natural food industry. He spent 15 years at KeHE Distributors, where he worked with many key retailers across the U.S. While at KeHE, he won numerous sales and leadership awards. Gary also created the Golfing for Kidz charity event to give back to less fortunate children.

Now, he oversees Bay Food Brokerage’s new Center Store Division and its team of account executives. Also, as a CPG broker, he oversees direct business for center store products, as well as any products that involve a food distributor.

Our Center Store Division works with food manufacturers of consumer package goods, such as non-perishable canned, boxed and bagged foods, and shelf-stable beverages. As a CPG broker, we act as the sales and marketing team for our center store clients. We partner with large retailers like Publix, Winn-Dixie, Harris Teeter and others, to sell their clients’ food products in their stores.

When asked why he decided to join our team at Bay Food Brokerage, Gary said:

“Bay Food Brokerage is a true Southeast broker, with very deep knowledge and relationships in this market and a strong investment in the community. We also provide more support to clients – with a large team of both account executives and support staff – than other brokerages I know. Our clients appreciate that commitment to doing what’s best for their business.”

Get to Know Gary, VP of Sales and CPG Broker

  • What are your hobbies?
  • Golfing and fishing.

  • What might someone be surprised to learn about you?
  • From 1999 to 2009, I relocated for work (with the same company) 8 times in 6 different states.

  • What’s your favorite food?
  • Tough question, and I can’t single out one. I enjoy BBQ, Mexican and Italian foods all about the same.

  • What was the first concert you attended?
  • Garth Brooks in Tampa, Florida.

  • What are some small things that make your day better?
  • A drive home with minimal traffic and no phone calls. Sometimes I just need that 45 minutes to unwind from the day and listen to music. Also, cooking/BBQ outside with friends and family.

  • What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
  • I have always strived to “treat others how you would like to be treated.” I also learned at a young age that if I wanted to be successful in life, I’d have to be determined and dedicated to working hard. I also like to surround myself with great team members that have the same work ethic.

    When you work with our company, you become part of the Bay Food family! Contact us today to learn how we can help your team grow in the Southeast.

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