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Introducing Tori Bodenhamer, Our New Account Executive

Bay Food Brokerage is proud to announce we’ve expanded our team by hiring Southeast CPG broker Tori Bodenhamer as an account executive. Tori has more than 15 years of experience in consumer packaged goods (CPG) sales and national account management. She’ll be based out of our Carolinas office in Lake Wylie, S.C., and lives in Winston-Salem, N.C.

In her new role as a Southeast CPG broker, Tori will focus on growing Bay Food Brokerage’s accounts with center store manufacturers. She will also collaborate with clients and teams at retailers throughout the Southeast – such as Harris Teeter, Southeastern Grocers, Ingles, Lowes Foods and The Fresh Market – working to grow sales and gain new placement of products.

“Tori’s been in this market for a long time and knows the retailers and their expectations,” said Gary Royal, vice president of sales at Bay Food Brokerage. “We’re confident she can help us grow our center store manufacturers in the Carolinas market. She’s hit the ground running.”

Prior to joining Bay Food Brokerage, Tori served as business development manager/key accounts manager for Ole Mexican Foods Inc. Prior to that, she was regional/national account manager for CJ Foods, the market leader in Korean frozen and shelf-stable food in the U.S. She also spent 17 years in the beer industry, working in marketing and account manager roles for various breweries.

Tori holds a Bachelor of Arts in sociology with a criminal justice concentration. She also has a Masters Certificate in family life education and coaching. She earned both distinctions from North Carolina State University.

An active volunteer for Laurel Ridge Moravian Church Camp, Tori regularly serves as a camp counselor for kids. She is also a member of the Family Life Coaching Association, has volunteered for Big Brothers Big Sisters, and supports the Arts Council in Winston-Salem. She has also participated in many charitable events hosted by kickboxing gym RockBox.

“I’m excited to take this next step in my career as a Southeast CPG broker. It will allow me to deepen relationships with retailers I know, and I’ll get to work with them now on multiple accounts instead of only one,” Tori said. “We have a lot of opportunities in this market, and I’m looking forward to helping Bay Food expand its market share here.”

Get to Know Tori, Account Executive and Southeast CPG Broker

What are your hobbies?

I love kickboxing at RockBox, playing with my Bodie Boone (dog), and actively participating in my bonus kids’ recitals, soccer and basketball games. I love taking photos at their events, as well as watching and taking photos of Charlie playing soccer. Charlie and I try to go out dancing as much as time and the events we attend allow. I have a love of music and dancing. I also love being in nature anytime I can, even if that means bringing my laptop outside into nature and working that way.

What is your favorite part of your job?

As a Southeast CPG broker, I love building relationships with our accounts and vendors. A big part of building relationships is through trust, and I am hopeful that my accounts and vendors will see me as a person of integrity when it comes to working with me and Bay Food Brokerage.  I want to celebrate wins with our vendors. If you don’t ask, the answer is always a “no”…so, I just keep asking until we win!

What are some small things that make your day better?

Bodie (dog) and Gremlin (cat). They spend time with me in my home office. Charlie always makes me smile and laugh, as well.

What’s the first concert you attended?

Reba McEntire with Sawyer Brown and Brooks and Dunn. I will never forget Kix Brooks coming out into the audience and two-stepping with fans. It was crazy to watch. They are such a big act now that they couldn’t do that, but then they were just getting started.

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

Be patient. You normally get seven no’s before the yes happens.

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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?

Aerosmith.

What are some small things that make your day better?

Smiles.

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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