GraceKennedy Foods (USA) LLC – DBA La Fe is a full service distributor of a range of over 1,400 products in the categories of grocery, frozen, dairy and beverages. We represent some of the top brands of food products from the Caribbean, Central America, South America and Europe. With operations located in Wood-Ridge, New Jersey; Miami, Florida and Atlanta, Georgia serving the Eastern United States, our solid network of sub-distributors and wholesalers augment our direct to retail operation, allowing coverage to the mid-western states and the West Coast.
What makes us La Fe?
The La Fe brand enjoys excellent recall in the grocery trade. Included in the range of products under the La Fe brand are the finest quality frozen vegetables, tropical fruit pulps, frozen entrees, and frozen root crops. Our teams of marketing and sales professionals have extensive knowledge of the general food market and in particular the ethnic specialty food segment. In order to successfully build a market for our brands, consumers must be informed and made aware of the key attributes of our products. We strongly believe that the appropriate support is critical to motivating consumers to look for our products in the grocery stores after placement is achieved. As a full service distributor we ensure that sufficient stocks are available at all times to fill orders for our customers. Guided by sound projections and a keen analysis of the performance of each product in the trade, we maintain sufficient stocks to protect the sales our product lines. We adhere to a strict policy of filling our customer’s orders within 24 hours (unique in the industry) of receipt of such orders by our order entry department. Orders are filled and packed for shipping overnight. Deliveries are dispatched with our fleet of trucks from the central warehouse in New Jersey and from our warehouse in Miami.
Mr. Derrick Reckord has been the President and Chief Executive Officer of GraceKennedy (GK) Foods, (USA) LLC, since January 1, 2018. Mr. Reckord joined GK in 1987 as a management trainee and quickly established himself as a senior manager within the Group. Mr. Reckord has been instrumental in developing and growing GK’s business in the US. Prior to his current appointment, he served as Senior Vice President for Commercial Operations on the acquisition of La Fe Foods in 2014.
Mr. Reckord has built a sterling career in international marketing and, in his former role as General Manager of Grace Foods International, was instrumental in developing GK’s export business in the Caribbean, Africa, USA and Europe. During his tenure, Grace Foods International became one of the most successful businesses in GK and enjoyed immense public recognition.
Mr. Reckord was educated at Rutgers University in New Jersey, USA, where he gained a Bachelor of Arts (High Honors) Degree in Economics, and later gained his Master’s in Business Administration at Columbia University in New York, USA.
Mr. Oswald Lyn joined GraceKennedy Foods, (USA) LLC, in February 2019, where he held various senior management positions at the Grace Kennedy Group throughout his career. As a highly result-driven Chartered Accountant and team leader, Mr. Lyn has over 30 years of experience in financial management, strategic planning, project management, auditing, internal controls and budgeting in both the private and public sector.
Ricardo BryanVP Sales Northeast Region
Mr. Bryan joined the GK in 1996 as a Market Manager for the Northern Caribbean and Latin American Regions. Mr. Bryan has a very successful career at GK, and has been a part of all of the commercial divisions, as well as been a part of developing various markets in different countries like US and Canada. He is an Experienced International Business & Marketing Executive with extensive management and leadership experience working throughout the Caribbean, Latin America & North America. Mr. Bryan is fluent in Spanish with an expertise in Strategic Planning, Sales & Marketing Management, New Business Development, Public Speaking & Broadcasting.
David HernandezSVP National Accounts
Mr. Hernandez joined the company in 2016. Mr. Hernandez is an experienced commercial executive with 30 years of success in leading business initiative for companies like Kraft, Unilever, PepsiCo and Wise Foods. Mr. Hernandez is responsible for leading the U.S expansion and in charge of the National accounts division. He is well known as a strategic marketer with excellent interpersonal skills, allowing him to connect with people at all levels. Mr. Hernandez is also renowned for his skills in uncovering hidden opportunities through specifically targeted questions.
Alberto YoungVP Sales Southeast Region
Alberto Young joined the GraceKennedy Foods division in 2004 as head of Sales & Marketing for GraceKennedy (Belize) after which he was promoted to General Manager of the operation and successfully grew the business in Belize. In 2014 Alberto joined the USA Foods division in the capacity of Regional Business Manager after which he led the transition of the La Fe distribution operation in North Carolina to Atlanta Georgia as part of the GK Foods acquisition of La Fe Foods in 2014.
He successfully led a small team in Georgia and the Carolinas to establish a footprint in those markets prior to being promoted in 2018 to VP Sales for the Southeast Division which now includes the Florida markets.
Alberto is fluent in Spanish and English with expertise in Team Management, Strategic Planning; Sales & Marketing Management; Financial Management, New Business Development, and Operations.
Andres FalquezCategory Marketing Manager
Mr. Falquez joined the company in 2018 to lead the Strategic Marketing and Execution for the Hispanic brand Division. Mr. Falquez has more than 12 years of experience in Marketing and Business Development of FMCG’s Food & Beverages, consumer electronics and advertising in the US and LATAM.
With a track record of success developing campaigns for SONY, LG, JWT and SABMiller, Mr. Falquez is very focused on sustainable and profitable growth with a strategic vision supported by a solid analytical approach. Andres has a BA degree in Business and Advanced Marketing from NYU. His passion: Leading and motivating teams committing them to excellence.
Desiree SorensenNational Accounts Manager
Ms. Sorensen joined the company in 2012 as a Business Development Manager managing key customer relations from California to Florida. Known throughout the industry for delivering and sustaining revenue as well as profit gains within a highly competitive U.S. retail market. With over 20 years of experience, she has become an exceptional communicator with a consultative sales style, strong negotiation skills, exceptional problem solving abilities, and a keen eye for client needs assessment aptitude. Desiree had a successful career in Marketing in the past, developing campaigns for Red Bull, Coke and Neuro.
Shelton RoseNational Business Development Manager
Mr. Rose joined Grace Kennedy in January 2009 as a Market Manager for the Northern USA Region. Mr. Rose currently manages the company’s relationships with our third party distributors throughout the US. Additionally, he manages the execution of key events, such as the NY Jerk Festival, Penn Relays, Grooving In The Park and Giant BBQ Battle. Mr. Rose has a long history in the beverage industry having previously worked in marketing and sales for Stroh Brewery, Pabst Brewing, Bacardi USA and Southern Wine & Spirits.
Jesica D’rusoSenior Key Account Manager
With a Business Administration Degree, Jesica joined the company in 2007 as Key Account Manager.
Jesica is responsible for the development and achievement of sales, focusing on growing and developing existing chain Accounts, together with generating new business.
Her responsibilities include overseeing a portfolio of chain accounts including Wakefern, Key Foods, ACME, Price Right and Dpi; relying on her extensive experience and judgment to plan and accomplish goals. About Jesica’s personality: Positive thinker, self-motivated and Passionate about Life and Family.
Jermaine NugentKey Account Manager
Mr. Nugent joined the company in 2010 in a merchandising capacity. He has demonstrated consistent growth and has been promoted to positions of increasing responsibility from Trade .
Marketing Assistant, Field Sales Manager and currently serves as Key Account Manager in the Sales Division. His responsibilities include overseeing a portfolio of chain accounts including Food Bazaar, Western Beef, Foodtown and Restaurant Depot.
Mr. Nugent is well-known as an effective, results-focused manager with a track record of achievement in creating new revenue streams, growth and business profitability.
Martin MedinaNational Sales Operations Manager
Professional with more than 10 years of strong experience in Sales and Distributors development in the US and LATAM, evaluating market strategies, negotiating pricing strategies, analyzing commercial KPI of sales and distribution, developing business plans to ensure sales growth (P&L) and proper distribution of portfolio in POS.
With an MBA from Escuela Europea de Negocios in Madrid and a track record of success in different industries working for companies like PDVSA, Colgate and Bosch Mr. Medina is in charge of the commercial operation for the National Accounts division in the US.