Denis & Sandy O’Donnell are a husband wife team living in the Houston area. Sandy retired from Sysco in September 2018. Denis’ background started in 1963 working for his Uncle at his banquet facility in Astoria New York. This 650-seat operation hosted up to 4 weddings/events at a time. Denis worked in the kitchen doing whatever prep the chef wanted, plated up the food and then washed dishes. During the next 40 years or so Denis worked in country club kitchens, fast food, hotel kitchens, managed coffee shop, middle market full service restaurants, dinner house restaurants and private clubs. Denis is the owner operator of www.tablesnchairs.com . TNC was launched in July 2001.
- Denis was one of the 6 Executive Committee members that implemented and designed the food service for the Doug Sanders Celebrity Golf Tournament Senior Tour event at the Deerwood Club in Kingwood for 7 years. Denis was in charge of all procurement and concession layout. This event would feed over 185,000 people in this week-long event.
- Denis designed and instituted the first program purchasing effort for CCA (Club Corporation of America). After stellar results for the 64 properties that comprised Denis’s Region, it was expanded to the other 3 Regions as well. Once that was recognized, a Purchasing Council was created to further expand those efforts to encompass two other CCA companies. Denis was a member of this 9-person panel which would impact over $400 million dollars in purchases from the Club Company, the Resort company and the Public Golf Company. Denis did the negotiating for the National programs with Sysco, Coke USA and EcoLab for all three operating companies.
- Denis negotiated the site agreement with Mulligans Pictures Inc. for the filming of the movie Tin Cup with Kevin Costner. The filming encompassed the use of both Kingwood Country Club and The Deerwood Club. Denis helped the design and execution of feeding all of the 1,000’s of extras during the filming of the tournament scene shown at the end of the movie. Denis also headed up the design and execution of the “Thank you” party hosted by Mulligans Pictures for the almost 4,000 members of both clubs. Using the Humble Civic Center, we operated 8 bars, 6 buffets and a “dessert room” with specialties from our Chefs around the Region.
- Denis was the President of the Food Service Division for a large Seafood processor/distributor.
Sandy’s food service distributor career started with White Swan Houston in 1985 as a customer service person. She then went on to work for Sysco in the program sales department. As a customer service person/account coordinator for chain accounts. It did not take long for Sandy’s work ethic and attention to detail be given the most visual accounts in the department. Over the 25 years of her Sysco career, Sandy impacted Sysco on many fronts working at the operating company level, corporate, and Sysco’s shared business services.
- During her initial position in program sales, one of Sandy’s customers was a large chain. This customer demanded “match pricing” for all Sysco operating companies in Texas. This technology did not exist in the 1980’s. Sandy was tasked to sit with a programmer and help design a new system to interphase with the AS400 computer system. Using Sandy’s knowledge of the pricing system and the programming expertise of IT, they designed the first “Geographic Pricing” system for all of Sysco. Then went on to train the other operating companies on the Geographic Pricing System.
- As Sandy was recognized for her systems knowledge, the President of Sysco Houston tasked Sandy to manage and research the below cost and low margin report. This daily report showed every item that shipped the previous day that had a low profit margin. Sandy’s task was to research exactly how that happened. This research pushed Sandy into every department in the building. Was it a Buyers issue, was it a Marketing Issue, was it a Sales Person issue etc.? This gave Sandy a unique background of understanding EVERY corner of Sysco Operations. She was also invited to sit in on the Corporate committee that developed the current “SUS” operating system that is used by the current Sysco Broadline operating companies.
- Later in her career, Sysco realized the need to ensure that they lived up to the many distribution agreement parameters, so they created the new “Contract Compliance” department. Sandy went on to manage that team at Sysco Houston with complete access to any and every department verifying all methods that affected price adherence. This position eventually advanced her into managing the “Profit Management” department overseeing all pricing, rebates, and incentives.
- A t one point, she was tasked by Sysco Corporate to sit on the committee to help develop a “Regional Warehouse” structure to support Sysco’s huge growth across the country. It was Sandy’s job to make sure that any structural proposals made by the group did not violate any existing agreements either from a legal prospective or margin integrity prospective.
- The last 6 years, Sandy has been a team lead at Sysco’s shared business services managing hundreds of millions in incentive dollars earned by the largest chain customers that Sysco services. Sandy would review agreements for systematic capabilities and interface with 72 operating companies across the Nation coordinating the accurate amount of dollars earned by these customers.