Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Cerand

Jerry Cerand

Director & Category Strategy Leader, Avendra

Jerry Cerand is the category strategy leader for produce, seafood and dairy at Avendra, North America's leading procurement services provider with more than $3 billion in annual purchases. He is responsible for the procurement and distribution of perishable commodities for hospitality-related industries, and helps oversee and manage every link in the supply chain.

A graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, Mr. Cerand joined Avendra in 2004 focusing his culinary expertise on the seafood category. He next led the fresh produce team and then was promoted to the director of Avendra's fresh foods team for both local and national suppliers. In his current role, he sets the strategy for the entire supply chain for produce, seafood and dairy contracts, from sourcing to distribution to customers.

Mr. Cerand brings a unique perspective to the job, based on his extensive operations and culinary experience. With more than 20 years in the hospitality industry, he has owned his own bistro and home meal operation, and worked as general manager of many white tablecloth restaurants. He has the advantage of insight into customer wants and needs - from quality, fresh food options to a strong supply chain that supports customer preferences.

As part of a team of 60 contracting professionals, Mr. Cerand works with associates on the strategic supply chain management team with highly specialized expertise in hospitality-related categories. This team has expertise in negotiating the most competitive contracts to realize the best savings throughout the supply chain.

Mr. Cerand's focus includes creating access to local produce, seafood and dairy suppliers. Mr. Cerand serves as the lead on local sourcing programs and formerly sat on the Produce Marketing Association (PMA) board.

Please visit http://www.avendra.com for more information.

Mr. Cerand can be contacted at 301-825-0500 or jerry.cerand@avendra.com

Coming up in September 2019...

Hotel Group Meetings: Uncommon Destinations

The last few years have been good to the Hotel Group Meetings industry and that trend is expected to continue into 2019. Planners are brimming with confidence due to an expanding economy and increased job creation, which typically results in a boost in corporate meetings. Given this promising outlook, planners are trying to outdo themselves to satisfy the high expectations of their clients. One notable trend is to integrate unusual settings into the meeting experience, hosting groups at local zoos, aquariums, museums, event centers, or other outdoor facilities. The goal is to embrace uncommon destinations, rather than a typical hotel conference room, so that meetings can be memorable, unique and stimulating. This is also part of another trend which is to support all things local - from hosting events at landmark city venues; to catering through local restaurants, food trucks and microbreweries; to hosting off-site excursions like agri-tours, athletic events or scenic 5k routes. However, though the setting might be spectacular, there are still some bedrock components that must be provided to ensure a successful meeting. Free, high-speed Wi-Fi is still one of the most requested services. Planners have to make sure that a comprehensive communication infrastructure is in place so clients can easily connect - and stay connected - to the network throughout the entire meeting experience. Also, technology tools can be used to streamline the booking, registration, and check-in process, and Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) materials can be utilized to ensure seamless access to conference events. There are also numerous software tools that encourage audience participation, as well as integrating polls, Q&A, surveys and games into speakers' presentations. The September Hotel Business Review will examine issues relevant to group meetings and will report on what some hotels are doing to promote this sector of their operations.