ThirsTea President Elected to IFMA's Board of Director

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Ray Welch takes on three-year term with one of country’s premier foodservice groups.

Through IFMA we have a voice and presence, within the industry.

Ray Welch, president and co-owner of Boca Raton, Florida based ThirsTea™ Corporation, has been elected to a three-year term on the board of directors for the International Foodservice Manufacturers Association (IFMA). Founded in 1952, Chicago-based IFMA is the premier organization for the foodservice industry’s manufacturers. Its membership represents suppliers, large and small, across every food category as well as equipment and disposables.

“I am thrilled to be on the board of such a well-respected and essential industry organization,” said Welch. “I look forward to the next three years and the opportunity to help the association become an even more integral part of the supplier community.”

Welch, who joined the association just two years ago, says he has already gained a business advantage through membership. “Through IFMA we have a voice and presence, within the industry. I have forged new friendships with people and companies I might never have had the chance of meeting had it not been for our participation.”

He joins fellow board members representing such iconic manufacturers as ConAgra Foods/Lamb Weston, Basic American Foods, Lyons Magnus, Starbucks, The Bama Companies, Procter & Gamble, Land O’Lakes, Mars Foodservice, Sara Lee Corporation, Kraft Foodservice, PepsiCo Foodservice, Campbell’s North America Foodservice, Coca-Cola Foodservice & On-Premise, Heinz North America Foodservice and Sargento Foods.

To ensure its programs are relevant, IFMA is driven by more than 20 committees, such as Small/Midsized Business and Center of Innovation Excellence (CIE). More than 50 percent of member companies are involved with one or more committees. The association also hosts the foodservice manufacturing industry’s most-coveted annual awards program, the Gold and Silver Plate, during the National Restaurant Association’s yearly convention in Chicago.

Welch, who has been in the foodservice industry since 1996, purchased ThirsTea™ Corp. in 2009 with partner Greg Grout. He started his career with a beverage manufacturer and then transitioned to the sales team at ThirsTea™ before purchasing the company. He is a graduate of American University in Washington, DC, and throughout his career has earned a reputation for developing business driving sales incentives, executing comprehensive marketing programs for new product launches and building nationally recognized brands.

About ThirsTea™ Corporation:
Established in 1977, ThirsTea™ is a privately owned corporation headquartered in Boca Raton, Florida and is committed to providing the highest quality beverage concentrates. They enjoy wide distribution in the foodservice industry throughout the country as well as internationally. ThirsTea™ beverage products are produced in Florida, Texas, Kentucky and California. For more information visit thirs-tea.com

About International Foodservice Manufacturers Association (IFMA):
Established in 1952 and incorporated in 1954, IFMA is a leading trade association comprising more than 300 of the world's most prestigious food, equipment and supply manufacturers in the $588 billion foodservice industry, as well as related marketing service organizations, foodservice trade publications, distributors and brokers. IFMA's mission ("Your Business Partner") is to be the premier foodservice trade association bringing members relevant and actionable services fundamental for their business assessment, planning and execution. For more information visit ifmaworld.com.

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