Rodney Wasserstrom award
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For over half a century, Rodney Wasserstrom has devoted his life to serving restaurateurs across Ohio and, eventually, across the country and spanning the globe. For his lifetime of service, Rodney Wasserstrom was inducted into the Ohio Restaurant Association’s Hall of Fame, at the industry association’s annual awards gala.

Rodney is part of the 3rd generation to take up the mantle of leadership over The Wasserstrom Company, in Columbus, OH. Rodney’s grandfather, Nathan, founded the company in 1902 and it has been family run ever since.

Stephanie Elias, Susan Valins, Bruce Wasserstrom, Kelli Wasserstrom, Rodney Wasserstrom, Brad Wasserstrom, and Eric Wasserstrom
Stephanie Elias, Susan Valins, Bruce Wasserstrom, Kelli Wasserstrom, Rodney Wasserstrom, Brad Wasserstrom, and Eric Wasserstrom

Wasserstrom joins an illustrious lineup in the ORA Hall of Fame that includes the late Dave Thomas. He was the founder of Wendy’s and a customer that Wasserstrom helped from its initial store opening in Columbus, 1969, and all the way through its expansion to thousands of locations.

“What an honor to be chosen for this very prestigious award,” said Rodney Wasserstrom, CEO of the Wasserstrom company. “My passion is this industry.”

Although Rodney has been around the business since birth, his first professional role with the company came in 1961 as a salesperson. From there, he progressed through the company, eventually becoming president and currently serves as the company’s CEO. But Rodney still comes back to the principles his early jobs and sales career taught him.

“Rodney was a natural on the salesfloor, forging relationships with restaurant industry folks from all over,” said Wasserstrom VP of Regional Sales, Doug Fahrenholz.

The Ohio Restaurant Association also took the opportunity to announce that it is rebranding as the Ohio Restaurant & Hospitality Alliance (ORHA). Expanding to represent all aspects of the foodservice industry mirrors The Wasserstrom Company’s own journey to serve as a critical partner to all foodservice operators. In addition to traditional restaurants, Wasserstrom also services major hotel and hospitality chains, healthcare systems, grocery and convenience stores, education, and more.

Cameron Mitchell introduces Rodney Wasserstrom.
Cameron Mitchell speaks to Rodney’s 30-year partnership and contributions within the foodservice industry.

Another Hall of Famer in attendance was Cameron Mitchell, CEO of Cameron Mitchell Restaurants. Mitchell has been a Wasserstrom customer for his entire career as a restauranteur, and just celebrated his 100th restaurant opening with Cento in Columbus, OH.

“When I think of ‘integrity’ and ‘leadership’ the poster child for that is Rodney Wasserstrom,” said Mitchell. “One of the first people I called when I started Cameron Mitchell Restaurants was The Wasserstrom Company, to help me get started. They did just that and we’ve been with them ever since.”

Over the course of his career, Rodney Wasserstrom has worked with everyone from small, independent operators all the way up to the largest foodservice brands in the world. Wasserstrom credits much of the company’s success to its long history of employing good people and a philosophy of providing service long after the sale.

“I’ve had an interesting career,” mused Wasserstrom. “[My early work experience] showed me how easy it can be if you take just a few extra moments, be nice, surprise [the customer], go above and beyond, and say ‘thank you.’ Our business today is built on saying ‘thank you.’ Thanking each and every customer we have.”

In celebration of over half of century of service to the foodservice industry, the entire Wasserstrom organization is proud to recognize Rodney Wasserstrom’s induction into the ORA Hall of Fame.


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