We're excited to welcome Scott Allmendinger to the front lines of the fight against food waste as Leanpath's Vice President of Sales. Scott has been a chef, award-winning writer, and sales team leader, but his favorite job? Dishwasher. Learn more about the newest member of our team.
Why did you decide to join the Leanpath team?
They made me an offer I couldn’t refuse. Seriously. It’s a compelling mission with compelling people. And I thought I might be able to help. How could you not want to be a part of that?
What was your favorite job before joining Leanpath?
Of all the jobs I’ve had – from chef to teacher to food writer to publisher to consultant – I think my favorite one was dishwasher. Everyone should do it for at least one shift. Think about it – your responsibility is to take someone else’s mess and make it orderly. That’s real transformation, and it’s probably the reason I’ve always been drawn to high-change environments.
Tell us about your professional associations.
Right now I’m a mentor at the Maine Center for Entrepreneurs, working with craft food producers in Maine, and a Friend of the Maine Grain Alliance. Previously, I was on the Board of the Women’s Foodservice Forum (WFF), President of the International Foodservice Editorial Council (IFEC), and a Fellow of the Institute at the CIA.
Tell us about your role as Vice President of Sales.
In my current role, I get to enable a great team of Business Development Managers who are in turn empowering teams of food waste warriors among our clients. I’m a sounding board for them, trying to remove obstacles and making sure that we are all headed in the same direction while tapping into the strengths of other Leanpath colleagues.
Why is working on food waste so important to you?
My big brother is a leading geologist with a special interest in climate change. He bought his first Prius 10 years before I did, and worries that my home in Maine will be underwater while I’m still in it. You could say I’ve been hearing about sustainability for most of my career in the food business. And as they say in the real estate business, they aren’t making any more dirt - so we have to find ways to make each square foot as productive as possible if we have any hope of feeding 9 billion people.
How do you think the sustainability and food waste landscape has changed in the last 5 years?
When I was in the Consulting group at The Culinary Institute of America, we worked on a lot of adjacent issues in sustainability, wellness, and food ethics with a number of Leanpath clients, including Google. In recent years, food waste has edged closer to the center of the conversation - but mostly from the standpoint of utilization, redirecting, and upcycling. The notion of preventing food waste from occurring in the first place is only now beginning to get buy-in as the most important part of the hierarchy. Imagine chefs teaching people how to not cook something. How wild is that?
What are you most excited about in your new role at Leanpath?
I tell my friends it’s an amazingly energizing hybrid of intense learning and every once in a while finding something from my experience – like the blind squirrel with an acorn – that is helpful to the team.
Do you have any tips for avoiding food waste at home?
Those little bits in your fridge would make a great hash.
To learn more about our team dedicated to the success of foodservice operations around the world, take a look at our About Us page.