By Maggie Gioia | Marketing Coordinator

National Convenience Distributors is enhancing their specialty and food service categories through the promotion of team members Erin Mercolino-Nigro and Roger Foley.

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Mercolino has entered a new role as Senior Director of Chain Sales and Innovation

Mercolino began her journey with NCD 15 years ago when she led J. Polep’s alcohol division. Later she became an account manager where she collaborated with natural food and beverage vendors. This ultimately sparked her interest in the specialty foods category and resulted in the founding of NCD’s very own. Since then, she has held various roles within chain sales and specialty foods to further NCD’s dedication to healthier for you, responsibly sourced and sustainable c-store products.

With degrees in communication from Antioch University and Santa Barbara City College, and a diverse background in hospitality and fine food and drink, Mercolino is fit to lead the chain sales, specialty, and innovation team in establishing and maintaining key customer and vendor relationships as well as in the expansion of college, university and corporate dining offerings.

“Erin is extremely passionate about what she does. Even though she is incredibly knowledgeable, she is always ready to learn,” said Steve Peterson, Executive Vice President of Chain, Food Service and College and University Sales. “Her commitment to her customers is what truly sets her apart within the industry. She brings so much to the table.”

But perhaps more importantly, Mercolino is responsible for remaining up to date on industry trends to better develop the specialty food and innovation segment– the fastest growing category at NCD– which features fully certified USDA organic items, ethnic cuisine, gluten free, dairy free, non-GMO and countless other clean products that originate from transparent and philanthropic brands.

“One thing that everyone should know about Erin is that once she takes hold, she never lets go. She is a tenacious and highly motivated self-starter,” said Peterson.

Similarly, Foley has been bringing an energy of innovation to NCD’s J. Polep division for over 12 years.

Foley has entered a new role as Senior Culinary Chef and Trainer

Foley’s position will allow him to provide food service expertise to customers by utilizing his extensive knowledge gained from his time as a food service specialist for NCD, Executive Chef for the Back Bay Restaurant Group, Fine Dining Chef and Kitchen Trainer for the Ritz Carlton, Whole Foods Prepared Foods Team Leader and Product Development District Manager for White Hen Pantry.

After earning his Bachelor of Arts in Culinary Arts from Johnson and Wales University, Foley is prepared to spearhead NCD’s c-stores in onsite food service training– including food safety and proper handling, merchandising and menu development and the creation of informative documentation– to increase c-store efficiency and quality. He will also assist in vendor meetings to determine what food service products will work best for NCD customers.

“Roger’s ability to educate and train customers on how to maximize food service programs is really something to see,” said Adam Kramer, Vice President of Food Service at NCD. “He has an engaging and inquisitive approach that always keeps his audience focused on the smallest details during the training process.”

By ascending into this new chapter, Foley will aid NCD in establishing a top-of-the-line food service experience for their customers, in turn driving customer prosperity.

“His new role brings an added value to NCD food service customers that will separate us from all the competition. We are partnering with our customers through this process to ensure success and profitability for the food service areas,” said Kramer.

Both Mercolino and Foley are keeping NCD ahead of market direction by guiding customers on how to elevate their food service experience and by connecting customers to better for you and better for the planet food options.  

Food Service Mighty Chicken