Broker of the Year: David Gellman by ProQuest


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 Broker of the Year
 David Gellman
 Gellman Associates,
 Norristown, Pa.
 By Elliot Maras, Editor

 David Gellman has witnessed a lot of change
 in his years as a broker. He says brokers must
 continue to be innovative and resourceful to
 help operator customers succeed.

“I       nnovative” and “resourceful” are characteristics
         of successful product brokers, and no one
         embodies them more than Dave Gellman, owner
                                                               at night and
                                                               worked for his father,
                                                               the late Harry Gellman, a
 of Norristown, Pa.-based Gellman Associates, the 2008         retail food broker.
 Automatic Merchandiser Broker of the Year.                        In 1964, interested in learning more about food mar-
     Now in his fourth decade as a product broker,             keting, he switched from Temple University to St. Joseph’s
 Gellman remains as active and as innovative as ever.          University, which offered a dedicated food marketing
 He oversaw the development of the National Automatic          degree. His studies were cut short when his father bought
 Merchandising Association’s Coffee Summit in Cherry           a pretzel manufacturer and offered him a job as a produc-
 Hill, N.J. last February, which most attendees heralded as    tion foreman.
 a great success. He also did the ground work for hooking          Gellman quickly tired of the factory position and moved
 NAMA up with St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia,         into sales, calling mainly on candy and tobacco wholesal-
 Pa., which will become the second college after Michigan      ers. When his father decided to close the pretzel factory
 State University to host a NAMA endowed vending/OCS           after a year and a half, Gellman became a full-time sales-
 education program.                                            man for the food brokerage. While his father managed the
     Gellman was also instrumental in merging the New          national accounts, Gellman worked on developing smaller
 Jersey, Delaware and Pennsylvania state vending associa-      retail accounts.
 tions into the Tri State Automatic Merchandising Council
 last year, a move that he believes provides better services   THROWN INTO A CHALLENGING SITUATION
 to operators in all three states.                                 Before he could get himself well established in the
                                                               Philadelphia market, his father passed away, leaving no one
 AT FIRST, HE FOLLOWED HIS FATHER                              to handle the big national accounts.
    Gellman got into the brokerage business on a part-time         Gellman did not like selling to big retail accounts. The
 basis following his U.S. Coast Guard service in the early     buying decisions were all based on numbers, and it took a
 1960s. He took classe
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