NRA 2018, Building a Brand & Staying Humble

On May 17, 2018, it all started with a United Airlines flight to Chicago, O’Hare International Airport.  The flight was on time and I was ready to go!  My media manager almost put a kink in the entire trip by missing his flight but luckily was able to get on the next one!  I landed, got my bag and was off to the first stop on my trip, Parts Town.  They are a partner in parts for us and they have a brand new facility that was definitely state of the art.  They have robots picking 30,000 of the most common parts in a section of the warehouse you can see directly below.  When orders come in, these robots are driving along the top of this “pod” and finding exactly what they need to bring to the shippers waiting at their stations on the floor.  It was definitely something to see.  Technology is getting more advanced and if you are not willing to adapt, you will be in trouble as a business!

While walking through the Parts Town warehouse, I was stopped by a man pointing at me, saying, “I Know this guy!”.  I was not too sure if I actually knew him but then he mentioned he watches all my videos and even wanted to take a picture with an “industry celebrity”. LOL  I was ALL for it!  It was super flattering, humbling and perhaps a small way the universe was telling me to keep at it.  Thank you Jim, for the Love, it means more than you know!  Here is Jim and I in the warehouse!

Once we were finished with our tour, we head back over to our hotel for the weekend, The Hyatt Regency downtown.  I highly recommend staying there if you’re ever in Chicago, it’s awesome.  After checking in and answering some emails, we went to a small dinner over on the navy pier called Riva Crab House and if you love seafood, you will love this place.  Had a good time talking with David Canterbury (Pictured Right), the VP of Greenbrier Technical Services and Nick Cribb, President of SAM Service in Georgia.  Also pictured with Nick and I is Liz Lorino with Parts Town, who gave us an awesome tour of the new facility earlier that day!

Friday morning, May 18th, we worked our way over to Coker Service in Villa Park, IL, right outside of the Chicago, click on their company name and check them out!  After years of going to CFESA conferences, TJ and Debbie have become friends and I was super excited to check out their facility and see their NEW, still under construction, Top Secret new location!  They have a great team over there and the new facility is going to really streamline their operations.  Thanks for taking the time to show us around!


Following our day at Coker Service, we went back to the hotel and got ourselves ready for the CFESA 2nd Annual Industry Mixer at the J.W. Marriott.  It was a great networking event to catch up with new and old friends alike.  It was yet another humbling experience as I was being recognized by people for my videos across various platforms.  I struggle with whether it was worth it to be doing this.  Investing time to a media platform I want to build within our industry is something I wanted to do for some time and now that I’ve started and have been receiving amazing feedback, I know it’s right.  I will not stop.  I have a new found love and passion for talking about our amazing industry.  Here are a few pictures from the CFESA mixer including one with myself and the president of MAFSI, Chris Jeens!  (yeah, he recognized me too, how cool!)

After the mixer, we all head over to in industry party at the House of Blues!  We let loose, had some fun and caught up with friends.  Nothing is better than being out and a part of your industry.  You can’t build a brand or a business hiding behind a desk.  So get up and get out there or your competition will! (Think about that one!)  The night flew by and I found myself humbled again by more people that have seen the content I’ve been blasting across the internet.  I feel blessed.  Thank you for all the love again and keep watching because there is so much more to come!  I even had some people striking the pose!  Maybe I’ll make that pose famous one day, who knows!?

Finally, it was Saturday morning, May 19th and it was time to head to McCormick Center for the NRA Show 2018! #FiredUP  We started the show by having… A Vienna Beef Hot Dog, Chicago style of course!  After that, we hit the ground running!  We stopped by the Welbilt booth.  My company, Malachy Parts & Service is the factory authorized service center in NJ and they are one our best partners.  We checked out some of the new technology coming down the road such as KitchenConnect.  One day soon, your equipment will alert you when it’s time to maintenance and even more important, alert your local factory authorized service company about issues and breakdowns to streamline the repair!  Special shout out to Wayne Lemke for taking some time to speak with us about the latest and greatest.  Next stop, the Middleby booth, which seemed to be almost half the show floor this year!  BREAKING NEWS FROM NRA SHOW 2018:  Middleby buys Taylor for $1B dollars! 


We stopped to visit with Pitco and say hello to Mark Therrien, the national service manager of Blodgett & Pitco!  Those are a couple of industry leading manufacturers we have wanted to partner with for a very, very long time.  All I will say is… Stay tuned.  Had a great chat with Mark and saw some new ROV Fryer technology that will be coming to market very soon!  Also had the pleasure of speaking with a new, wonderful friend, Stephanie Martin, VP of Regional Sales at Blodgett.  We met back at the NY International Restaurant show in March and she has been such a supporter of me and my company since.  Thank you Stephanie!  I’m looking forward to the future and I know it’s bright!  The day moved fast as usual, as we stopped by equipex, southbend, AJ Antunes, Intermetro, Duke, FWE, Univex, Rational and more.  It was a day to remember!


In closing this one out, I will say if you are not on board with technology, social media and putting out content, I promise you, eventually, your competition will and you just may be left behind.  Get involved in your industry.  Be genuine.  Be creative.  This is not about right or wrong, it’s simply about doing.  So go do!  The world needs you.  As for me, I’m forever humbled by the people literally stopping me on the show floor and saying they love what i’m doing.  Your comments, your likes, your shares, your messages all mean more to me than you will know.  It is just what I needed to be more driven than I already am.  Go over to YouTube and subscribe, you will see lots of footage from the trip to Chicago 2018.  I’m building a brand.  It will not be easy but nothing worth it ever is.  I’ll lead with my heart first.  You will see genuine photos and videos, all original, portraying myself and my team.  I’ll tackle all of the industry hot and hard to talk about topics, bringing what us Service Companies do on a daily.  It is not always pretty and there are issues we deal with most will never know about.. until now!  Please go click, follow, like and subscribe on all platforms to follow my journey!


Until next time, Be honest, Be Humble.


-Rich Malachy