Greg Otterbein ’84 Branch Manager, Shamrock Foods
Many Bryant alumni remember Sysco as a supplier for the cafeteria, but it’s a company name they left behind after graduation.
For Greg Otterbein ’84, Sysco didn't just sustain him while at Bryant. It became his employer for 27 years.
Otterbein progressed from an entry level position in beverage sales to Senior Vice President of Marketing & Merchandising, Executive Vice President of Sysco Albany, and eventually President of Sysco Northern New England for 11 years. He led with a philosophy of “Incremental Improvement in Every Area of Our Business Every Year.” In recognition of his efforts, he received the United Way-Greater Portland “Leading the Way Award” for 2008 as well as the Sysco National Community Service Award the same year.
Having reached the pinnacle with Sysco and looking for a new challenge, Otterbein since 2012 has been Branch Manager of Shamrock Foods, overseeing the Southern California distribution plant. Shamrock is a family-owned business, though not Otterbein’s, that has been around since 1922.
A marketing major, Otterbein got a taste of food service operations while a director of Brycol. He managed the on-campus Pizza Loft restaurant, a concept he developed with Steve Antoni ’85 and his family.
“This was a great first step in training to understand the real business world,” he says. “I loved sales and promoting. I knew marketing was my career path.”
One of the most important skills he learned, Otterbein says, is the ability to get along with people. Today, he enjoys mentoring new associates and sharing what he learned at Bryant and throughout his career.
He still gets together with more than ten of his roommates on a semi-annual basis. Their next outing is spring 2015 in Hilton Head.
Bryant’s alumni network is 45,000 strong – accomplished men and women who influence, lead, and innovate in their professions, industries, and communities around the globe. They remain engaged with the University by sharing their expertise with students and faculty during campus visits and through the career center network, participating in alumni activities, and making Bryant a priority for their philanthropy.