Unlike many Forty under 40 winners, Danna Dunnage’s entire career has been essentially with one company.
She has worked her way up to the position of Gordon Food Service’s (GFS) president for B.C. and oversees an operation that includes 900 staff and sales closing in on $1 billion.
Dunnage joined GFS, which delivers food to restaurants, hospitals and universities, at age 20 just after completing a bachelor of arts degree at Simon Fraser University. Her ambition was to become a news anchor, but a boyfriend’s aunt urged her to get involved in sales and recruited her to work at what was then Neptune Food Service.
Dunnage quickly moved up from taking telephone orders for key accounts to working in relief when territorial sales representatives were on vacation.
She secured her first permanent territory – Surrey and Delta – in May 2000. She more than tripled sales in that region to $2.4 million within a year and a half.
Dunnage then jumped to a larger territory in the Tri-Cities and then to downtown Vancouver. In each of those places, she was awarded the prestigious corporate Winner’s Circle award – something given to the top 10 sales representatives in the province as well as the top two sales managers.
She became district sales manager for downtown Vancouver in 2005 and stayed in that job until just after the 2010 Winter Olympics. She was a Winner’s Circle recipient again in three of those years.
More promotions followed. She became the regional sales manager for the Lower Mainland for a brief period and then was appointed director of sales for the entire province in May 2011.
Her promotion in April to the role of GFS’ B.C. president is notable because it was the first time in the Michigan-based company’s history that a woman held the top job in a province or a state.
“We’re really going to press hard in the next fiscal year coming up to hit $1 billion in sales,” Dunnage said. “Within two years, we’ll definitely close in on that mark.”
Outside work, Dunnage has been on the board of the British Columbia Restaurant & Food Services Association for the past several years.
She is also active with the Women’s Foodservice Forum and attends events held by the Women’s Executive Network.
Join us to celebrate the 2015 Forty under under 40 Awards January 27, 2016 at the Fairmont Waterfront Hotel. For tickets and event info visit www.biv.com/events/40under40.