History of the RFA


The Refrigerated Foods Association (RFA) was formed in 1980 as the Salad Manufacturers Association (SMA) to meet the needs of the then budding wet salad industry(potato salad, cole slaw, pasta
salad, protein salads, etc.).


The Association has grown from its humble beginnings of 12 salad makers in 1980 to
over 150 refrigerated food companies across the world today.

The visionary behind the Association’s formation is Mr. Don Sircy of Performance
Manufacturing (pictured left with wife Maureen).

He approached the Association's founding Executive Director, Ms. Judy Stokes Gervais, with the premise of organizing an Association for this promising industry. After a meeting in Savannah, Georgia in October, 1980, the Salad Manufacturers Association was born. Dave Miller of Mrs. Kinser's was appointed as the first President of SMA.

The Association’s main function has always been to serve the technical, marketing, and regulatory
needs of its members and provide a network for the industry.

The Association serves as an information clearinghouse for businesses involved in the manufacture
and sale of their food products.

The Association’s late Technical Director, Mr. Martin Mitchell, was involved from the start with
providing sound technical expertise and food safety information.  He helped set the tone for the association, one of inclusiveness and collaboration.

As the industry developed, the Board saw a shift in the product line of the majority of its membership.
In 1992, the group changed its name to Refrigerated Foods Association to better reflect their product
lines, which at this time included wet salads, home meal replacement options, refrigerated entrees,
dips, desserts, ethnic foods, and side dishes.

Today, the Refrigerated Foods Association continues to serve this industry and strives to meet its
varied needs - with technical information, regulatory updates, marketing tips, networking opportunities,
training tools, and research reports.


Please CLICK HERE for a list of our award recipients through the years!


SMA/RFA Past Presidents

 Mrs. Kinser’s - David Miller

Mrs. Crockett’s - Fred Kirby

Manor Hill - Leonard Wachs

Reser’s Fine Foods - Alvin Reser

Mrs. Giles  - Carl Calandra

Country Maid - Jane Rodebaugh

I & K Distributors - Ron Klausing

Winter Gardens - Harry Seifert

A.S.K. Foods - Wendie DiMatteo Holsinger

Mrs. Stratton’s Salads - John Bradford

Dawn’s Foods - Greg Drewsen

St. Clair Foods  - Oscar Edmonds

Lakeview Farms - Gene Graves

Reser’s Fine Foods - Mark Reser

Kettle Cuisine - Jerry Shafir

Fresh Creative Foods - Mark Brown

St. Clair Foods - Brian Edmonds

Mrs. Stratton’s Salads - George Bradford

Reser’s Fine Foods - Steve Loehndorf 

Knott’s Foods - Josh Knott

St. Clair Foods - Lauren Edmonds