Brand Ambassador Spotlight – Jim Simon

Brand Ambassador Spotlight - Jim Simon

Kingswood Leasing* is grateful to partner with outstanding foodservice dealers to offer equipment lease financing to their customers. We honor sales reps that have demonstrated a strong commitment to our partnership by distinguishing them as brand ambassadors.

Our latest brand ambassador is Jim Simon, project manager at Edward Don & Company.

Jim’s experience in the foodservice industry spans 43 years, 25 of them with DON. For him, one of the most exciting things about being in the industry for so long has been seeing how technology has revolutionized it. With intelligent cooking equipment coming from manufacturers like Rational and Alto Sham, it’s easier than ever for foodservice operators to cook their menu items consistently and efficiently. These innovative products automatically adjust the humidity and heat based on the items they’re cooking, and can be programmed with different menu items to ensure consistency.

This appreciation for technology is something he hopes to pass onto those just starting out in the industry. “Start with an education in a university that offers classes in the hospitality industry,” he advises. “Today’s foodservice industry is technology-based. Starting in this business in this climate, I would align myself with a company embracing the forefront of using technology in marketing, operations, kitchen production, and engineering.”

He has advice for more experienced operators, too. “To truly understand the global effect changes in demographics and target markets is critical to the end user's success now. Equipment companies are opening tech centers for cooking techniques and innovation. I would certainly want to learn from those people and bring that back to my operations and culinary teams to digest and use, to make my product more cost-effective to produce with the best quality possible. I would seek positions on different sides of the spectrum to educate myself over my first years in the foodservice industry.”

Photo of Jim Simon sitting at a restaurant table
Jim Simon

Jim’s favorite part of his role at DON is taking a blank piece of paper and turning it into a fully designed foodservice facility. Most recently, Jim worked with our team to finance a hotel project he’s been designing. Without financing, the hotel would have had to open the various kitchen spaces in phases. Kingswood Leasing’s equipment lease financing programs provided Jim the flexibility to complete all his projects before the opening. His customer can now build their lobby cafe, central kitchen, and sports bar all at once.

Equipment lease financing also freed up the client’s cash to focus on essential marketing campaigns. “Marketing is one of the biggest challenges new businesses face,” explains Jim. “By choosing to finance their equipment, business owners can invest their cash into marketing efforts to ensure their community knows when they've opened.”

In addition, Jim loves that financing options allow customers to invest in the best technology. “Since the pandemic, businesses have opened up again that had been closed for a long time. Their equipment sat dormant, and when they reopened, some of that equipment was no longer working correctly. Through financing, operators can upgrade those items and keep their quality high.”

Jim also notes that at times, a project gets to a point where the budget is exceeded, and in those instances, financing can make the difference between opening on time or not. “Leasing is instrumental; obtaining high-quality equipment that best fits their needs is important, and financing can help customers do that.”

Quote from Jim Simon

Kingswood Leasing’s own Regional Account Manager, Eric Reinauer, has enjoyed working with Jim to provide DON's customer's equipment lease financing options. “Jim has been a great partner from the first deal we worked on together. He understands the value we can bring to his customers and is always willing to go the extra mile to help get his customers what they need.”

Going that extra mile—for customers and for coworkers—is key to Jim and DON’s success. The longevity they’ve had (DON just celebrated its 100th anniversary) says it all: DON is a team-focused company that genuinely cares about the people that work for them. “Everyone takes care of each other, which makes DON special,” Jim explains with pride.

Thanks once again to Jim Simon for being an outstanding brand ambassador.

In addition to being featured on our blog, our brand ambassadors receive a gift card to a local restaurant they choose. Here’s what Jim said about his choice, Till Neighborhood Bistro & Bar

“The culinary team at Till is very much at the forefront of what is happening in Colorado. If you happen to visit, make sure you taste the salmon spread appetizer and do not miss the duck. Also, you will like the wine list!”


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