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Ensuring a Cohesive Growth Trajectory 

Teresa Asbury
President, Commercial Division
The Legacy Companies

The Legacy Companies takes pride in having female leaders spearheading initiatives across its divisions, including sales, customer service, manufacturing, engineering, finance, accounting, marketing, merchandising, operations, product, ecomm support, and human resources teams.

“We’re proud to say that we have female representation in leadership roles,” says Teresa Asbury, president of the company’s commercial division. “Acknowledging the historical gender imbalance in our industry, we’re committed to fostering an environment where the future leadership is more diverse and inclusive. We’re genuinely proud of the role women play in leading various facets of our business.”

The talented women leaders at The Legacy Companies, including Asbury, have been instrumental in helping the foodservice equipment manufacturer overcome many challenges over its 25-year history. At inception, the company operated as an export management entity that represented products abroad and established sales and service operations for those products overseas. “A pivotal moment in our organization’s evolution was when we questioned why our success abroad was not mirrored within our domestic market,” Asbury says. “This prompted a strategic transformation for our business as we began marketing, selling, manufacturing and distributing products into the North America market.”

The company has been continually expanding into new markets across its commercial, consumer and international divisions. Mergers and acquisitions also emerged as a “significant catalyst” for the company’s growth — a strategy that Asbury says introduced its own set of challenges.

“A notable obstacle was managing multiple enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems across our operations,” she explains. The company has since invested in its infrastructure and implemented a new ERP that unified its brand portfolio. “Additionally, we’ve made significant investments in R&D to drive innovative product development,” Asbury says. “We continue to invest in our team, including our senior leadership, to bolster our organizational strength and ensure a cohesive growth trajectory.”

Symbolizing Strength
When Asbury entered the food service equipment industry in her mid-20s, Louise O’Sullivan was president at Groen and served as a president of NAFEM. As a young professional observing the landscape, Asbury quickly realized just how few women held leadership roles in the industry.

“Louise was someone I always looked up to and admired. To me, she epitomized a ‘Foodservice Charlie’s Angel,’ symbolizing strength, leadership, and trailblazing for women in the field,” says Asbury, who feels that one of the most rewarding parts of being a leader is being surrounded by unique and talented individuals who bring interesting and new ideas and perspectives to the business. “While at the end of the day a leader’s role is to make decisions it’s also important and enlightening to share and listen and learn from the future leaders all around me.”

Having been a beneficiary of that kind of industry mentorship, Asbury is now doing her part through her active involvement with NAFEM’s board of directors and the NAFEM Steering Committee for Social Purpose. She’s also supported NAFEM’s diversity, equity and inclusion program and is the assistant chair for the 2025 NAFEM Show, for which she is incoming chair (for 2027). “These roles underscore our commitment to our industry and in taking an active role in furthering important causes and initiatives,” Asbury says.

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