Learn About Cold Front Distribution
Meet the Team
Mike Swenson – President
Mike is an Operations Executive specializing in Direct Store Distribution (DSD) of consumer-packaged goods. For nearly 20 years Mike has utilized his diverse background in sales, distribution and operations management to help drive volume and profitability in an ultra-competitive dairy and ice cream market.
Mike started his career as a DSD Route Salesman for Schoep’s Ice Cream. He was promoted to territory manager and eventually to DSD Manager where he oversaw the entire sales and distribution teams. Mike then moved to Kemp’s dairy where he performed as Sales Manager, DSD Manager, and most recently as General Manager.
Kevin Hocum – Chief Financial Officer
Kevin is a 38 year veteran of business and finance having spent time as CFO, Controller and General Manager with various companies, in a number of industries. He is fully trained on a variety of financial databases as well as other key financial tools highly recognized within the industry. His years of experience in finance, business and operations management, are critical to helping Cold Front build a stronger, more diverse business model.
Bill Simone – Senior Director of Sales and Operations
Bill began his career in consumer packaged goods with 12 years in various capacities for Oroweat Baking Company working throughout Northern California. Bill’s next 22 years were spent with the one and only Dreyer’s Grand Ice Cream managing sales and operations in both Northern and Southern California. Bill came to Cold Front Distribution after spending 2 years with Red Bull as a Division Manager and 4 years with Young’s Market Company working Direct Sales for Constellation Brands in scenic Southern Oregon.
Steve Heckathorn – Director of Sales
Steve comes to Cold Front with over thirty-five years’ experience in consumer packaged goods and the retail snack business. For the past twenty-three years, Steve held various management positions in sales and distribution, most recently as the Northwest Region Distributor Manager for Dreyer’s/Nestle USA. Steve started his career with Keebler Company as a trainee and worked his way up the ladder through sales management to the Southeastern Region Training Manager prior to joining Dreyer’s Ice Cream in 1995.
Robbie Nichols – Director of Business Process
Carlos Rodriguez – Southwest Division Manager
Carlos is the Southwest Division Manager for New Mexico and West Texas. Carlos’ Cold Front Distribution career began in 1994 and he has over twenty-five years of experience in multiple roles. Carlos started with Heller Distribution as a route salesman and was quickly promoted to route supervisor, Zone Manager, Area Manager and finally, Southwest Division Manger. Carlos’ primary focus is safety along with daily interaction, and providing coaching and direction, for his three Zone Managers in their leadership roles. Carlos’ current duties include directing sales & distribution, strategic planning, route operations, sales reporting and forecasting, and financial planning including the P&L for his division. Out of work, Carlos enjoys family time, basketball, football, and coaching kids, as he regards them as our most important future recourses.
Barry Hilker – Mountain Division Manager
Barry has over thirty years of experience in DSD. Barry began his DSD career as a merchandiser with Dreyer’s Grand Ice Cream and was quickly promoted to route sales in 1986. In 1990, Barry was again promoted to be one of two Zone Managers for Dreyer’s Denver leading route territories in Colorado, Wyoming, South Dakota and Nebraska. Barry has developed an emphasis on operations during this time and is expanding his sales skills as his team services primarily the convenience and grocery channels of trade. Barry made the move to Cold Front from Dreyer’s in 2001 as the company continued to expand after being founded mid-2000. Barry has been responsible for hiring and training route personnel and developing DSD routes as Cold Front has continued consistent growth over the last decade. Barry was also integral to Cold Front’s expansion into Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Eastern Nebraska and Northern Illinois in early 2016. Barry was recently names the Mountain Division Manager with an office in Denver, CO. Away from work, Barry enjoys various sports, including golf outings with friends, college sports, especially Nebraska Cornhusker Football, and following Colorado Rockies Baseball and Denver Broncos Football teams.
Mike Madsen – Midwest Division Manager
Mike’s career in DSD began as a route salesman for Metz Baking company in 1989. Mike spent 27 years in the baking industry as a District Sales Manager, an Area Sales Manager, Order Process Planner, Account Manager and Regional Manager. He came to Cold Front in 2017 to lead the Midwest Division as an Area Manager with strong emphasis on DSD Operations and is now the Midwest Division Manager. Mike manages routes that service the states of Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, Northern Illinois, and the Michigan Upper Peninsula.
“Our goal is to be a leader in every market we serve by exceeding the expectations of our customers and operating with the highest ethical standards“
Cold Front Distribution, LLC was founded in June of 2000 and began operations in August of that year providing the Colorado Front Range with direct store delivery of premier nationally branded frozen food products. Our Corporate Office is located in Denver, Colorado and supports sales, warehousing and administration for the service and delivery of products throughout a ten state marketing area. Cold Front Distribution operates three main divisions: the Mountain Division based in Denver, Colorado; the Southwest Division in Albuquerque, New Mexico; and our Midwest Division in Madison, Wisconsin. Our Southwest Division was established through the acquisition of Heller Distributing of Albuquerque, New Mexico in October of 2004 and our Midwest Division was added from assuming the Schoep’s Distribution Division of Madison, Wisconsin in February of 2016.
Utilizing a Direct Store Delivery (DSD) model, Cold Front Distribution purchases premium frozen food items from the top national manufacturers in the industry. These products are then delivered directly off our fleet of trucks to grocery stores, convenience stores and food service accounts throughout our marketing areas. This area includes all or part of the following states: Colorado, New Mexico, Wyoming, West Texas (including El Paso), South Dakota, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, Illinois and Nebraska. Our primary goal is ultimate customer satisfaction from the point of delivery through the final purchase and consumption experience of the retail consumer.