Eastern Honors Jon Poole’s 35-Year Career  

April 29th, 2024

As 2023 ended, Eastern Quality Foods celebrated Jon Poole’s retirement as Vice President of Sales. An expert in the protein industry, Jon was an integral part of the Eastern sales team for three and a half decades and had a significant role in Eastern’s growth and development. His deep-seated passion for people and protein endeared Jon to his coworkers and customers alike. He exemplifies Eastern’s values and earned a career to be proud of.   

Born and raised in New York, Poole finished his college career at Penn State University where he played NCAA lacrosse for two years. Immediately following graduation, Poole got his start working in the poultry industry. His first role was in sales and marketing where he was then promoted to a regional manager position. “Corporate didn’t drive me in what I wanted to do. I wanted recognition for what the team and I did” says Poole. 

In September 1988, Poole joined the Eastern Quality Foods team and moved his young family from New York to Los Angeles to focus on building a business on the west coast. Poole shared that, “I started in August and made my first sale in the middle of October. On the way home, I bought a bottle of champagne. That will always stand out as a core memory.” With a network of connections, Poole’s dedication and integrity quickly gained him customers and friends on the other side of the country.  

Poole (second from the left) enjoys a dinner with coworkers at the 2014 Sales Retreat.

On September 9th, 2023, Jon Poole’s retirement was announced and celebrated at The Breakers Hotel in Palm Beach, Florida with the entire Eastern sales team. Always humble, Poole shared that, “Eastern was the vehicle that helped me achieve what I was able to. I won the NPFDA Member of the Year award, and I felt honored. But it was all for Eastern. I was with a good team and just happened to be one of the guy’s people saw.” Over dinner, live music, and drinks, colleagues reminisced on memories with Jon, the impact he made on their life, and sported mustaches in honor of Jon’s famous facial hair.  

As Jon retires from the protein industry, he transitions his customers to Nick Abeyta. “Nick is a great guy. He knows the business, the customers, and he’s very likeable” Poole stated. Nick shares Jon’s commitment to building long-term partnerships and his 19 years of experience means that Jon’s customers are left in very capable hands.

Poole was gifted a custom painting by our Director of Credit, Juanita Reyes.

Poole’s plans for retirement include spending time with his grandchildren, traveling with his wife, Jean, and volunteering. Poole still resides in Burbank, California, and never misses a chance to check-in on the EQF family. He remains an Eastern ambassador and mentor to the next generation.  

As Jon Poole embarks on his well-deserved retirement, we raise a toast to his extraordinary achievements and offer our congratulations and best wishes for the future. His legacy will forever remain a source of inspiration, reminding us of the impact that passion, dedication, and excellence can have. Thank you for everything, Jon! 

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