What do I need to do today in order to be better than yesterday?
What’s your role in the firm, and how do you make a difference?
I lead the firm’s accounting and auditing practice. I am also the firm’s food and beverage practice leader. I talk the talk and walk the walk in the food and beverage industry. With the benchmarking studies that we conduct, the food conventions that we attend, and the industry events that we host, food and beverage companies come to us because of our expertise and experience in the industry. It is what sets us apart from others.
Who is/was the biggest influence in your business life and how did s/he shape who you’ve become?
I would have to say it is my wife and my two kids. Although they are not part of my business, they are the smartest people I know. It never hurts to listen very carefully and take advice from the smartest people in the room.
Describe the best thing about Green Hasson Janks and why it matters to you.
Green Hasson Janks has always allowed me to follow my passion. When I first started the firm’s food and beverage niche, the firm leaders advised me to follow my passion in this area and see what happens. Well, fast forward several years, and you can see the results, of what happens when you follow your passion.
If you could go back in time, what would you do differently and why?
I would have moved to Los Angeles earlier in my career. What was I thinking? I cannot think of a better place to conduct business than in Los Angeles. The city is and continues to be vibrant and brings endless opportunities.
What/who influenced you to join the firm, and how?
Leon Janks was the first person I met when I visited the firm. He had an upbeat and energetic personality that I had never seen before and he took an interest in me from the start. He had the vision to see that I had the potential to be a future leader in the firm in the short time I visited with him.
What is your proudest professional moment, and why?
I have two proudest moments in my professional career so far. One is being part of the planning and execution of our first annual food and beverage conference and seeing the potential of this niche. The second is the promotion of Satpal Nagpal as a partner in the firm. This allowed me to see him grow up in the firm and it reflects on our ability to grow great people in firm.
What is your favorite quote that best describes your professional philosophy?
“What do I need to do today in order to be better than yesterday?”
If I weren’t an accountant/consultant, I’d be a __________________. Why?
An Olympic swimmer (if only I was taller). It is my other passion!
Donald Snyder, CPA, has more than 35 years of experience in public accounting and chairs the Quality Control Department. He provides audit, accounting and consulting service to clients in numerous industries, including restaurant, food and beverage, manufacturing, wholesale/distribution, nonprofit and technology.
Donald also leads the Firm’s Food and Beverage Practice. He is a well-known business consultant in the food distribution, food processing and manufacturing industries. A popular industry speaker, Donald hosts a number of food and beverage networking groups and also writes for the Firm’s CPA Food Bites blog and is a co-author on the Firm’s annual Food and Beverage Whitepapers.
Donald is involved in assisting clients with designing and assessing their internal accounting controls and has been a frequent lecturer in this area. He has also written several articles on the subject of fraud prevention and detection in the work place.
Donald holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Administration with emphasis in Accounting from the University of Colorado. He is a member of the California Society of Certified Public Accountants and the American Institute of CPAs. Donald is an active member of the Provisors Networking Group and hosts the Westwood Chapter. Currently, he serves on the Board of Directors for the Children’s Nature Institute and his synagogue. Additionally, Donald is head of the Finance Committee at Pressman Academy.
Donald is a competitive master swimmer and lives in Westwood with his wife and his twin children.
Favorite place in the world:
The Talking Heads and David Byrne, of course
Favorite movie or book of all time:
Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry
One word that best describes me:
When I’m not working, you’ll catch me doing this:
Swimming at 5:30 in the morning, traveling the world with my wife on bicycle vacations.
Over the past several months, as a direct consequence of stay-at-home orders and related business shutdowns, U.S. retailers and food industry players have been battling to ensure that food supply chains remain robust in the light of unprecedented demand shifts impacting both traditional grocery retailers and foodservice, as well as emerging ecommerce channels. Physical distancing and associated lockdowns have dramatically altered how consumers spend on food. Consumers, forgoing public dine-in […]
Originally published in the Los Angeles Business Journal. The food and beverage industry as a whole is unique in many ways — and here in Los Angeles, where we have some of the best dining and food-for-purchase options in the nation, there’s perhaps an even more finely tuned set of rules for success. Stir in this year’s uncharted obstacles (primarily the COVID-19 pandemic), an unpredictable economy and unique regulatory conditions and you’ve got a sector of Southern California business that […]
During the COVID-19 pandemic, it is noticeable that while some food items are properly stocked during store visits, some items are flying off the shelves and continually low in supply. Forgetting toilet paper, hand sanitizer and cleaning supplies (which are always in short supply), there have been many food products – both branded and private label – that have done extremely well during this period. Seafood Consumption on the Rise Seafood, for example, has done extremely well during this […]
In the CARES Act that was unveiled several weeks ago, there was a separate section that allotted close to $50 billion to the agricultural community. However, at the time of the issuance of the Act, there was relatively little information to how these funds were to be disbursed. That was until Friday, April 17, 2020. Agriculture Bailout On Friday afternoon, President Trump announced a $19 billion dollar bailout for farmers whose businesses were hurt financially by the coronavirus crisis. The […]
“Expo West is the Super Bowl of the natural food industry, and we have been preparing for it and investing in it since last summer,” said Jordann Windschauer, founder and chief executive officer of Base Culture, a Clearwater, Fla., baker of gluten-free foods. “Once all of the major retailers canceled, it no longer was a good place for us to spend more time or money. That, paired with the potential health risk, it just was no longer worth it for our lean team.” (Food Business News, “The Expo West […]
As we know, Friday, April 3, 2020 was the first day for small businesses to be able to apply for the Paycheck Protection Plan (PPP) with some big banks rocking and rolling and some others slow to get out of the blocks. Slow Start As of the morning of April 3, Bank of America was the only big bank to start accepting applications. In fact, the bank has reportedly already received nearly 60,000 PPP loan applications worth $6 billion since 9 a.m. ET Friday morning. That morning, the other of the […]
Food processing companies are considered essential businesses by most state governments and are currently permitted to stay open and continue to operate. But how are they dealing with COVID-19? Companies now need to comply with more stringent requirements and change their existing operating policies for food safety and personnel safety measures. New operating strategies being adopted by most food companies include temperature screenings for employees and vendors and observed handwashing at the […]
(Updated as of 4 p.m. on 4/3) Many restaurants and small to mid-sized food companies are eagerly awaiting the start of the funding of the $349-billion Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) that is part of the CARES Act. However, lenders and applicants have not been fully informed by the federal government with much of the information they need to apply. “The response is overwhelming – it is unlike anything I have ever seen in my career” said Craig Street, the chief lending officer of United […]
COVID-19 is causing major disruption in all of our lives and will likely get worse before it gets better. The crisis affects all industries. For the food and beverage industry, labor and supply chain disruptions offer many challenges. In particular, restaurants are in varying states of collapse. This industry is the country’s second largest private employer with 15.6 million workers. Many food and beverage companies may be expecting at least a 60 percent reduction in sales volume in March and […]
Highlighted in the recent New York Times article “The Rise of the Virtual Restaurant,” author Mike Issac and David Yaffe-Bellany discussed the rise of ghost kitchens and the current disruption that food delivery is causing in the food and, in particular, the restaurant industry. Food delivery apps like Uber Eats, DoorDash and Grubhub are reshaping the $863 billion American restaurant industry. As more people order food to eat at home – and as delivery becomes faster and more convenient – apps […]
To stay up to day on the latest trends and innovations in the food and beverage industry, I tend to read daily or weekly publications or even attend industry related conferences. However, lately, like many of you, who enjoy storytelling with a side of expert insight, I recommend listening to the below podcasts. Listening to podcasts is a fun way to learn from industry leaders on the go. Freakonomics The widely popular Freakonomics, explores the hidden side of EVERYTHING. Yes, everything. […]
As the leader of our firm’s food and beverage practice, I never take a day off from my passion for this industry. I recently returned from a two week vacation in Japan and had the opportunity to visit the famous Tsukiji fish market. A must see! Why? The Tsukiji fish market is the largest fish market in the world and accounts for 90 percent of all seafood that passes through Tokyo and a third of the seafood that passes through Japan. The seafood arrives daily from 60 different countries: crab […]
As we are getting ready to embark on the Natural Products Expo West Show – the largest natural and organic tradeshow in the world – in Anaheim on March 9, 2016, I still am thinking about the companies I visited and the trends I saw at the Winter Fancy Food Show held in San Francisco in January. The Winter Fancy Food Show had over 1,500 exhibitors and more than 1,000 new products and is the largest specialty food trade show on the West Coast. When we first started attending this trade show about […]
As part of the Green Hasson Janks 2015 Food and Beverage Conference at the end of last year, a panel of industry experts discussed the role of women in the industry. I had the privilege of moderating a discussion with three top industry players: Ramona Cappello (founder of Sun Harvest Salt LLC), Ellen Chen (co-founder of Mendocino Farms) and Bill Shen (director of Encore Consumer Capital). The panel’s theme was “Leaders, innovators and consumers: How women are driving the food and beverage […]
On a quarterly basis, Green Hasson Janks hosts a food and beverage executive roundtable dinner. At these dinners, we bring together 10 to 15 food and beverage executives to discuss topical industry issues and the impact on their businesses. This month’s topic revolved around the subject of food and beverage technology, including social media, sustainability, health and wellness, distribution channels and manufacturing equipment; how companies are using current technology to enhance their […]
Edible insects. Fruit/vegetable hybrids. Ramen-mania. Butter is back. Sour is the new black. Food trends can be fascinating. For those of us who are in the business of food, it’s something we track for many reasons. What’s new? What’s ahead? What do our clients need to know to stay relevant and innovative? But the truth is, even if your occupation isn’t in the food and beverage industry, you are still likely interested in food as a human being who eats a few times a day. So, why blog? It’s now […]