Principal & Founder
Monica, founder of Grit Work, has more than twenty years of experience in food and hospitality.
She builds trust amongst stakeholders by creating strategic sourcing and sustainable supply chain strategies. Monica established a solid reputation by working with the owners of Pret A Manger and becoming its first US Head of Marketing, Supply Chain, and Product Development. She has also developed not-for-profit programs at Karen Karp & Partners, innovating food systems and the Clinton Global Initiative.
Monica brings systems thinking to the food industry, including as co-founder of Happa Kitchen – re-imagining Chinese heritage recipes for the American home.
Monica holds a BS from Cornell Hotel School and an MS from New York University’s Center for Global Affairs. She is a board member of the Pret Foundation and an elected member of Cornell’s University Council, and President’s Council for Cornell Women. A first-generation Chinese-American, she can be found on the Upper West Side on the weekends in Central Park.
We partner with industry leaders to bring sustainable supply chains from the back end to front end. GritWork’s purchasing and supply chain leaders offer hands-on knowledge and in-depth experience.
Produce & Distribution
Elliot Merberg is a third-generation family businessman. His grandfather sold lemons on a cart to tea houses in the Lower East Side. Decades later, his father upgraded the business with a REO Speed Wagon (no, not the band). Today, Elliot draws from his background and uses real-life strategies to build twenty-first century organizations.
After graduating from NYU, Elliot joined the family produce distribution company. Over the next thirty years, Diversified Food Service Distributors professionalized into a full-line institutional food distributor serving the hospitality, school, and healthcare industries from Boston to Washington. Elliot brought the company public during the early 1980s and a decade later, he sold his interest and went on to form ENE Consulting Services, Inc., providing distribution, sales, marketing, logistics, and M&A advice to distributors.
He took his ability to grow businesses to Rewards Network, a marketing and financial service company serving the restaurant community. For more than thirteen years, sales grew from $7mil to exceed $300mil at which time it was acquired by Sam Zell’s Equity Partners.
Elliot is a sought-after lecturer and consultant to many organizations, including visiting lecturer at Cornell’s School of Hotel Administration and the US Army. He has served as president of the NYS Food Service Distributors Association, a trade organization representing distributors and food brokers. Today, he gives back by mentoring fledging entrepreneurs and provides expert witness opinions in disputes between distributors, manufacturers, and customers.
Besides knowing a lot about produce and distribution, he is a grandfather to nine and a mean raquetball player.
Bob Bresnahan is a leading commodities purchasing expert based out of Chicago, and global speaker in developed and developing countries from the Middle East to China. Trilateral Inc. focuses on purchasing and risk management advising by providing information and training for businesses dependent upon commodities and other ingredients, including grains, oilseeds, softs, and energy.
Bob spent the first eleven years of his career in the trading pits of the Chicago Board of Trade, the Minneapolis Grain Exchange, the New York Commodity Exchange, the New York Mercantile Exchange, and the New York Futures Exchange. Bob brings technical and fundamental analysis expertise, particularly in the context of monitoring the dynamics of how the market determines value.
Registered as a Commodity Trading Advisor (CTA) with the National Futures Association (NFA), Bob provides personalized services in developing, implementing, and maintaining effective purchasing and risk management strategies; market newsletters and advisory analysis reports; and instructional programs in cash, futures, and options.
When Bob is not worrying about world grain stock shortages , he clears his mind by bird hunting and fly fishing.
Financial Planning and Analysis
When David Rudofsky was a twenty-two-year-old MBA candidate at Wharton, he ventured to “the other side” through his Small Business Consulting coursework requirements, consulting with the owner of a small spumoni* manufacturer. (*Spumoni: molded Italian ice cream with different colors and flavors, often containing candied fruits and nuts). This experience whetted his appetite for the challenges of our dynamic food industry.
Now more than thirty years later, he helps food industry clients of all sizes with business planning and decision making, including efforts to raise capital, identify and implement profit strategies, and strengthen cost accounting practices resulting in healthy businesses.
David pulls from two decades of “Big Food” work, including a stint as cost and finance manager for Kraft’s largest manufacturing plant for the iconic Jell-O Pudding Snacks brand.
David’s work is informed by a love of learning and teaching. In addition to consulting, he has taught Managerial Accounting and Finance at Brooklyn’s Polytechnic University and the New School, and developed and led the workshop Finance for Nonfinancial Managers for a number of corporate clients. His comments and opinions can be found in the Wall Street Journal, INC, and Entrepreneur. David continues his own learning and recently earned certification as a QuickBooks ProAdvisor.
David is a correspondence chess master, once ranked fortieth in the United States. He brings his game—a mix of creativity, strategy, and analysis—to identify and implement original solutions to his clients’ business problems.