Field Management Team Profiles
Robert E. Denecke
Vice President of Worldwide Sales
In 2003, Robert Denecke was personally recruited by Paul Keating, Jr., to join the Elite Sales team and, within a few years because of his outstanding performance and in-depth industry knowledge, was promoted to Vice President of Sales in charge of the domestic market. Because of his solid experience with the Defense Commissary Agency (DeCA) and extensive overseas travel throughout his 23-year career, Mr. Denecke also assumed responsibility for direct oversight of both the European and Far East Commissary and Exchange markets. On the domestic front, he continues to be directly involved with the creation and evaluation of all DeCA test sets and with coordinating Elite's reset teams for the continental United States, as well as calling on DeCA Headquarters. Elite’s six highly-experienced Regional Sales Managers located throughout the country report to Mr. Denecke.
Mr. Denecke previously worked with Paul Keating at another military reseller as Regional Sales Manager where he was responsible for the Eastern Region, executing numerous presentations to DeCA Headquarters, and expertly managing product marketing and distribution in DeCA Europe.
He is a graduate of Bryant College with a BA in Business Administration and has been well-versed in all aspects of the military resale system since 1990.
Regional Sales Manager (Southwest, Alaska, and Hawaii)
Kelly Coker began her career with Elite in 2009 as member of the Regional Sales Team. Prior to Elite, Kelly worked for two large military brokers; C Lloyd Johnson and Overseas Service Corporation as an Area & District manager. Kelly started her military sales career in 2001 as a merchandiser in Aviano Italy honing her skills while her husband served his country in the United States Air Force.
While working with C Lloyd Johnson, Kelly won several awards for growing her business to include District Manager of the Year.
Mrs. Coker is a graduate of University of Phoenix with a Bachelor’s Degree in Information Technology.
Regional Sales Manager (Northwest, Midwest, and AAFES)
Tim Buchanan has more than 35 years’ experience in consumer goods including: VP of Grocery, Director of Convenience & Director of Military Sales in his 29 years with Cadbury Schweppes. Tim served on the Commissary Council in 2007 & 2008. Tim joined Elite Brands in 2011 where he currently manages Commissary sales in: N. Texas, Colorado, Kansas and the Pacific NW.
Past experience includes: Consumer Products; Colgate Palmolive Consumer goods:
Dr Pepper/Snapple Group & 7UP Bottling Company of Denver. Hobbies include: Golf, fishing, hiking, skiing and travel.
Tim earned his BA from The University of Northern Colorado in Business Administration and Political Science.
Regional Sales Manager (Midwest and Southwest)
Melissa Young joined the Elite team in 2014 as the Midwest Regional. Prior to working for Elite, Melissa worked for Acosta Sales and Marketing as a Unit Manager for 2 ½ years. While with Acosta Melissa won numerous sales display contests for Kellogg’s, P&G and Heinz.
Melissa has 18 years of management experience. Ten years were with a large retail chain (Dillard’s). Melissa supervised and motivated up to 60 plus associates. Melissa was responsible for customer service, daily sales, shrink, gross margin and promotional events for numerous departments. Every year had increased sales.
Melissa grew up in a military family, married military and is the proud mother of a son in the USAF.
Regional Sales Manager (Southern)
Jim Snowden is an All-In professional committed to excellence in sales, customer satisfaction, service delivery, operations, and people management. Hard working, reliable Military Sales and Management Professional who exceeds goals in highly competitive markets.
Jim brings 2o years of military retail sales management experience including the pleasure of servicing distinguished bases such as Fort Belvoir, Andrews, Fort Myer, and MacDill. Prior to joining Elite, Jim dedicated 7 years to Sarvis before they were acquired by Advantage, and then was recruited to Acosta. He is happily married and constantly improving at life and golf.
Regional Sales Manager (Eastern)
Robert Bush began his career with Elite in 2015 as member of the Regional Sales Team. Prior to Elite, Robert worked in the military broker system since 2010 as a District Manager with Dixon Marketing and Unit Manager for Acosta Sales and Marketing. He has been in sales since 2003 also working for Blue Bell Creameries, and Coca-Cola refreshments. Before getting into sales Robert worked for AmerisourceBergen Drug Co. as a warehouse manager, supervising up to 45 employees.
Robert also had a four-year career in the United States Navy as Operations Specialist.
Robert attended Troy State University studying Business Management.
Field Analysis and Strategy Manager
Before joining Elite in 2005 David had a career in the Air Force with 10 years as a commissary officer in both state side and overseas stores. David finished his Air force career at a headquarters unite responsible for operational over site at commissaries in Texas and Oklahoma. After military retirement he spent 17 years on the broker side of the commissary business as a sales representative and regional manager with responsibilities for stores in 13 states. Additional responsibilities during this period included making headquarters calls for both air force and army commissaries.
During David's career, he attended 2 leadership schools, the Senior Academy at Maxwell AFB Alabama, an in-residents Executive Training course at Cornell university, community college of the Air Force and Central Texas College. His many military accomplishments resulted in a presidential unit citation, 5 commendation and 3 meritorious service medals.