Davre J. Davidson never imagined that the one-man operation he embarked on in 1936 from the backseat of his dodge, which served as both his office and warehouse, would one day evolve into a worldwide professional services company. He did realize, however, that focusing on service excellence would provide a successful pathway into the business world. Davidson's vision to introduce vending machines in factories and offices through a focus on service was strengthened when he met like-minded entrepreneur William Fishman, who ran Automatic Merchandising Company, a vending machine company in Chicago. Sharing solid business ideas and establishing a fast friendship, Davidson and Fishman merged their operations in 1959 and called their new company Automatic Retailers of America (ARA), later known as ARA Services. Combining Davidson's West Coast operations with Fishman's Midwest business, the two men soon expanded to the East Coast through a major acquisition, transforming their company into a national enterprise. Over the next few decaded, they continued to expand and diversify ARA Services, acquiring the best-managed local companies and retaining their management teams. In 1994, the company officially changed its name to ARAMARK, reflecting its growing range of businesses and passion for service. Today, ARAMARK is a leader in professional services, providing award-winning food services, facilities management, and uniform and career apparel to stadiums, arenas, universities, school districts, health care institutions, and many other businesses around the world. A Passion for Service: The Story of ARAMARK celebrates the company's achievements, recognizing its growth from a one-person operation to a $12 billion global company with 240,000 employees and clients in 18 countries.
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Best-selling author Jeffrey L. Rodengen has been a producer, director, and nationally syndicated columnist. Today, he is best known for his unprecendented works on the evolution of American industry. Jeff was born in Minnesota and now lives in Florida.
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