Class of 2013
John Michael Rainey was born in Topeka, KS, on July 16, 1946, to Edith and Norman.
Mike graduated in 1964 from Central High School in St. Joseph, MO, and enrolled in Missouri State University in Springfield, earning a B.A. in History in 1969.
After graduation, he joined the Del Monte Corp. as a Retail Sales Rep. Two years later, he was promoted to Account Representative/Senior Account Representative, then Area Manager in 1974. He joined PepsiCo, Inc. in 1976 as District Manager-Foodservice, becoming National Account Manager- Foodservice in 1977, Area Sales Manager-Foodservice two years later, and then Region Sales Manager-Packaged Goods in 1980.
Mike next accepted a position as Account Executive with the John Brown Agency in 1983, leaving in 1984 to become Vice- President of Sales and Marketing at Liberty Orchards Co., Inc., because it was”an opportunity to work for a small consumer products company in a major role.”
Today, he is Senior Vice-President of Sales and Marketing at Liberty Orchards.
He married Nancy Katherine Orr in 1989 in Kirkland, WA; their children are Matt, Jason and Carrie.
Working for a small company with a niche product in an environment dominated by large brands and companies is his biggest challenge, he says, adding: “We handled it by founding the Candy Marketing Coalition, LLC, to obtain competitive scan data for fact-based selling.”Mike is President of the coalition of 22 small and medium-size companies, and notes the group successfully expanded into the Walmart MULO program in 2013.
Among his professional accomplishments, Mike lists expanding holiday seasonal sales from regional to national distribution in large chains; developing new manufactured lines that increased sales; and doubling Liberty’s 2003 sales by introducing and managing a contract-packaged line of chocolate panned fruit.
Mike has served on the NCA’s Customer Relations, International Sales Development and ISM Steering Committees as well as the association’s Board of Trustees; he led its Trade Relations Task Force-Unauthorized Deduction Initiative.
He and Nancy breed and show bullmastiffs and are members of the American Bullmastiff and Great Lakes Bullmastiff Associations. His retirement plans include traveling, showing his dogs and learning to speak fluent Spanish.