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The Team

Richard Newbury 
Account Executive
Michigan and Ohio 


Rich started as a sales representative at a Midwestern brokerage firm in 1990. He was then promoted several times as a account executive in confection. In 1999, he chose to bet on himself and join a small company called Universal Sales and Marketing. At the time, the company was home to only three employees including himself. Over twenty years later it has grown exponentially and now employs over 50 people. On January 1, 2015, he became the president of the company. Some of his favorite moments are spent in Northern Michigan with his wife and children. Over the years, Rich has volunteered his time to coach various sports teams for his three children. He is an avid outdoors-man and still enjoys playing hockey.  

Tony Lico 
Vice President

Account Executive 


Tony began his career in 1987 with General Wine selling to customers in rural Maccomb County. Shortly there after, he was promoted to a larger territory within the company. In 1989 he acquired a job at Stark and Co. He then moved on to work for the Greeson and Batson Companies. He began his journey with Universal Sales and Marketing in the year of 2002. The activity he enjoys most, is spending time with his family, especially his two grandchildren. 

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Brian Taylor
Vice President
Account Executive 
Michigan and Illinois 


In 1998 Brian received the "Marketing Student of the Year" from Eastern Michigan University to which he later earned a degree in Business and Marketing. In the duration of his career, he has had the opportunity to work for Speedway Convenience Stores, Coca-Cola, Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream, ConAgra Foods and Inventure Foods. Brian is a partner at Universal Sales and Marketing. Brian resides near Grand Rapids, Mi with his wife Kristina.  His hobbies include golf, boating, and hiking.

Tom Wandzel 

Account Executive 

East Michigan


Tom Wandzel is a Account Executive with Universal Sales. His past accomplishments and awards for innovation and sales success goal's have earned him prestigious respect with key customers and buyers. When he isn't glued to a computer screen, he spends time golfing, fishing and watching his grand children participate in sports. He is currently working on developing some new items and new business opportunities. You can reach him at,


Mary Morris

Director of Grocery Store Merchandising


Mary Morris started with Universal Sales in the January of 2000. She is the Director of Grocery Store Merchandising for 40 merchandisers in six states. In her time with Universal, she sends monthly communications to sales representatives regarding tasks, resets and more. In her spare time she enjoys camping, bike riding, traveling, watching baseball and spending time with her family. 

John Panik
Director of Convenience Store Merchandising


John began at Universal Sales and Marketing 8 years ago as a sales representative. He was able to work his way up the ladder and is now the Director of Convenience Store Merchandising. He loves to fish and is the director of a 12-event bass fishing tournament series every summer. In his spare time, he also enjoys watching the Lions, Red Wings, Tigers and Raiders.  

Jan Wilkinson

Office Manager


In 2003, Jan moved from Southern Indiana to Michigan with her two children.  With an extensive background in customer service and finance, she took a position with a manufacturing company in Mattawan, MI. She began working for Universal Sales in January 2007 processing orders, helping with presentations, and taking care of the customer’s and salesman’s needs.  In January of 2013, she became the office manager, just in time to move the office to Grand Rapids in October of 2013.  As the company continues to grow, so does our office staff to meet the needs of our customers.


Bill Rex 

Account Executive

Bill has been in the candy and snack industry for over 30 years, starting part time while still in college. He has been part of the Universal Sales team since 2018 as a Key Account Manager. He has 3 children and wife Patricia of 22 years. Bill resides in Columbus Ohio and enjoys his spare time fishing, traveling, spending time with his children and many friends.

Louden Newbury
Account Specialist 


Louden graduated from Northwood University in 2020, he earned his bachelor’s degree in marketing and Sales. Shortly after he began working with Fabiano Brothers where he worked as a sales representative until starting with Universal Sales In January 2023. Louden Enjoys spending his free time up north with his Wife and Family in the great outdoors. He resides in the lake-side town of New Baltimore on Lake St. Clair.

John Staats 


John enjoys the one on one sales time with customers, and has been in the food broker industry for 25 years.  He has two great kids, one is a fireman in Alaska and the other is a school teacher in Grand Rapids. In his spare time he enjoys listening to music, going to concerts, playing golf, jet skiing, traveling and a good glass of wine. He is a big fan of Red Wings hockey, has been watching since he was 5.   

Abbey Bliss
Account Executive


Abbey has been in the account management world for nearly a decade and is a proud graduate of both Central Michigan University (Bachelor's Degree) and Davenport University (Master's Degree.) She resides in Grand Rapids, Michigan with her husband Matt and their three fur-babies. Matt and Abbey are eagerly awaiting the arrival of their daughter, due on July 4, 2024. She is excited to have recently joined the Universal team and to support the West Michigan and Indianapolis areas. 

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