Roger Kellow, who for the last three decades has been synonymous with Hobart UK, and currently government account manager, will retire at the end of December 2018.
Kellow has won many awards during his time with Hobart UK and has seen the company grow, particularly in his area of expertise.
The winner of the Public Sector Catey in 2016, Kellow was recognised by his peers for his outstanding contribution to the cost sector.
In his winning citation, the judges commented that he had made an exceptional contribution to the sector and was recognised as a leader and an inspiration across his network and in his day job.
Kellow is a member of the National Association of Care Catering (NACC) and a past chairman of the association. He has had joint responsibility for the Care Cook of the Year competition, an annual training and development forum, and is a long-standing friend and supporter of the Lead Association for Catering in Education (LACA).
Branded "a true gentleman of the profession" and "an absolute legend", industry colleagues have been wishing him well on social media, with others stating he will "go down in history".
Neel Radia, national chair of the NACC, who earlier this year presented Kellow with an honorary membership to the association, praised his outstanding contribution to the care sector, while the Hospital Caterer's Association added that it was his "heart of gold" that truly set him apart.
Tim Bender, sales director at Hobart UK and a colleague for more than 25 years, encapsulated the tributes: "Roger is the definition of the word gentleman. Always smiling, always with time to help others and always trying to make a difference in the industry he loves. It's with a heavy heart that we lose him from our day-to-day operations, but his impact will be felt for years to come.
"Fortunately, this is not goodbye forever, as Roger has agreed to return in a consultancy role, but in the meantime everyone here at Hobart wishes him all the best in his semi-retirement which is so truly deserved."