Burkett Founder Dies After Decadeslong Fight with Multiple Sclerosis

Burkett Restaurant Equipment & Supplies Founder Mike Burkett, 63, died March 29 at his home following a 34-year battle with multiple sclerosis.

Burkett paid tribute to its longtime leader in a recent blog post, calling him “an extraordinarily resilient and accomplished entrepreneur” as well as a “sincere and deeply caring husband, father, friend, and business leader.”

“Those of us who had the opportunity to work under him will remember his exceptional work ethic, diligence in investing every dollar back into the business, commitment to his customers, suppliers, employees and family, and his unwavering desire to help local business owners achieve their dreams through equipment deals, coaching and education.” — Burkett Restaurant Equipment & Supplies, of Mike Burkett

Mike Burkett started the business in 1977 with his father, Jameel Burkett (who died in 2006), to provide reconditioned commercial equipment to customers in his native Ohio. In 1985, Mike took over the company and added new restaurant equipment to the company’s offerings.

Today, the company has about 50 employees, boasts a 95,000-square-foot headquarters in Perrysburg, Ohio, and offers an inventory of thousands of new and used foodservice equipment products from 175 brands. The company was among those honored in FER’s 2019 Management Excellence Awards.

“Mike loved every aspect of business and relished time spent at the office even after losing his mobility to multiple sclerosis in 1996,” the company wrote. “Those of us who had the opportunity to work under him will remember his exceptional work ethic, diligence in investing every dollar back into the business, commitment to his customers, suppliers, employees and family, and his unwavering desire to help local business owners achieve their dreams through equipment deals, coaching and education.”

Burkett Restaurant Equipment & Supplies will continue under the late founder’s eldest son, Jameel M. Burkett, who has served as the company’s president and CEO since 2011.

 

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