DALLAS — In 1996, Acosta Sales and Marketing had a negative net worth and was operating as a regional agency in the Southeast. But Gary Chartrand, who had just become the chief executive officer, had a vision to take the company national, he explained in a presentation at Food Marketing Institute's Future Connect conference here last week. Through a series of bold maneuvers that resulted in mergers with other regional sales agencies around the country, Chartrand was able to secure funding ...

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