M. Palazola

Meet Gene


Gene Hagaman is an avid outdoors man with a love for nature and the sea. He grew up on Long Beach Island NJ where he spent his early years on the water fishing, clamming, sailing, surfing and boating. He worked in several restaurants in this resort area where he developed a passion for food and cooking. This led him to Johnson and Wales University where he earned his degree in Culinary Arts. His culinary career in the casinos took him from working for Harrahs at a gourmet restaurant in Lake Tahoe to several casinos in Atlantic City where he worked in many different styles of restaurants.

Gene relocated to Memphis where he held the title of Executive Chef at the Memphis Marriott Downtown as well as the Cook Convention Center. He went on to work with a broad line food distributor where he held titles of merchandiser, division chef, category operations manager and specialist manager. His background in culinary arts and food distribution is the perfect combination of experience for his role of outside sales manager at Palazola. He is able to draw on his knowledge to offer produce suggestions to Palazola’s customers to enhance their offerings and ensure their success. Gene currently lives in Mississippi where he loves to spend time in his garden and tend to his chickens. On the weekends you might find him in his kayak on a local river or spending a peaceful weekend camping and enjoying nature.