CAW E22: Brett and Matt; Foodservice Business Icon Merit Foods

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Matt goes in-depth on how the foodservice business featuring a Tucson Icon Merit Foods of Arizona has delivered through the Pandemic period along with Vice President of Crest Insurance Brett Rustand an Ex-Black Hawk Pilot.

Merit Foods aims to be the best local independent broad-line Food Distribution Company serving Arizona.

About Matt Sadowsky

Born and raised in Tucson, Arizona, Matt Sadowsky turned his passion for food into a career by purchasing Merit Foods of Arizona in 1998 from his father Mort. He enjoys working with his family – including a brother, daughter, brother-in-law, and future son-in-law among Merit’s team. In addition to a passion for local, independent food and restauranteurs, he is an avid mountain biker supporting Tucson’s amazing cycling scene through Merit, a skier, kayaker, and proud husband and father.

Matt turned his passion for food into a career by purchasing Merit Foods of Arizona in 1998 from his father Mort. He is the leading example of running a family-owned and operated business. As the president of Merit Foods, he has a strong emphasis on relationships with his community and his focus is solely on the growth and prosperity of Arizona. Starting with 7 loyal employees in 1998, Merit has enjoyed substantial growth and now has well over 100 team members.

Merit Foods aims to be the best local independent broad-line Food Distribution Company serving Arizona. As an alternative to the large national broad-line distributors, Merit strives to go the extra mile for their customers and enhance their business through strong partnerships, personal sales to customer relations, complimentary marketing, and consulting services, and competitive pricing resulting in mutual growth. Not only do they support Arizona Restaurants, but they are also open to the public for will-call pickups at their Tucson warehouse.


About Brett Rustand

After graduating from BYU, Brett commissioned in the United States Army as a UH-60 Blackhawk pilot, ultimately attaining the rank of Captain. He served as a company commander with the 101st Airborne through duty stations both stateside and abroad in Korea, including tours in both Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Brett is a Vice President at Crest Insurance Group in Tucson, where he has consulted for over a decade with local businesses on commercial insurance and enterprise risk management. A graduate of Brigham Young University in International Relations, his progression into the risk management and insurance industry was a bit unconventional, but ultimately a perfect fit for his leadership, risk management, and operations experience.

A husband and father as well as veteran, Brett has been very active in the community around education and veteran mental health issues, including as a board member of the Arizona Department of Veteran’s Services, a graduate of both Greater Tucson Leadership and the Flinn-Brown Leadership Academy, and finally on the boards of Community Partners, Inc. and the Arizona Fisher House.

Crest Insurance is the largest locally-owned and operated insurance brokerage in Southern Arizona, and one of the top-100 insurance agencies in the United States. Recognized as an industry leader with offices in Arizona, California, and Colorado, their experienced insurance experts provide cost-effective solutions for the complex industries that drive our local economy.

In addition to assisting businesses throughout the Southwest with their commercial insurance, workers compensation, and employee health insurance plans, Crest’s team is also happy to assist its Tucson neighbors with personal coverage including homeowners, auto, and life insurance.

Please provide 8-10 questions that you would like to make sure I do not forget to ask you about your business! (i.e. further clarification, promotion or products/services, or new press releases, etc.) Thank you.


Brett Rustand
Vice President
Crest Insurance Group
Company Phone: (520) 881-5760


Matt NelsonSenior Vice PresidentCrest Insurance Group 

Matt is a Senior Vice President
 at Crest Insurance Group in Tucson, consulting with companies to identify and implement insurance, risk management, and employee benefits solutions.  With more than 15 years of industry experience, he has served as a keynote speaker on the healthcare industry, leadership, workplace culture, and risk management for professional organizations throughout Southern Arizona, including the City of Tucson, Greater Tucson Leadership, the Financial Executives and Affiliates of Tucson, and the CEO Roundtable of Tucson. 

Matt is an active member in the Tucson community, having served as a Non-Commissioned Officer in the Arizona Army National Guard and volunteering with multiple local organizations, including as Treasurer and a Big Brother with Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Southern Arizona, a volunteer with the United Way of Tucson and Southern Arizona, Chair of the Pima County JTED’s Business and Industry Council, a builder with Habitat for Humanity and many other local youth charities. 

Phone: 520.784.7636 

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