The National Restaurant Association (NRA) and the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF) announced the election of officers to its board of directors and board of trustees, respectively. The officers, who serve one-year terms, led their first board meeting this week in Palm Beach, Florida. In addition, the NRA and NRAEF have named several industry leaders to join their boards.

“The collective guidance of our board members is essential as we work on initiatives that strengthen the restaurant and foodservice industry and enhance the quality of life for all we serve,” says Dawn Sweeney, president and CEO of the NRA and the NRAEF. “This year, our boards are fortunate to be led by foodservice veterans Joseph Kadow of Bloomin’ Brands Inc. and Lorna Donatone of Sodexo, whose leadership and expertise will be vital in representing our industry and our mission in the year ahead.”

The NRA board consists of roughly 75 voting directors, representing every facet of the restaurant and foodservice industry across the nation. These leaders provide strategic guidance to the NRA in its efforts to advance and protect the restaurant and foodservice industry.

The 2016 officers are:

Chair: Joseph Kadow is the executive vice president and chief legal officer of Bloomin’ Brands Inc. An original member of the Bloomin’ Brands executive leadership team, Kadow leads the legal, human resources, communications, and government relations functions. He began his career at Bloomin’ Brands in 1994 as senior vice president, general counsel, and secretary. He previously was a partner in the Orlando, Florida, office of the national law firm BakerHostetler. Kadow is a member of the board of directors and audit committee of The Habit Restaurants Inc. He is a graduate of the University of Scranton and earned his law degree from Dickinson School of Law.

Vice Chair: Jeff Davis is chairman of United States Beef Corp., a Tulsa, Oklahoma–based restaurant group founded by his father in 1969. Davis has worked for the company his whole career. U.S. Beef is Arby’s Restaurant Group's largest franchisee with 332 restaurants in eight states. It also is the first Taco Bueno Restaurants franchisee, with six restaurants located in northwestern Arkansas. Davis is on the board of the Oklahoma Restaurant Association and chairs the Arby’s Franchise Association. He is a graduate of the University of Tulsa.

Treasurer: Jay Stieber is executive vice president and general counsel of Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises Inc. headquartered in Chicago and operating more than 40 different concepts in more than 100 locations. He is also a partner, a member of the executive committee and has been with Lettuce since 1995. Stieber is a past chair of the Illinois Restaurant Association where he continues to serve on the executive committee. He is a member of the board of directors of the Chicagoland chamber of commerce and the board of the chamber’s PAC. Stieber is a graduate of DePaul University and earned his juris doctor degree from Northwestern University School of Law.

As the philanthropic foundation of the NRA, the NRAEF works to enhance the industry’s service to the public through education, promotion of career opportunities, and community engagement.

The NRAEF’s 2016 officers are:

Chair: Lorna C. Donatone is Sodexo region chair for North America and CEO Schools worldwide. Donatone oversees 133,000 employees and all Sodexo business in the U.S., Canada ,and Puerto Rico. As CEO of Schools worldwide, she is responsible for a business segment with more than 3,500 client sites in 42 countries and €1.5 billion in revenue. Sodexo is the 19th largest employer in the world and the leader in delivering integrated facilities management, foodservice operations, and recognition programs in 80 countries. Donatone has been a NRA board member since 2005 and became a trustee of the NRAEF in 2011. Donatone is past chair of the board of directors of the Women’s Foodservice Forum and was elected as a member of the board of trustees for The Culinary Institute of America in 2008.

Vice Chair: Greg Hamer Sr., FMP, is the owner of B&G Food Enterprises Inc., which includes B&G Food and affiliated companies that are responsible for operations of 94 Taco Bell, Taco Bell/KFC, and Taco Bell/Long John Silver franchise restaurants in Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. Hamer’s family is involved in the operation, which employs a workforce of over 2,400. Hamer is a member of the Knights of Columbus, Legatus International, and is a board member for the Mardi Gras Krewe of Hepheastus. He also serves on the Taco Bell Foundation Board and as chairman of the Community Foundation of Acadiana’s St. Mary Affiliate. A graduate of Louisiana State University, he is a member of the Dean’s Advisory Council of the Ourso College of Business and the LSU Alumni Association.

Treasurer: Sam Facchini along with his cousin and business partner John Arena are the founders, owners, and operators of Las Vegas’ Metro Pizza. Metro Pizza has eight full-service locations in the Las Vegas area. Facchini is dedicated to the education, growth and success of future restaurateurs and has worked on local high school scholarships and subsequently the UNLV hospitality scholarship programs for years. Facchini serves on the board of the Nevada Restaurant Association. He is a graduate of St. John’s University.

In addition, the NRA has also added new members to its board. The newly elected directors include:

  • Blanca Cabrera, Founder and President, Sergio’s Family Restaurants in Miami, Florida.
  • Kathleen Ciaramello, President, National FoodService and On-Premise, Coca-Cola North America in Atlanta, Georgia.
  • Susan M. Connelly, Senior Vice President, Communications and Public Affairs, Darden Restaurants Inc. in Orlando, Florida.
  • Carol B. Dover, FMP, President and Chief Executive Officer, Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association in Tallahassee, Florida.
  • Anne Fink, Chief Operating Officer, PepsiCo North America Foodservice in Somers, New York.
  • Jeffrey Gates, Partner, The Aquitane Group in Boston, Massachusetts.
  • Stan Harris, President and Chief Executive Officer, Louisiana Restaurant Association, Louisiana Restaurant Association Self-Insurer’s Fund in Metairie, Louisiana.
  • Hattie Hill, President and Chief Executive Officer, Women’s Foodservice Forum (WFF) in Dallas, Texas.
  • Bob Omainsky, Founder and President, Fried Stewed Nude Inc. in Mobile, Alabama.
  • Sonia Riggs, President and CEO, Colorado Restaurant Association in Denver, Colorado.

The newly elected NRAEF trustees include:

  • Robert Black, Culinary Director and Partner, A Good Egg Dining Group in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
  • Roy Jackson, Senior Vice President, Business Development and Industry Affairs, Coca-Cola North America in Atlanta, Georgia.
  • Steve Pattison, Chief Financial Officer and Vice President, Business Analysis and Risk Management, Restaurant Services Inc. (RSI) in Miami, Florida.
  • Scott A. Sonnemaker, Chief Customer Officer, Senior Vice President, Sales, Sysco Corporation in Houston, Texas.
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