The National Restaurant Association (NRA) and the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF) announced they have elected officers to their Board of Directors and Board of Trustees, respectively.

The officers began their one-year terms on January 1, 2013, and recently led their first board meetings.

In addition, the Association and the Educational Foundation have named several industry leaders to join their respective boards.

“The National Restaurant Association Board of Directors and the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation Board of Trustees include dynamic leaders from across the foodservice industry, all of whom play key roles and provide strategic guidance as we work to help our members continue to build successful businesses and positively impact the communities they serve,” says Dawn Sweeney, president and CEO of the NRA and NRAEF.

“This year, our boards are fortunate to be led by Phil Hickey and Denise Marie Fugo, industry veterans who bring tremendous experience and insight to their leadership positions as the industry faces unique challenges and an uncertain economic outlook,” she adds. 

The NRA’s 2013 officers are: 

  • Chair: Philip J. Hickey, Jr. is CEO of Jocks II, and previously served as chairman and CEO of two public restaurant companies, RARE Hospitality International—an Atlanta-based company whose concepts included LongHorn Steakhouse and the award-winning Capital Grille—and O'Charley's, a Nashville, Tennessee–based multiconcept company. A veteran of more than 37 years in the industry, in addition to having been a single restaurant owner-operator, Hickey also operates a nationwide consulting business that focuses on coaching senior level executives.
  • Vice Chair: Marshall L. “Ken” Conrad is chairman of Libby Hill Seafood Restaurants, a nine-unit company based in Greensboro, North Carolina. His parents founded the company in 1953 with a single restaurant. Conrad began as a cook in one of his parents’ restaurants and became company president in 1983. A former chairman of the North Carolina Restaurant and Lodging Association, Ken served on its board for more than 20 years. He has been a member of the NRA Board of Directors since 2004.
  • Treasurer: Jack Crawford is president and CEO of Ground Round Independent Owners Cooperative (IOC) based in Freeport, Maine, where he is responsible for the overall leadership of Ground Round Restaurants, a chain of 30 independently owned restaurants in 12 states spread across the Midwest and Northeast areas of the U.S. He has more than 30 years of industry experience in senior leadership positions of operational and franchising disciplines, and was instrumental in leading a franchisee buyout of the Ground Round brand and franchise rights in 2004. Crawford is a former chairman of the Maine Restaurant Association and has been a member of the NRA Board of Directors since 2003.

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

  • Glenn Brady, president of Silver Gulch Brewing and Bottling in Fox, Alaska. 
  • Ed Choe, president of Doherty Enterprises in Allendale, New Jersey.
  • Don Fox, CEO of Firehouse of America in Jacksonville, Florida.
  • Susan P. Gambardella, vice president, Wendy’s global account team of Coca-Cola Refreshments in Atlanta.
  • Trey Hester, president of Rocky Rococo Corporation in Oconomowoc, Wisconsin.
  • Maureen O. Hurley, executive vice president/chief administrative officer of Rich Products Corporation in Buffalo, New York.
  • Lisa Ingram, president and chief operating officer, restaurant division, of White Castle System in Columbus, Ohio.
  • Lyndon S. Johnson, president of Reciprocity Restaurant Group in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
  • Anthony Joseph, president of Concessions International in Atlanta.
  • John Longstreet, president and CEO of Quaker Steak & Lube in Sharon, Pennsylvania.
  • Karen L. Luey, executive vice president, chief financial & administrative officer of Jamba, Inc. in Emeryville, California.
  • Lisa McEuen, executive vice president of business excellence of Compass Group, North America in Mountain View, California.
  • Sheila Stanziale, president of Diageo-Guinness USA in Norwalk, Connecticut.
  • Kelli Valade, chief operating officer of Chili’s Grill & Bar, Brinker International, in Dallas, Texas.

The Board of Directors consists of top restaurant industry professionals who help guide the NRA toward its vision of leading America’s restaurants into a new era of prosperity, prominence, and participation, enhancing the quality of life for all it serves.

These new directors will serve from January 1, 2013–December 31, 2015.

The NRAEF’s 2013 officers are:

  • Chair: Denise Marie Fugo, FMP, is chairman and CEO of Sammy's in Cleveland, Ohio, specializing in banquet, concession, and restaurant management for cultural, academic, and corporate venues throughout northeast Ohio. Under Fugo’s leadership, Sammy’s has received the prestigious Distinguished Restaurants of North America Award and the Wine Spectator's Award for Excellence. The NRAEF named her to its distinguished College of Diplomats in 2010. Fugo was 2000 Chair of the NRA Board of Directors.
  • Vice Chair: Michael Gibbons is president and CEO of Mainstreet Ventures based in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Since 1981, Mainstreet Ventures has set the standard for fine dining in Michigan, Ohio, West Virginia, Florida, and, most recently, Maryland. The company's portfolio includes Real Seafood Company, Gratzi, Blue Pointe Seafood Grill & Oyster Bar, Palio Ristorante, La Dolce Vita, Tidewater Grill, Ciao, The Chop House, Zia's Italian, Carson's American Bistro, and its latest concept, EO Burgers. Gibbons was 2009–2010 chairman of the NRA and is a former president of the Michigan Restaurant Association.

The newly elected Educational Foundation trustees include the following individuals:

  • Joyce Mazero, partner at Haynes & Boone in Richardson, Texas.
  • Walter Scheib, former White House chef and owner of The American Chef in Great Falls, Virginia.

These individuals join a distinguished group of prominent leaders from all sectors of the industry who are committed to providing counsel on the Educational Foundation’s strategic direction. These new trustees will serve on the Educational Foundation’s board from January 1, 2013–December 31, 2015.