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NRA and NRAEF Name 2020 Boards

National Restaurant Association and National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation Name 2020 Boards

The National Restaurant Association and the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation just announced their 2020 Board Officers and Directors.

Melvin Rodrigue, president and CEO of Galatoire’s Restaurants, will serve as chair of the National Restaurant Association Board of Directors, and Stan Harris, president and CEO of the Louisiana Restaurant Association, will serve as chair of the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation Board of Trustees.

“The restaurant and foodservice industry continues to grow, offering diners more options to enjoy the food they love. Melvin and Stan are proven leaders who are dedicated to ensuring that restaurants can continue to provide opportunity and enjoyment in communities across the country,” said Marvin Irby, interim president and CEO of the National Restaurant Association and interim CEO of the Educational Foundation. “Their years of experience provide a strength of leadership and unique insight that are valuable as our industry looks to the future.”

In addition to Rodrigue, Vice Chair Brian E. Casey, president of Oak Hill Tavern and the Company Picnic Company, and Treasurer Lance Trenary, president and CEO of Golden Corral Corporation, will lead the Association’s board.

Foundation officers supporting Harris are Vice Chair Susan Adzick, executive vice president and chief operating officer at McLane Foodservice, Inc., and Treasurer Kent Walrack, executive vice president, chief strategy officer of Lyons Magnus.

Each of the officers will serve a one-year term. The following is the list of 2020 board officers for the National Restaurant Association and the Educational Foundation:

National Restaurant Association

Chair: Melvin Rodrigue is president and CEO of Galatoire’s Restaurants in New Orleans. He has dedicated his career to cultivating the traditions and experiences of one of America's grandest fine-dining institutions, Galatoire’s, in business since 1905, and a showcase for New Orleans as a world-class dining destination. Under his leadership, Galatoire’s iconic, flagship restaurant was named the James Beard Foundation’s Most Outstanding Restaurant in the United States in 2005. Rodrigue also serves as president of New Orleans’ Ernest N. Morial Convention Center. He is a past president of the Louisiana Restaurant Association as well as a director of the New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau board.

Vice Chair: Brian E. Casey is president and owner of North Kingstown, R.I.-based Oak Hill Tavern and the Company Picnic Company. A 35-year hospitality industry veteran and lifelong resident of Rhode Island, he has deep roots in his local community. He was chairman of the Rhode Island Hospitality Association, and in 2013 named their Restaurateur of the Year and Caterer of the Year in 2008. A graduate of Rhode Island College, he earned a Bachelor of Science in political science.

Treasurer: Lance Trenary is president and CEO of Golden Corral Corporation, a nearly $2 billion organization comprised of 35,000 employees and almost 200 franchise entities that operate 460 of the system's 500 restaurants across 42 states. He has served in his current role since 2015 and has been a part of Golden Corral for 35 years. His prior position was chief operating officer, but he has held virtually every leadership role within the company throughout his career progression.

Trenary’s service to the restaurant industry includes serving as a trustee for the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation, serving on the Executive Committee of the North Carolina Restaurant and Lodging Association, chair of the Restaurant Industry Executive Council, and as a member of the Women's Foodservice Forum CEO Advisory Council.  Additionally, he serves as board chair of Camp Corral, a nonprofit summer camp for children of fallen or disabled military service members. Trenary also serves on the Founders Circle of Project Healing Waters, a national nonprofit dedicated to the rehabilitation of wounded warriors through fly fishing opportunities.

Trenary attended Mississippi State University and Harvard Business School, where he completed the Advanced Management Program, and the University of North Carolina, where he completed the Executive Management Education Program.

He is married to Paulette, his wife of 35 years, and they have two adult daughters, Elizabeth and Ally Catherine.

The National Restaurant Association also added several new members to the board. The newly elected directors include:

  • Teddy Balestreri II, executive vice president of hospitality operations, Cannery Row Company/Sardine Factory/Inns of Monterey, Monterey, Calif.
  • Archna Becker, president, Bhojanic Restaurant and Catering, Atlanta
  • Jeanne Cretella, president, Landmark Hospitality, Jersey City, N.J.
  • Camille Lee-Johnson, president and chief operating officer, Lee Wesley, Jacksonville, Fla.
  • Heather Neary, president, Auntie Anne's, Lancaster, Pa.
  • Laurie Schalow, chief corporate reputation officer, Chipotle Mexican Grill, Newport Beach, Calif.

National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation

Chair: Stan Harris is president and CEO of the Louisiana Restaurant Association. Before that, Harris spent 27 years with TJM Restaurant Management, which was the largest franchisee of Ruth’s Chris Steak House, including stints as president and CEO of the firm. In 2007, he became CEO of the Forefront Group, North America’s largest supplier of golf accessories. Most recently, Harris was managing partner of The H Group, a management advisory firm focused on business-process improvement and team development, serving family businesses and entrepreneurs. He is a past president of the Council of State Restaurant Associations and director on the New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau board. Harris graduated from Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge.

Vice Chair: Susan Adzick is executive vice president and chief operating officer at McLane Foodservice, Inc. She is active in the foodservice industry, she serves as a National Restaurant Association board member, on the Restaurant Leadership Conference Advisory Council, and served on the Women’s Foodservice Forum (WFF) Board of Directors as chair in 2018.  She started her foodservice career with PepsiCo Food Systems.  She received her undergraduate and postgraduate degrees from Vanderbilt University in Nashville.

Treasurer: Kent Walrack is a 36-year veteran of the foodservice business and currently serves as executive vice president and chief strategy officer of Lyons Magnus. Lyons Magnus is a privately held company based in Fresno, Calif., whose core business is manufacturing and marketing fruit and flavor-related products to the foodservice, dairy and contract packing industries. He also served on the executive board as past chair of the International Foodservice Manufacturers Association (IFMA). He graduated from Boise State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration with an emphasis in marketing.

In addition to naming its new board officers, the Educational Foundation also introduced its new board members. They include:

  • Kristin Bitter, vice president, industry affairs, The Coca-Cola Company, Atlanta
  • Chris Loflin, senior vice president, global corporate accounts, Ecolab, St. Paul, Minn.
  • Donna Quadri-Felitti, Marvin Ashner director and associate professor, Penn State School of Hospitality Management, University Park, Pa.
  • Susannah Sellers-Ryan, vice president, industry relations and business development, PepsiCo, Charlotte, N.C.
  • Kelli Valade, CEO, Black Box Intelligence, Dallas


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