National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation Elects Seven New Trustees to the Board


Contact: Jessica Maggio Wion (312) 715-5397

(Chicago) The National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF) is pleased to welcome seven new Trustees to its Board for the 2011 term. Bill Barry, vice president of hospitality and foodservice for Trinchero Family Wine Estates; Jim Hope, executive vice president of business transformation for Sysco Corporation; Bob McAdam, senior vice president of government and community affairs for Darden Restaurants; Lynette McKee senior vice president and chief development officer for Checkers Drive-In Restaurants, Inc.; Dr. Tim Ryan, president of The Culinary Institute of America; Billy Sewell, president and CEO, Platinum Corral, Franchisee of Golden Corral; and Mike Gibbons, president of Mainstreet Ventures, Inc., began their terms on NRAEF Board of Trustees during their January meeting. They join a distinguished group of prominent industry leaders who are committed to supporting the work of the NRAEF, specifically as it relates to growing and strengthening the ProStart program and the NRAEF Scholarship Program.

"We are pleased to welcome these accomplished individuals to the NRAEF's Board of Trustees," said Carlton Curtis, recently elected chairman of the Board of Trustees. "Their combined expertise and enthusiasm will play a central role in ensuring the NRAEF remains the industry leader in restaurant and foodservice education, career promotion, and community engagement. The future of the industry will benefit greatly from this team's dedication to excellence, its diverse background and passion for restaurant and foodservice. "

  • Bill Barry is Vice President of Hospitality and Foodservice for Trinchero Family Wine Estates. Bill has spent his entire career in the wine industry. After graduating from Montclair State University in New Jersey, Bill joined the Christian Brothers Winery in charge of sales for NY, NJ and CT. He spent 12 years in various roles with Diageo North America, always with a passion for wine. That passion led him to a family owned wine company Trinchero Family Estates.
  • Jim Hope is the Executive Vice President of Business Transformation for Sysco Corporation. Jim began his Sysco career in 1987 as a financial analyst at the corporate headquarters in Houston and advanced through a variety of management positions before moving to Sysco Kansas City in 1993 as chief financial officer. In 1998, he was named executive vice president of that company, and in 2000 he was promoted to president and chief executive officer. He was brought back to Houston in 2005 to serve as a group president for the corporation's strategic development initiative where his focus was customer needs. 2007 brought about a promotion to senior vice president, sales and marketing, and in 2008 he was named to his current position.
  • Bob McAdam joined Darden Restaurants, Inc. as Senior Vice President, Government and Community Affairs in December 2006. A member of Darden's Executive Team, Bob oversees government and environmental affairs, foundation and community affairs, and media and communications. With more than 30 years experience in the national political arena, he is a respected election campaign manager, grassroots organizer and legislative issues manager.
  • Lynette McKee, CFE is the current SVP & Chief Development Officer of Checkers Drive-In Restaurants, Inc. located in Tampa, FL. She has also served in executive positions at Dunkin' Brands, Burger King and Metromedia Restaurant Group, parent company for Bennigan's Grill and Tavern, Steak and Ale, Ponderosa and Bonanza Steakhouse restaurant chains in Dallas, TX.
  • Dr. Tim Ryan is president of The Culinary Institute of America. A 1977 graduate of The Culinary Institute of America, Chef Ryan is the first alumnus and the first faculty member to rise through the ranks to become president. During his 28 years at the college, Dr. Ryan has been instrumental in generating the sustained growth, innovation, and quality improvements that have shaped the CIA.
  • Billy Sewell is the owner of Platinum Corral based in Jacksonville, Florida. Sewell owns and manages 24 Golden Corral franchises throughout North and South Carolina, West Virginia, Kentucky, Virginia and Ohio. Sewell's family has been involved with Golden Corral since his father became a founding investor when the business first began. A graduate of Campbell University, Sewell worked as a manager trainee and rose through the management ranks.
  • Mike Gibbons, immediate past Chairman of the Board of the National Restaurant Association, is the president of Mainstreet Ventures, Inc., a company he started in 1981 that has set the standard for fine dining in six markets across the country. Mike holds a BA degree from Xavier University. While attending Xavier, he considered a career in law but a job in Cincinnati with the Detroit-based Muer restaurant corporation changed his career path and future. Soon, Mike was moving up the Muer company ladder, moving with the organization to Ann Arbor and eventually opening the doors to Mainstreet Ventures, Inc.

The NRAEF Board of Trustees meets three times a year to review and provide counsel on the NRAEF's strategic direction.

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