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Tom Bené Named as new National Restaurant Association CEO

Tom Bené has been named as the new President & Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and CEO of the Educational Foundation of the National Restaurant Association.

Tom Bené takes over from interim CEO Marvin Irby.

In this role, Tom Bené will be responsible for guiding the Association’s strategic path towards its vision for a thriving restaurant and foodservice community.

Working in concert with state restaurant associations, Bené will continue to strengthen the Association’s advocacy efforts to ensure restaurants of every size are represented at the local, state, and federal levels. In this role, Bené will also be responsible for promoting the industry to multiple stakeholders, including members, prospective members, industry leaders and allies, government representatives, media, and consumers.

Bené brings more than 30 years of leadership experience to the organization. Most recently, he served as Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer of Sysco Corporation. Prior to joining Sysco, he served as President of PepsiCo Foodservice and also held a variety of senior leadership roles over his 23-year career with the company. Mr. Bené earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from the University of Kansas and currently serves as a member of the University of Kansas’ Business School Advisory Board.

“Tom brings to the Association and Foundation decades of experience from across the restaurant and foodservice industry,” said Melvin Rodrigue, Chair of the National Restaurant Association Board. “Our industry’s operators, suppliers, and employees have been hardest hit by the coronavirus. Tom’s business acumen coupled with his remarkable record of success will be invaluable for our members and our industry as we begin the process of reopening and rebuilding.”

Rodrigue continued: “And, we remain grateful for Chief Financial and People Officer, Marvin Irby, and his exemplary service as interim CEO during the last five and half months.”


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