Immediate Past Chair
Lance Trenary began his restaurant career in his father’s restaurant at a young age, where he learned the value of guests and the people who serve them. Lance joined Golden Corral in 1986 as Partner Manager. After deciding to pursue a multiunit career with Golden Corral, he quickly rose through the system, holding leadership roles of increasing responsibility. He was named President and Chief Executive Officer in January 2015, leading America’s largest buffet and grill concept and becoming only the third person to hold this position in the brand’s 49-year history. This year marks Lance’s 36th year with Golden Corral.
Lance’s industry leadership includes his current role as Chair of the Board of Directors for the National Restaurant Association, as well as serving as a Trustee for the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation. Lance also serves on the Executive Committee of the North Carolina Restaurant and Lodging Association and is a former Chair (2016). He has chaired the Restaurant Industry Executive Council and served as a WFF CEO Advisory Council member. Lance was the 2022 recipient of the highest honor in the restaurant industry, the IFMA Gold and Silver Plate Awards. In 2019, Lance was named the Restaurateur of the Year by NCRLA and was a past recipient of the Griff and June Glover Award for Distinguished Service. In addition, Lance was the recipient of the 2019 Chairman’s Award for the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation and was the National Restaurant Association’s 2020 Chairman’s Award recipient for outstanding leadership and contributions to the industry. He has also been named to the Society of Fellows of the Culinary Institute of America.
Committed to giving back, Lance served as a founding board member for Camp Corral, a summer camp for children of wounded or fallen military service members, and chaired the board in 2019. Lance also serves on the Founder’s Circle Advisory Board for Project Healing Waters, which is dedicated to physically and emotionally rehabilitating wounded or disabled military service personnel. He was honored by that organization with the Patriot Award for a lifelong commitment to our military veterans. In addition, he is a passionate supporter of ProStart for the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation. He contributes time and resources to help young people explore career opportunities in the industry he loves. He makes supporting the development of the future leaders of the restaurant industry a personal priority.
Lance and his wife of 37 years, Paulette, have two adult daughters, Elizabeth and Ally-Catherine.