February 04, 2021

Association and Foundation Boards Name 2021 Officers and New Members

Washington, D.C. (Feb. 4, 2021) – The National Restaurant Association and the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF) today announced their 2021 board officers and directors.

Brian Casey, president of Oak Hill Tavern and the Company Picnic Company, will serve as chair of the National Restaurant Association Board of Directors, and Susan Adzick, president of McLane Foodservice, Inc., will serve as chair of the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation Board of Trustees.

“The restaurant and foodservice industry was hardest-hit by the pandemic. Brian’s experience as an independent restaurant operator and Susan’s experience leading a foodservice supply company brings together key perspectives from across the industry as we look forward towards recovery,” said Tom Bené, President and CEO of the National Restaurant Association and CEO of the Educational Foundation. 

Vice Chair Lance Trenary, president and CEO of Golden Corral Corporation, and Treasurer Scott Redler, co-founder and chief operating officer of Freddy's Frozen Custard and Steakburgers, will lead the Association’s board.

Other Foundation officers include Vice Chair Kent Walrack, executive vice president, chief strategy officer of Lyons Magnus, and Treasurer Emily Williams Knight, Ed.D., president and CEO of the Texas Restaurant Association and the Texas Restaurant Association Education Foundation. 

Each of the officers will serve a one-year term. The following is the list of 2021 board officers for the National Restaurant Association and the Educational Foundation: 

National Restaurant Association

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.

Vice Chair: Lance Trenary is president and CEO of Golden Corral Corporation, where he has held virtually every leadership role during his 35-year career progression. Trenary also serves as a trustee for the NRAEF 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 attended Mississippi State University; Harvard Business School, where he completed the Advanced Management Program; and the University of North Carolina, where he completed the Executive Management Education Program.

Treasurer: Scott Redler is co-founder and COO of Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers. Redler’s knowledge of restaurant ownership and operations has made him a sought-out professional in the industry. He’s a member of the board of the Kansas State University Hospitality Management program and the Butler County Community College (BCCC) Hospitality Board, where he and his wife Betsy also started a scholarship fund for hospitality students. Redler’s commitment to the industry has been recognized with the IFMA Silver Plate Award, the Fran Jabara Entrepreneurship Hall of Fame and Kansas Restauranteur of the Year, among others.

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

  • Germán González – CEO, Tzuco Chicago 
  • Simon Kim – Proprietor, Cote Korean Steakhouse
  • Bob Luz – President & CEO, Massachusetts Restaurant Association

National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation

Chair: Susan Adzick is president of 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.

Vice Chair: 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.

Treasurer: Emily Williams Knight, Ed.D. is president and CEO of the Texas Restaurant Association and the Texas Restaurant Association Education Foundation. Knight’s career includes serving as President of Kendall College, a leader in hospitality and culinary arts education. She has led student recruitment for two of the top five hospitality schools in the world and has partnered with private equity firms, associations and the U.S. government to build veteran and opportunity youth training and certification programs. Knight holds a Doctorate in Higher Education Leadership from Walden University; a Master of Science in Management from Troy University in Alabama; a B.S. in Hospitality Administration from Boston University; and an A.S. in Hotel and Restaurant Administration from Newbury College.

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

  • Dr. Walter Bumphus – President & CEO, American Association of Community Colleges
  • David Dittenber – CEO, Downtown Restaurant Investments
  • Carrie Leishman – President & CEO, Delaware Restaurant Association

About the National Restaurant Association

Founded in 1919, the National Restaurant Association is the leading business association for the restaurant industry, which comprises more than 1 million restaurant and foodservice outlets and a workforce of 15.5 million employees. Together with 52 State Associations, we are a network of professional organizations dedicated to serving every restaurant through advocacy, education, and food safety. We sponsor the industry's largest trade show (National Restaurant Association Show); leading food safety training and certification program (ServSafe); unique career-building high school program (the NRAEF's ProStart). For more information, visit Restaurant.org and find @WeRRestaurants on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.