February 15, 2022

Michelle Korsmo Named President & CEO of the National Restaurant Association; CEO of the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation

Washington, D.C. – The National Restaurant Association today announced the appointment of Michelle L. Korsmo as the Association’s President & Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and CEO of the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation, effective May 1, 2022. In this role, Korsmo will be responsible for guiding the Association’s strategic path toward its vision for a thriving restaurant and foodservice community.

"The search committee led an exhaustive search for a people-centered leader with extensive business acumen and deep policy experience. We have found this in Michelle. She brings — to both our Association and Foundation — association leadership experience, including working closely with policymakers on a bipartisan basis. On a personal level, she embodies a warm sense of hospitality," said Lance Trenary, Chair of the National Restaurant Association Board.

Korsmo is a seasoned trade association executive with extensive public policy experience at the federal and state levels. Since 2018, she served as President & CEO of the Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America, prior to which she served as CEO of the American Land Title Association after being promoted from COO. Additionally, Korsmo was Executive Vice President at Americans for Prosperity Foundation and served in the 2001-2004 Bush Administration as Deputy Chief of Staff to Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao.

“Every restaurant — Main Street eateries, quick-service cafes, fine-dining establishments, and all the foodservice locations in between — depend on the National Restaurant Association to serve as the leading advocate on their behalf at each level of government, especially given the unprecedented challenges restaurants continue to face from COVID-19’s impact on our country,” said Korsmo. “People from all backgrounds benefit from the training and education the National Restaurant Association and Educational Foundation provides, and it will be fulfilling to be a part of that important work. In so many ways, restaurants are the heart of our communities. Sharing the innovative ways these restaurants are serving those communities can better inform policymaking while also attracting the next generation of foodservice leaders and employees. It’s a tremendous honor for me to help lead that effort.”

The restaurant industry is the nation’s second-largest private sector employer with nearly 1 million foodservice outlets nationwide. In 2022, the industry is forecast to reach $898 billion in sales, and grow its workforce by more than 400,000 jobs.

The National Restaurant Association works to create a thriving restaurant and foodservice community, providing America with nourishment, opportunity, and joy, working to enhance quality of life for all. Learn more about it and the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation here.  

About the National Restaurant Association

Founded in 1919, the National Restaurant Association is the leading business association for the restaurant industry, which comprises nearly 1 million restaurant and foodservice outlets and a workforce of 14.5 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.

About the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation

As the philanthropic foundation of the National Restaurant Association, the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation’s mission of service to the public is dedicated to enhancing the industry’s training and education, career development and community engagement efforts. The NRAEF and its programs work to Attract, Empower and Advance today’s and tomorrow’s restaurant and foodservice workforce.  NRAEF programs include:  ProStart® – a high-school career and technical education program; Restaurant Ready – partnering with community-based organizations to provide “opportunity youth” and justice-involved individuals with skills training and job opportunities; Military – helping military servicemen and women transition their skills to restaurant and foodservice careers; Scholarships – financial assistance for students pursuing restaurant, foodservice and hospitality degrees; and the Hospitality Sector Registered Apprenticeship Project – a partnership with the American Hotel & Lodging Association providing a hospitality apprenticeship program for the industry. For more information on the NRAEF, visit ChooseRestaurants.org.