January 26, 2023

National Restaurant Association and National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation Name 2023 Boards

Washington, D.C.  – The National Restaurant Association and the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF) today announced their 2023 board officers and directors. 
Scott Redler, Co-founder of Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers, will serve as chair of the National Restaurant Association Board of Directors, and James Fripp, Chief Equity, Inclusion & Belonging Officer for Yum! Brands, Inc., will serve as chair of the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF) Board of Trustees. 

“This is an industry of people who have worked hard to achieve their dreams. Scott’s dream of providing people with a safe, healthy, and fun restaurant experience has benefited guests throughout the country. His life-long commitment to serving people is an inspiration, and I look forward to working with him in the coming year,” said Michelle Korsmo, president & CEO of the National Restaurant Association and CEO of the NRAEF. 

Vice Chair Jeff Lobdell, president and founder of Restaurant Partners Management, and Treasurer Richard Schneider, chief operating officer of Areas USA, complete the Association’s 2023 Board leadership. 

“The difficulty in recruiting and retaining workers in the current, incredibly competitive marketplace highlights the importance of strengthening and growing the industry’s career paths. I look forward to the insight James will bring to his role with the Foundation and I’m confident his experience will help us guide the industry workforce in the coming years,” said Rob Gifford, president of the NRAEF.  

Other Foundation officers include Vice Chair Shaun Beard, senior vice president of SAVOR Hospitality, and Treasurer Bill Kohl, principal of Greenwood Hospitality Group.   

Each of the officers will serve a one-year term. The following is the list of 2023 board officers for the National Restaurant Association and the Educational Foundation:  

National Restaurant Association 

Chair: Scott Redler is co-founder 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 Restaurateur of the Year, among others. 
Vice Chair: Jeff Lobdell is the president and founder of Restaurant Partners Management, LLC. Lobdell has been passionate about the hospitality industry, his restaurant businesses, and the communities that they operate in for more than 35 years. He supports many local non-profits focused on supporting local kids and families. He also serves as a member of the Grand Rapids Police Foundation Board and is active within the Michigan Restaurant and Lodging Association. Lobdell is a graduate of Michigan State University’s School of Hospitality.  

Treasurer: Richard Schneider is chief operating officer of Areas USA, a role where he is responsible for company operations, IT, Concepts/Standards, Brand Development, Purchasing, Construction and Risk Management and shares in responsibility for Business Development. Throughout his career, Schneider has developed many strong culinary relationships across the country in multiple verticals to help design award winning concepts. He helped to create the Areas Cares program to support the communities they serve and has also led the company’s community education program supporting local high school culinary programs to help build opportunities for students.  

The National Restaurant Association also added several new members to the board. The newly elected directors include: 
  • Damola Adamolekun, P.F. Chang’s China Bistro 
  • Anthony Anton, Washington Hospitality Association 
  • Greg Cook, Ecolab 
  • Steve Danon, Restaurant Brands International 
  • Tiffany Derry, T2D Concepts 
  • Matt Johnson, Barley’s 
  • Juan Martinez, Martinez Hospitality 
  • Roni Mazumdar, Unapologetic Foods 
  • Aileen Reilly, Beast + Bottle Group 
  • Peter Sclafani, Making Raving Fans Hospitality Group 
  • Kevin Spratt, Rich Products 
  • Joshua Suggs, Delta's Restaurant 
  • John Tallichet, Specialty Restaurants Corporation 

National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation 

Chair: James Fripp is the chief equity and inclusion officer of Yum! Brands. In this role, Fripp, working with executives across Yum! Brands, KFC, Pizza Hut, Taco Bell and The Habit Burger Grill, has global responsibility for advancing diversity, equity and inclusion strategies and practices across the company’s brands, workplaces and franchise system. Since 2011, Fripp has led diversity and inclusion efforts, where he elevated Yum! Brands’ public commitments and partnerships. Fripp is a member of the Clemson University Corporate CDO Advisory Board and Chair of the Corporate Advisory Board for the Multicultural Foodservice & Hospitality Alliance. He is also a member of the University of North Carolina Corporate Advisory Board on Diversity & Inclusion. He holds a degree in Business Management and is a certified Unconscious Bias facilitator. 
Vice Chair: Shaun Beard is the senior vice president of SAVOR Hospitality, where he is responsible for establishing and growing the SAVOR brand for parent company ASM Global Facility Management, while increasing operating income through operating restaurants, catering, concession and large special events. He previously served as vice president at CENTERPLATE in Spartanburg, S.C., where he directed planning and executed strategies across the U.S. and Canada. Beard holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Colorado, has completed the Executive Management Program at the University of Florida, and earned certificates at the Culinary Institute of America.  

Treasurer: Bill Kohl oversees the strategic and operational direction of Greenwood Hospitality Group's portfolio of hotels. Additionally, he directs the company's activities in restaurant development, concept design and re-positioning. During his 35-year career, Kohl has received several honors including The Pennsylvania Tourism and Lodging Association's General Manager of the Year and the American Hotel and Lodging Association's State Leadership Award. He is founder of Très Bonne Année, a series of wine and food events and international wine auction for charity, which raises more than $400,000 annually. A native of Springfield, Pa., Kohl is a graduate of Penn State University with a Bachelor of Science in Hotel, Restaurant, and Institution Management.  

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

  • Louis Basile, Wildflower Bread Company 
  • Greg Cocchiarella, Ecolab 
  • Sarah Daulton Oates, Alaska Cabaret, Hotel, Restaurant & Retailers Association 
  • Mark Erickson, The Culinary Institute of America 
  • Neil Sudaisar, DIRECTV 

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.

About the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation

As the supporting philanthropic foundation of the National Restaurant Association, the NRAEF’s charitable mission includes 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/HOPES – Partnering with community based organizations to provide people 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 Restaurant & Hospitality Leadership Center (RHLC) – accredited apprenticeship programs designed to build the careers of service professionals. For more information on the NRAEF, visit ChooseRestaurants.org. Click here for the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation’s 2021 Annual Impact Report.