The Women’s Foodservice Forum has named Therese Gearhart as CEO and president, the organization said Friday.
Gearhart (left) succeeds Hattie Hill, who in May announced her retirement as CEO and president of the Dallas-based organization.
Denny Marie Post, the immediate past chair of the group and former head of Red Robin Gourmet Burgers Inc., had assumed the CEO role while a formal search was conducted. She will continue as a board member, the group said in a statement posted at its website Friday.
“We are thrilled to have someone of Therese’s caliber join us to lead WFF,” said Salli Setta, Red Lobster’s president and chief concept officer current WFF board chair, in the statement. “Her long-standing commitment to diversity and inclusion, and her success in building diverse teams will be a great benefit to our organization,”
Gearhart is a 20-year veteran of The Coca-Cola Co., leading business units in Latin America and Southern Africa. She also served as co-chair and a member of the company’s Global Women’s Leadership Council, where she advised the CEO and executive leadership on strategies to accelerate the development and advancement of female talent.
“I am truly honored to lead WFF as we carry forward the organization’s tremendous momentum and embrace fast-paced growth of our programs,” Gearhart said in the statement. “I am grateful to our partners, who continue to entrust our organization to provide guidance and be at the forefront of advancing gender diversity and equality across the foodservice industry.” Gearhart will assume her new role immediately, the organization said.
The Women's Foodservice Forum was founded in 1989 to promote the advancement of women and gender parity on executive teams in the foodservice industry.
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