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Exemplifying “Courageous Behavior,” this group of award recipients will be honored for exemplary leadership, innovative brand building, and impactful guidance for the next generation of leaders.

The Elliot Group announces 2022 honorees for “Legends & Leaders” awards

Celebrating innovation, commitment, and “Courageous Behavior,” The Elliot Awards will highlight successful entrepreneurs, philanthropists, and founders at a gala event in June

The Elliot Group, a premier executive search firm that harnesses human connections and strategic advisory to power businesses forward, announced today the honorees for The Elliot Awards, to be celebrated in June at a gala reception in New York City at renowned Cipriani South Street.

Exemplifying “Courageous Behavior,” this group of award recipients will be honored for exemplary leadership, innovative brand building, and impactful guidance for the next generation of leaders.

For more than 25 years, The Elliot Group has honored outstanding leaders for their success in building best-in-class brands through innovation and inspiration. The Elliot Awards hold a rich history of meaningfully recognizing both long-standing leaders with decades of impact, as well as emerging executives well on their way to groundbreaking business endeavors. Past award winners have included: Tim McEnery, CEO of Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurants; Andy Pforzheimer and Sasa Mahr-Batuz, co-founders, Barteca; Gail Simmons, culinarian and Top Chef judge; Greg Dollarhyde, founder, director, and investor; and Patrick Doyle, former CEO, Domino’s Pizza.

“One of our founding principles is the belief in building and nurturing real, genuine, and caring relationships with executives in the industries we serve,” said Alice Elliot, founder and CEO of The Elliot Group. “We are proud to showcase some of the best leaders with The Elliot Awards, and honor those that exemplify courageous behavior in business and in life.”

The 2022 honorees include:

Lauren Bailey, CEO and co-founder, Upward Projects
The TrueTrep Award
The TrueTrep Award recognizes entrepreneurs who have successfully built a brand with inventive vision, relentless persistence, and a focus on purpose and people. Celebrating the true calling of an entrepreneur, the TrueTrep Award celebrates those who have started with an idea and then took risks, broke molds, and worked tirelessly with others to create unique value.

Bailey is a creative powerhouse and master strategist focusing on conceptualization and development for 18 restaurants and five brands spanning three states. Postino, Windsor, Churn, Federal Pizza, and Joyride Taco House are each known for their unique, chef-driven menus, differentiated cultures, and commitment to community. Bailey serves on numerous non-profit boards and advises the Entrepreneurs Organization and Grand Canyon University Colangelo College of Business.

Noah Glass, founder and CEO, Olo
The Renaissance Award
The Renaissance Award recognizes leaders who have masterfully combined both the art and science of leadership to successfully develop distinctive paths in business. Utilizing varying skill sets and mental models, honorees showcase a range of business acumen paired with passionate leadership to successfully launch products, services or brands that disrupt the status quo.

Glass is an industry visionary who founded Olo in 2005 and has since developed the brand to be the leading on-demand commerce platform powering the restaurant’s industry digital transformation. Through both tech development and advocacy for restaurant partners, Olo now serves over 500 brands. The company held a successful IPO in March 2021, raising $450 million to fund its further growth. Glass serves on the board of directors for Portillo’s and Share Our Strength, as well as a trustee at the Culinary Institute of America.

David Overton, founder and CEO, The Cheesecake Factory
The Legacy Award
The Legacy Award honors excellence in leadership, lifetime achievement, and contributions of outstanding significance. Recipients have exemplified innovation, dedication, commitment, and guidance of others to drive strong growth not only for a brand, but also for teams that share in that success from the C-suite to the front line.

Through his vision, flare for culinary creativity, and commitment to excellence, Overton has helped to develop some of the highest standards in casual dining. He originated the “upscale casual” segment by creating and opening the first The Cheesecake Factory restaurant in Beverly Hills in 1978. Under Overton’s leadership, the brand has since grown to over 200 locations across the U.S. and Canada, while maintaining the highest sales volumes in the industry, averaging $11.1 million per restaurant. Believing that creativity is the key to his success, Overton enjoys every aspect of the development of a restaurant from location to décor to menu design. Always giving back, Overton established a charitable foundation with beneficiaries including the City of Hope and the Salvation Army.

Regynald Washington, president and CEO, RGW Enterprises
The Impact Award
The Impact Award, presented by The Elliot Leadership Institute, recognizes a leader who has focused selflessly on giving back and serving future generations as an advocate and advisor. Honorees have built a personal and professional legacy of providing inclusive opportunities to advance others and delivering impactful guidance to help people, communities, industries, and the world.

Throughout a long and distinguished career with leadership positions at Paradies Lagardère and Walt Disney Company, Washington never lost sight of paying it forward via philanthropy, education, and board service. Over decades of service to students, emerging leaders, and the broad hospitality industry, he has gifted $1 million for an endowment and scholarships at Georgia State University’s Hospitality School, was named a Conti Lifetime Professor at the School of Hospitality Management at The Pennsylvania State University, served as chairman of the National Restaurant Association and in numerous roles at the Georgia Restaurant Association, and has used his industry visibility to always support others and encourage the practice of leadership through dignity and generosity.  

About The Elliot Group:
The Elliot Group is a premier executive search firm that harnesses human connections and strategic advisory to power businesses forward. Focusing on the consumer and service industries, including hospitality, foodservice, franchise, fitness, wellness, and retail, The Elliot Group is retained by private equity firms and public and private companies of all sizes. The firm places executive talent across the Board, C-Suite, Vice President, and Director levels, and completes projects including talent benchmarking, pre-M&A talent advisory, and succession planning. By leveraging informed intuition and cultural and business intelligence, The Elliot Group successfully pairs talent and companies in ways that unlock growth and make futures happen. For more information on The Elliot Group, visit

About The Elliot Leadership Institute
The Elliot Leadership Institute is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to advancing courageous behavior among leaders looking to positively affect and advance communities, industries, and the future of business. Through collaboration, education, and inspiration, The Elliot Leadership Institute serves executives of influence who are committed to a journey of professional and personal development focused on conscious leadership, diversity, equity and inclusion, local action, and global impact.

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