The National Restaurant Association (NRA) has named Michelle Korsmo president and CEO effective May 1, the industry group announced Tuesday. Korsmo will also serve as CEO of the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF).
“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 in a release.
Previously, Korsmo served as president & CEO of the Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America, prior to which she served as CEO of the American Land Title. 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 Elaine Chao.
“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.” Korsmo continued in the release. “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 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, in a release.
Previous CEO Tom Bené stepped down from his role at the end of August of last year. Marvin Irby, the association’s chief financial officer, has been serving as interim CEO since Bené’s resignation.