The National Restaurant Association announced the appointment of Tom Bené as the Association’s president & chief executive officer (CEO) and CEO of the Educational Foundation, effective June 1. In this role, Bené will be responsible for guiding the Association’s strategic path towards its vision for a thriving restaurant and foodservice community, providing America with nourishment, opportunity and joy, while working to enhance quality of life for all.
Bené will reinforce the Association’s position as the unifying voice of the restaurant and foodservice industry and the recognized leader for employee training and certification programs. Working in concert with state restaurant associations, Bené will continue to strengthen the Association’s advocacy efforts to ensure restaurants of every size are represented at the local, state, and federal levels. In this role, Bené will also be responsible for promoting the industry to multiple stakeholders, including members, prospective members, industry leaders and allies, government representatives, media, and consumers.
Inside the Association and Foundation, he is charged with driving an entrepreneurial environment fostering the ongoing development of programs, products, and services that increase member value, while leveraging technology to enhance efficiencies and deliver financial success.
Bené brings more than 30 years of leadership experience to the organization. Most recently, he served as chairman, president, and chief executive officer of Sysco Corp., the global leader in foodservice distribution. Prior to joining Sysco in 2013, Bené served as president of PepsiCo Foodservice from 2011 until 2013 and also held a variety of senior leadership roles over his 23-year career with the company. Bené earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from the University of Kansas and currently serves as a member of the University of Kansas’ Business School Advisory Board.