The National Restaurant Association has named industry veteran Tom Bene as its CEO and president, effective June 1. Former CEO of Sysco Corp., Bene will also be CEO of the Association’s labor-development arm, the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation. Rob Gifford remains president of the Educational Foundation.
In both of those roles, Bene fills the vacancy left by Dawn Sweeny, who left the NRA at the end of 2019 after leading the associations for 12 years. Marvin Irby, the NRA’s CFO and chief people officer, has served as interim CEO since Sweeney’s resignation became effective.
Bene stepped down as CEO, president and executive chairman of restaurant industry distributor Sysco at the end of January, but continued to serve as an adviser to the company until March 1. Prior to joining Sysco in 2013, Bene spent 23 years with PepsiCo, rising to president of the snack and beverage giant’s foodservice division.