Wednesday, November 19, 2008

DiRoNA Announces New Officers and Directors

At its 18th annual educational conference and awards gala, held in New Orleans, LA, from October 19-21, the Distinguished Restaurants of North America (DiRōNA) announced its new officers and directors.

Assuming the chair position is Mr. William L. Hyde, Jr., (pictured right) principal of Briarwood West Investments, LLC, and owner of Abacus/Jasper's Restaurant Group in Dallas, TX. Hyde was a partner of Ruth Fertel and chief executive officer of Ruth's Chris Steak House, Inc., until his retirement in 2003. In addition to his volunteer responsibilities for DiRōNA, Hyde also serves as vice chair of the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation Board of Trustees.

Karen Olson (below), principal of Metropolitan in Salt Lake City, UT, accepted the role of vice chair. Olson has a master's degree from Pepperdine University and is the founder and co-chair of the Downtown Dine O' Round. This highly successful two week restaurant promotion brings together 40 restaurants twice a year. For her work in increasing the vitality and economic development of downtown Salt Lake City, she and her committee were recipients of the 2004 Downtown Alliance Lifestyle Achievement Award.

First vice chair Joseph DiSalvo (right), owner of DiSalvo's Station, Latrobe, PA, currently serves as the president of the Pennsylvania Restaurant Association. DiSalvo is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of American in New Hyde Park, NY and Florida International University. He holds the largest bi-annual charity event in Western Pennsylvania, Taste the Good Life, which benefits local area charities.

In addition to officer changes, two new directors were added to the DiRōNA Board in industry partner positions. James W. Chamberlain, senior vice president, field sales U.S., Ecolab, St. Paul, MN., and Hans Lindh, vice president, Restaurant Industry Merchant Services North America, American Express, New York, NY, will serve two-year terms.

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