The National Restaurant Association announced the appointment of Michelle L. Korsmo as the Association’s President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and CEO of the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation, effective May 1, 2022. In this role, the association said, she will be responsible for guiding the association’s strategic path toward its vision for a thriving restaurant and foodservice community.
Korsmo is a seasoned trade association executive with extensive public policy experience at the federal and state levels.
“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.
Since 2018, Korsmo has served as president and CEO of Wine and Spirits Wholesalers of America. She previously was CEO of the American Land Title Association after being promoted from the position of COO. In addition, Korsmo was executive vice president of the Americans for Prosperity Foundation and served in the Bush Administration from 2001 to 2004 as deputy chief of staff to Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao.
“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.
“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. In so many ways, restaurants are the heart of our communities. Sharing the innovative ways these restaurants serve those communities can better inform policymaking while attracting the next generation of foodservice leaders and employees. It’s a tremendous honor for me to help lead that effort,” added Korsmo.
The restaurant industry is the nation’s second-largest private-sector employer, with nearly 1 million foodservice outlets nationwide. In 2022, the industry is forecast to reach $898 billion in sales and grow its workforce by more than 400,000 jobs.