National Restaurant Association names Michelle Korsmo president and CEO

Korsmo will map out strategy to bring restaurant industry out of recovery and help it thrive

The National Restaurant Association has named Michelle L. Korsmo president and chief executive of the National Restaurant Association. She will also become CEO of the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation. As she starts her duties on May 1, Korsmo will be mapping out a strategic path forward for building a thriving restaurant and foodservice community.

Korsmo has developed a robust understanding of trade association leadership, having spent several years in the field. As such, she can draw from her public policy experience at the federal and state levels in her new role.

In 2018, she held the role of president and chief executive of the Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America. Prior to that, she served as chief executive of the American Land Title Association after being promoted from COO. What’s more, Korsmo served as executive vice president at Americans for Prosperity Foundation. In addition, under Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao, she served in the 2001-2004 Bush Administration as deputy chief of staff.

“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 the United States, the restaurant industry is the nation’s second-largest private sector employer, notes the Association, representing one million foodservice outlets across the country. In 2022, the industry is forecast to reach $898B in sales, according to its State of the Industry report. It will also add more than 400,000 jobs.


Korsmo commented, “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.”

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