According to the Multicultural Foodservice & Hospitality Alliance, this year's Black History Month is more significant thanks to a milestone achievement in the foodservice community — six Black CEOs at the helm of major companies:

  • Clarence Otis Jr., Darden Restaurants;
  • Steven A. Davis, Bob Evans;
  • Don Thompson, McDonald's;
  • Aylwin B. Lewis, Potbelly's;
  • James D. White, Jamba Juice; and
  • Leonard A. Comma, Jack-in-the-Box.

According to a news release, while the appointment of these CEOs occurred over a period of time, the culminating point was reached Jan. 1, with the announcement of Comma's takeover of the top spot in his company.

"We believe that the restaurant, foodservice, and lodging industries offer more opportunity for people of all different backgrounds than any other industry sector in America. No other industry has gone further in terms of key leadership appointment for those with multicultural heritage," said Gerry A. Fernandez, MFHA president and founder.

Also recognized in the MFHA's Tribute to Black Leadership in Hospitality ad are key senior and other c-suite executives from member companies: AdvancePierre Foods, the Coca-Cola Company, Compass Group North America, Darden, Focus Brands, Inc., General Mills, Kellogg Company, PepsiCo, Starbucks Coffee Company, Sodexo and Yum! Brands.

The Tribute to Black Leadership in Hospitality can be found at: http://mfha.net/files/ads/MFHA_Black_Leadership_2014.pdf

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