Chain Restaurateurs Highlight WSU Management Conference and Career Fair

PULLMAN, Wash. — “Nuts and Bolts” is the theme of the last Donald I. Smith Chain
Restaurant Conference this century, March 8-9, at Washington State University.
At this year’s 14th annual event, hosted by WSU’s Hotel & Restaurant Administration
(HRA), 10 of the nation’s chain restaurant leaders will share how their organizations “get back to
and focus on the basics.” A career fair for students is also set for the evening of Monday, March
“Once again our own Professor Emeritus ‘Coach’ Don Smith and Charles Bernstein,
editor-at-large of “Chain Leader” magazine, have organized a tremendous two-day sharing and
learning adventure,” says HRA Program Director W. Terry Umbreit. “We expect more than 150
chain owners and managers from across the nation will be in Pullman to hear about current
issues and trends in the industry. Our students have a tremendous opportunity during the
conference to meet the top people in hospitality.”
Guest speakers and panelists at this year’s event are John Alexander, president, CBORD
Group Inc.; Tom Champoux, vice president, The Effectiveness Institute; Steve Elmont,
consulting principal, Technomic Inc.; Joseph Fasler, president, Restaura Inc. and president of the
National Restaurant Association; Ted Fowler, president & CEO, Golden Corral Corporation;
Molly Hancock, COO, Consolidated Restaurants Inc.; Tucker W. “Bill” Main, FMP, Main &
Associates; John Nye, executive chef, Cucina! Cucina!; William J. Post, founder, president and
COO, It’s New York: An Amazing Eatery; and Tom Ryan, menu management chief, McDonald’s
Presentation topics by the guests range from information technology to strategies for
recruiting, retaining and motivating employees, and from focusing on the people in an
organization to “roads not taken.” A “Hot Topics and Issues” panel discussion on March 9 will
feature Nye, Post and Ryan with Smith moderating.
The Hotel and Restaurant Administration is part of WSU’s College of Business and
Economics, a co-sponsor of the event. Other sponsors include Boyd Coffee Company, Great
Western Dining (franchisee of Red Robin and Papa John’s Pizza), Harman Management Company
and Taco Bell Corporation.
For more information about the conference or career night, contact HRA Event Coordinator
Andrea Luoma at 509/335-9619, or