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Lorna Donatone is Sodexo’s CEO for Geographic Regions and Region Chair for North America. She is a member of the Sodexo Group Executive Committee and Chair of the North America Regional Leadership Committee. As CEO for Geographic Regions, Donatone is responsible for the coordination of businesses around the world. In North America, she leads Sodexo’s growth in the U.S. and Canada.

Before moving to her current role, Ms. Donatone was CEO for Schools worldwide, managing the K-12 business in 42 countries. Prior to that, she served as Chief Operating Officer and President of Sodexo’s U.S. Education market, which includes nearly 500 public school districts and more than 850 college and university campuses. She has held several other key leadership roles in the company, including President of School Services and President of Spirit Cruises. Ms. Donatone has been instrumental in developing Sodexo’s Employee Business Resource Groups, with a commitment to diversity, inclusion, mentorship and training employees. She began her career in public accounting with Deloitte & Touche and has worked in the airline, banking and high-tech industries.

Ms. Donatone demonstrates her leadership through her community and industry involvement. She has served as a board member of the National Restaurant Association since 2005 and became a trustee of the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation in 2011, where she is currently Chair of the Board.

Ms. Donatone is Past Chair of the Board of Directors of the Women’s Foodservice Forum. She was elected as a member of the Board of Trustees for The Culinary Institute of America in 2008. She is a member of the Board of Directors of Jamba Juice, Inc. Ms. Donatone chairs the Texas Christian University Neeley School of Business International Board of Visitors and is a member of the Tulane University Business School Council. She previously served as a member of the Board of Directors for Entertainment Cruises.
Donatone was recognized by NAFEM in 2013 with a doctorate in foodservice. She received the Ascendancy Award by w2wlink.com in 2010 for her work in mentoring women. Girls, Inc. recognized her in 2009 for her work in empowering young women. In 2015, she received the Trailblazer Award from the Women’s Foodservice Forum.

She has a Bachelor of Science in Management from Tulane University and a Master of Business Administration from Texas Christian University.

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Jim Johnson is the William Rand Kenan, Jr. Distinguished Professor of Strategy and Entrepreneurship  at UNC’s Kenan-Flagler Business School and director of the Urban Investment Strategies Center at the Frank Hawkins Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise.   Johnson’s center focuses on innovative approaches to revitalizing urban areas and on teaching government, community, and nonprofit leaders and managers to become more entrepreneurial and business-like in their operations and service delivery.

Johnson is an expert on community and economic development, the effects of demographic changes on the U.S. workplace, interethnic minority conflict in advanced industrial societies, urban poverty and  public policy, and workforce diversity issues.   He is widely quoted in national media and appears on national network news programs.  Fast Company magazine named Johnson one of the “17…brightest thinkers and doers in the new world of work.”

Johnson spent twelve years on the faculty at the University of California, Los Angeles, before coming to UNC-Chapel Hill.  He received a bachelor’s degree from North Carolina Central University, master’s degree from the University of Wisconsin at Madison, and Ph.D. from Michigan State University.

Originally from London, England, Greg McKeown is the author of the New York Times bestseller, “Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less” and the founder of McKeown, Inc, a company with a mission to teach Essentialism to millions of people around the world. Their clients include Adobe, Apple, Airbnb, Cisco, Google, Facebook, Pixar, Salesforce.com, Symantec, Twitter, VMware and Yahoo!.

McKeown is an accomplished public speaker and has spoken to hundreds of audiences around the world including in Australia, Bulgaria, Canada, China, England, Holland, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Norway, Singapore, South Africa and the United States. 

Highlights include speaking at SXSW, interviewing Al Gore at the Annual Conference of the World Economic Forum in Davos Switzerland and receiving a personal invitation from Haakon, Crown Prince of Norway, to speak to his Annual Innovation Conference.

His writing has appeared or been covered by Fast Company, Fortune, HuffPost, Politico, and Inc. Magazine and Harvard Business Review. He has also been interviewed on numerous television and radio shows including NPR and NBC.

In 2012 he was named a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum. Originally from London, England, McKeown now lives in Silicon Valley with his wife and their four children. He graduated with an MBA from Stanford University.

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Denny Marie Post is responsible for the development and execution of Red Robin's brand strategies and product innovation, overseeing the company's Franchise operations, and the Menu & Marketing Team, which includes marketing, culinary, R&D, Quality Assurance and communications teams, as well as several outside agencies.   Along with those responsibilities, Denny is overseeing all operations and marketing efforts for our Canadian locations. She also leads Enterprise Transformation and Implementation.

Denny brings more than 35 years of leadership in consumer-driven marketing and product innovation to Red Robin. She has extensive experience building teams to develop and execute on strategies that increase brand awareness and drive sales.

Before joining Red Robin, Denny provided marketing and business development consulting services to clients that included Sara Lee, Lamb/Weston/ConAgra and Kerry Ingredients. Prior to her consulting role, she served as senior vice president and chief marketing officer at T-Mobile USA. Denny also served as senior vice president, Global Beverage, Food and Quality, for Starbucks Corporation, and senior vice president and chief concept officer for Burger King Corp. At YUM! Brands, Inc., she served in senior management positions for KFC USA and KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell in Canada, after more than a decade of experience serving clients through various marketing consulting and creative services firms.

Denny currently serves on the board of Women’s Foodservice Forum, and Blue Dog Bakery, a $20M natural dog treat company. She holds a bachelor of arts degree in journalism and social sciences from Trinity University and a Certificate from Wharton Executive Education School of Business in Strategy and Management. She is originally from West Texas. Denny and her husband, Patrick (who she's known since high school), have a son, Daniel. She loves cooking, NBA basketball and travel.

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Dawn Sweeney has been instrumental in focusing the mission of the Association through a unique, multi-year strategic plan, highlighting key areas of opportunity within the restaurant industry.

Sweeney has realigned the Association’s priorities and structure to strengthen its core operations, including consolidating its Foundation around a mission to develop a strong workforce and build the next generation of industry leaders. The National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation’s major goal is to educate students on the restaurant business through the ProStart program – running in high schools nationwide – and to provide educational scholarships

Sweeney has led the Association to several major legislative victories, including achieving federal legislation on menu-labeling, and has launched the first-of-its-kind children’s menu initiative – Kids LiveWell. Under her leadership, the Association’s annual tradeshow – the largest restaurant and hospitality industry tradeshow in the U.S. – has seen growth both in revenue and impact.

2017 Executive Summit

Activate the Change

July 24 - 26, 2017 | Denver, Colorado

Women’s Foodservice Forum’s (WFF) Executive Summit is the industry’s premier learning and development meeting reserved only for C-Suite Executives at the Vice President level and above. This exclusive event convenes top executives for learning and development, and provides a forum to collaborate on solutions to activate change for the future of the food industry.

Join us in Denver to participate in conversations with your industry peers that will shape our future, drive the necessary change to move us into tomorrow and lead the charge on game changing, bold moves for the new business realities facing the food industry.

This intimate three-day event will burst with ways to activate change for the food industry and connect with fellow decision-makers. Additionally, we will hear from top CEOs on bold truths to address today’s business realities.

Stand up to shape the future -- Activate the Change!

see who's coming
Executive Summit is the premier leadership and development event for executives! This is the place top executives come together to collaborate on solutions for our industry’s future.
Barbara Polk, Chief Administrative Officer, National Restaurant Association
WFF’s Executive Summit event is a best-in-class learning opportunity and phenomenal way to network with top industry execs.
Rob Dugas, Chief Procurement Officer & VP, Chick-fil-A
Keep on creating great content like this! I learned so much and loved every minute.
Melissa Doolin-Koehne, Executive Director of Business Development, TDn2K


Lorna Donatone
CEO of Geographic Regions & Region Chair, North America
Sodexo, Inc.
James Johnson
UNC Kenan-Flagler
Greg McKeown
McKeown, Inc.
Denny Marie Post
Red Robin
Gourmet Burgers & Brews
Dawn Sweeney
President & CEO
National Restaurant Association

2016 Highlights


Book your hotel by Wednesday, June 21, 2017 to secure the WFF negotiated rate. Any reservations made after June 21, 2017 will be accepted based on hotel availability.

Omni Interlocken Resort

500 Interlocken Blvd
Broomfield, CO  80023
Book Now


Monday, July 24

4:00 pm

Welcome + Inspiration Program


Connection Reception

Tuesday, July 25

7:30 am

Strategic Connections Breakfast



Speaker : Greg McKeown

Demographic Horizon

Speaker : Dr. James Johnson


Speaker : TBD

Strategic Connections Lunch

1:00 pm

Industry CEO’s Bold Truths to Address Realities

Speakers : Dawn Sweeney, Denny Marie Post, Lorna Donatone

Executive Applications – Activate the Change


Strategic Connections Dinner

Wednesday, July 26

7:00 am

Strategic Connections Breakfast