Emily Williams Knight, president of Kendall College, was elected to the Board of Trustees of the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF), the philanthropic foundation of the National Restaurant Association (NRA).
Knight was welcomed to the board at the NRAEF’s annual meeting Jan. 30 in Orlando, Florida. She will serve a two-year term with the possibility of serving two additional two-year terms.
Knight is the first representative of Kendall College to serve the NRAEF in this capacity in the foundation’s 28 years.
As a new trustee of the 35-member board, Knight represents not only Kendall College but also the farther-reaching role of higher education in supporting the NRAEF’s strategic initiatives. These include creating educational programs that provide pathways to employment in the restaurant and foodservice industry and supporting an effective communications program that conveys opportunities for advancement in the industry, as well as the impact of community engagement.
“Part of my responsibility will be to help raise awareness within the U.S. of the foundation and its programs, also connecting it to the real-life needs of students,” Knight says. “ I see the gaps impacting the ability of committed young people, military veterans, and career-changers to seek meaningful careers and to address the financial challenges that their families face. I want to assist in expanding scholarship awareness and opportunities, promoting the ProStart program to more high schools and their students, and examining what we as industry executives can do to help more students from every walk of life achieve the rewarding restaurant and culinary careers they seek.”
Knight will also support the NRAEF’s initiative to generate financial resources to fund the ongoing work of the foundation, which includes a robust scholarship program that has awarded $14 million since 1997.
Knight was named president of Kendall College by the board of directors in January 2012. She previously served as a vice president at Laureate Education, where she was responsible for globally expanding access to the company’s hospitality-management, culinary-arts, and art-and-design programs.
Knight currently serves on the advisory board of directors of the Illinois Restaurant Association.