Management Moves: Lustberg, Board of Directors Nominees, Prather, Leonardo, Legacy Foodservice Alliance

Will Lustberg, The Waldorf-Astoria

Will Lustberg has been named chef of The Waldorf-Astoria’s famed steakhouse, Bull & Bear. Formerly the hotel’s chef saucier, he will continue to bring his robust culinary experience to the landmark hotel.

Lustberg enthusiastically joins the kitchen operations of the celebrated Manhattan steakhouse and will oversee the newly revamped menu specializing in a selection of Prime Dry-Aged beef and fresh Atlantic seafood. He began his career with The Waldorf-Astoria after graduating from the Culinary Institute of America in 2000 and has cooked for presidents, other heads of state, royalty and celebrities at the iconic property.

“We are proud to have Will take on this esteemed culinary position as a dynamic leader in Bull & Bear,” says general ,manager Eric O. Long.  “His years of experience at The Waldorf-Astoria and success as chef saucier are a testament to his passion and hard work with all his culinary undertakings.”

Lustberg has appeared on The Food Network’s “Chopped” and most recently was a contestant on FOX’s Hell’s Kitchen Season nine, coming in as runner-up in the competition.

He is a New Jersey native inspired to pursue a career as a professional chef while growing up in a Jewish and Italian household with strong ties to food and cooking.

Board of Directors Nominees, Women’s Foodservice Forum

Women’s Foodservice Forum (WFF) is pleased to announce the 2012-2013 nominees set to join the WFF Board of Directors.

WFF is the foodservice industry’s premier leadership development resource. For more than 20 years, it has helped women and men in all sectors of the foodservice industry accelerate their career growth.

The nominees will officially assume their positions after a vote by the membership at the WFF Annual Leadership Development Conference taking place this April in Dallas.

“The unique skill set of each nominee combines for a powerhouse team to help advance the WFF mission,” says Fritzi Woods, WFF president and CEO. “We are honored to have such a high caliber of candidates to be part of our organization.”

The WFF 2012-2013 board nominees include:

Sharon Boeldt, HY Connect partner and executive vice president of earned media

As the head of the earned media practice, Boeldt has overseen the changing expectations consumers have of brands for transparency, authenticity and content. Boeldt has a strong foodservice background including A & W, Weber Grill Restaurants and KFC. Boeldt is based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Jill Bond, Rich Products Corporation senior vice president and general counsel

Bond is responsible for managing the company’s legal function on the national as well as the international scale. She simultaneously serves as chief compliance officer and enforces the company’s standards of business conduct. Bond is based in Buffalo, New York. 

Monica Boyles, McDonald's vice president and general manager of the greater Chicago region

Boyles, who started her career with McDonald’s in 1974, is responsible for overseeing all aspects of the regional business. In addition, she’s also a founding member of the WFF and strong advocate for investing in employee development. Boyles is based in Chicago, Illinois.

Susan D. Heitmann, KPMG partner, consumer markets industry

A consumer market industry audit services expert, Susan is in charge of developing strategies to assist clients in addressing complex business combination issues. She’s also significantly involved with the company’s women network, United Way, and Girl Scouts. Heitmann is based in Denver, Colorado.

Fred Paglia, Kraft Foodservice president

Paglia has worked for Kraft for nearly 25 years. With ample experience in foodservice sales, marketing and customer service, he’s a true veteran of the industry. Paglia is based in Glenview, Illinois.

Marie Perry, Brinker International vice president of planning and analysis and accounting shared services

Perry is in charge of an accounting team of 200 employees and oversees the development maintenance of effective planning strategies and analysis processes for the company. She’s also an active member of such organizations as United Way and the National Black MBA Association. Perry is based in Dallas, Texas.

Chris Slager, Campbell's vice president and general manager, North America foodservice

Slager helps manage the Campbell’s continental foodservice business. He’s also a strong advocate of leadership development and is a member of his division’s leadership team. Slager is based in Camden, New Jersey. 

Members of the board each serve at least a one year term and provide strategic counsel to the organization. Following the vote by membership, the nominees will join current directors in overseeing the organization’s affairs and providing strategic counsel and guidance.

William Prather, David Leonardo, Axum Capital Partners

Axum Capital Partners, a Charlotte, North Carolina-based private equity firm, has announced that its portfolio company Wild Wing Café has tapped two veteran executives of national restaurant brands to assume key posts. 

Wild Wing Café, the 33-unit restaurant company based in Mount Pleasant, S.C., was acquired by Axum in January 2012.

William E. Prather, former CEO of Hardees and executive vice president and head of worldwide operations for Burger King, will become the new Wild Wing Cafe chief executive officer. 

David A. Leonardo, former franchise development executive for Wendy’s, Arby’s and Burger King, will join the company as its chief development officer.

Wild Wing Café operates 11 company-owned and 22 franchised-owned restaurants across seven states.  Wild Wing generated approximately $100 million in system-wide sales in 2011.

Edna Morris, a managing director with Axum, who has been interim CEO of Wild Wing Café since January and who managed the search, says: “We are thrilled Bill has joined our team.  His extraordinary accomplishments across multiple segments in the restaurant business will be key to executing the growth vision we have for Wild Wing.  In addition to his real passion for the concept, he brings corporate, entrepreneurial, high growth and franchise experience to our company.”  Morris is a former president of both Red Lobster and Quincy’s Family Steakhouse.

Since his posts with Hardee’s and Burger King, Prather has developed, owned and managed several restaurant chains of different concepts based in Texas and Arizona.  He and his wife plan to relocate to the Charleston area.

Leonardo, who will operate out of Miami, Florida, will be responsible for Wild Wing’s national franchise growth strategy. In addition to working for three of the top quick service restaurant brands in the country, Leonardo worked in investment banking for JP Morgan Chase in New York. 

“David has built strong, sustainable franchise partnerships throughout his career for Wendy’s, Arby’s and Burger King. We look forward to him bringing these skills to Wild Wing.  We’ve got a strong brand and we’re positioned to expand,” Morris says.

Since its inception in 1990, the Wild Wing Café experience has grown by offering consumers high-quality food at attractive prices. The brand is also known for its sports and entertainment component.  This enables Axum to utilize its unique access to the professional athlete community to enhance the brand.  Wild Wing Café is also known for featuring live local and national bands and has often been referred to as a “breeding ground” for local recording artists.

Legacy Foodservice Alliance Awards

True to its vision of conceiving a new type of marketing and procurement group, Legacy Foodservice Alliance recognized distributor and supplier partners for contributions above and beyond sales growth at its Spring Marketplace event held at Lowes Don CeSar Resort in St. Petersburg Beach, Florida.

CEO Steve Push kicked off the first Legacy awards program by thanking the members who supported efforts to create an organization that exhibited the principles established by its founders. 

“I’m in a room full of heroes in a very young company,” said Push. “All of you are jointly responsible for Legacy’s success.”  The new company recently announced a milestone of reaching the 80-member mark well ahead of projections.

The first Visionary Award was presented to Cedar Farms, Philadelphia, and ConAgra Food Sales for their unwavering support of Legacy’s unique concept from the beginning. “Their encouragement buoyed our spirits and kept us going day to day,” said Push.

Outstanding member awards were presented to Magnolia Beef Co.,  Elizabeth, New Jersey; Baily International of Atlanta; Victory Foodservice Distributors Corp., Bronx, New York; and Testa Produce, Chicago. Testa is the first in the country to launch a LEED Platinum Certified Refrigerated Distribution Center.

Supplier members receiving the same award included Allen Canning, Siloam Springs, Arkansas; Land O’Lakes Inc., St. Paul, Minnesota; Sara Lee Foodservice, Chicago;  and House of Raeford Farms, Rose Hill, North Carolina.

Members distinguished by their leadership within the organization were also those who experienced significant financial returns in the first two years of the group’s existence. 

Legacy recognized The Farner-Bocken Co., Carroll, Iowa, and Cavendish Farms of Burlington, Massachusetts, with The Leadership Award.

“Engagement in all aspects of the organization is critical for a young company to achieve the goals that Legacy has in its first two years,” explained Push, “especially with support of new ideas.”

Recognizing this contribution, Colony Foods, Lawrence, Massachusetts, and Best Maid Cookie Co. of River Falls, Wisconsin, received The Most Engaged Award.

One of Legacy’s established goals is to focus on line conversions to supplier members and support their promotions.

“True collaboration between suppliers and distributors is absolutely necessary to create successful product rollouts,” according to Push, “and for that reason we’ve chosen to recognize this.” 

The Charger Award was established and presented to Van Bennett Food Co., Reading, Pennsylvania, and Farmland Foods, Inc. of Kansas City, Missouri.


News and information presented in this release has not been corroborated by WTWH Media LLC.