NRA Elects Jack Crawford as Chairman

The National Restaurant Association announced today that John G. (Jack) Crawford, president and CEO of Ground Round Independent Owners Cooperative (IOC), was elected by the Board of Directors to serve as chairman until January 2016.

“Jack is a 10-year veteran on our board and has over 33 years of restaurant industry experience to lead our efforts in 2015 to continue growing membership and strengthening the National Restaurant Association’s programs and services,” says Dawn Sweeney, president and CEO of the Association. “He will also be instrumental in advancing the Association’s new strategic plan and its expanded portfolio of member benefits that will strengthen the restaurant and foodservice industry as a whole.”

The chairman is a volunteer position held by a member of the Association's board of directors who is an exceptional leader in the restaurant industry. When electing officers, directors consider the individual's level of participation in Board activities, his or her leadership skills, stature and involvement in industry activities. 

Crawford is the president and CEO of Ground Round Independent Owners Cooperative (IOC), a casual-dining chain based in Freeport, Maine, of 29 independently owned restaurants with total sales of $50 million. 

He led the franchisee buyout of Ground Round Grill & Bar in 2004, and has since led them to a return to new unit growth with a franchise model that offers franchisees an opportunity to own their franchise along with an ownership share in the overall brand. 

Crawford has been a member of the board of directors of the National Restaurant Association since 2003, serving as chairman of the NRA Show in 2012, and currently as a member of the Board of Trustees of the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation. 

Crawford is a past member of the Maine Restaurant Association Board of Directors for 12 years and was chairman of the Maine Restaurant Association Board in 2000. He earned a master’s degree from Leslie University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and a bachelor’s degree from Salem State University in Salem, Massachusetts. 

Also at the Association’s Board of Directors meeting, Joseph J. Kadow, executive vice president and chief legal officer of Blooming Brands, Inc., was elected vice chair; and Jeffrey W. Davis, CEO of United States Beef Corporation, an Arby's Franchisee, was elected treasurer.

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