The Women’s Foodservice Forum (WFF) honored Lorna C. Donatone, chief operating officer and president, Sodexo Education, with the Fritzi Pikes Woods Trailblazer Award during the 2015 Leadership Conference in Orlando.
The Trailblazer Award honors an individual who is dedicated to improving the foodservice industry through her support of gender diversity. The award acknowledges Donatone for her authenticity, individuality, and consistent effort in creating opportunity for employees to excel in their careers.
“Trailblazing takes courage, a relentless pursuit of a passion, and the character to withstand adversity,” says Hattie Hill, WFF president and CEO. “Through her passion and commitment to advancing women leaders, Lorna has created significant new pathways that have benefited both Sodexo and the foodservice industry as a whole.”
Donatone is a founding member of SWIFT (Sodexo’s Women’s International Forum for Talent) and creator of Sodexo’s Employee Resource Groups (ERGs), where employees enjoy networking, learning, visibility, and opportunities to impact business results and get involved in the community.
Under Donatone’s leadership, Sodexo Education has solid representation of women across the ranks: 45 percent are executives, 38 percent are leaders and 23 percent are in P&L roles.
“What a great honor it is to be selected for this distinguished award,” Donatone says. “I have been fortunate throughout my career to spearhead new approaches and solutions that help women and men gain new perspectives on career possibilities.”
Donatone is an industry leader and demonstrates her commitment through community involvement. She has served as a board member of the National Restaurant Association since 2005 and is currently vice chair and trustee of the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation.
Donatone is past chair of the Board of Directors of the Women’s Foodservice Forum and was elected as a member of the Board of Trustees for The Culinary Institute of America in 2008. She also previously served as a member of the Board of Directors for Entertainment Cruises and was most recently elected to the Board of Directors of Jamba Juice, Inc.
Donatone has also been recognized by NAFEM with a doctorate in foodservice, by w2wlink.com with an Ascendancy Award for her work in mentoring women and by Girls, Inc. for her work in empowering young women.