The National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF) announced that it has elected Michael Hickey as treasurer of its Board of Trustees. Hickey brings nearly 30 years experience with Ecolab to the NRAEF and joins a distinguished group of prominent leaders from all sectors of the industry who are committed to providing counsel on the Foundation’s strategic direction.

“The National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation Board of Trustees includes dynamic leaders from across the foodservice industry, all of whom play key roles and provide strategic guidance as we work to help our members continue to build successful businesses and positively impact the communities they serve,” says Dawn Sweeney, president and CEO of the National Restaurant Association and the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation. “This year, our board is fortunate to have as treasurer Michael Hickey, an industry veteran who brings tremendous experience and insight to his leadership position as the industry faces unique challenges and an uncertain economic outlook.”

Hickey is currently executive vice president and president of Global Institutional for Ecolab, the global leader in water, hygiene, and energy technologies and services that provide and protect clean water, safe food, abundant energy, and healthy environments. Ecolab’s 40,000 employees deliver comprehensive programs and services to the hospitality, food, energy, healthcare, and industrial markets in more than 160 countries. Over his 29-year tenure at Ecolab, he has held a number of key executive positions, including senior vice president and general manager of multiple operating units, as well as senior vice president of global business development.

“Throughout my career with Ecolab, I have worked very closely with those in the hospitality and food industry and have had the pleasure of seeing the industry grow and the potential it has for the future,” Hickey says. “I look forward to making a larger impact as part of the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation and supporting its mission to attract, develop, and retain a career-oriented professional workforce.”

Hickey, who will serve as treasurer of the NRAEF Board of Trustees throughout 2013, also sits on the board of directors for the National Restaurant Association and the Ronald McDonald House Charities Upper Midwest. He previously held the position of chairman of the board of the International Foodservice Manufacturers Association and is a member of several industry organizations, including the Multicultural Hospitality and Foodservice Alliance, the Society of Food Service Managers and the Women’s Foodservice Forum.

According to the National Restaurant Association, total restaurant and foodservice employment is projected to grow by 11 percent over the next 10 years. The NRAEF is committed to ensuring it supports the development of a highly-trained and professional talent pool through scholarships and educational programs such as ProStart, which brings the industry and the classroom together to give 95,000 students nationwide a platform to discover new interests and talents, while opening doors to fulfilling careers.

With national and local support from industry members, educators, the NRAEF and state restaurant associations, ProStart is taught in 1,700 schools. 

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