Tom Bené, who took over as president and CEO of the National Restaurant Association (NRA) during the pandemic, has resigned to take over as chief executive of alcohol wholesaler Breakthru Beverage Group.
Marvin Irby, the association's chief financial officer and chief people officer, will serve as CEO in the interim.
“We appreciate Tom’s leadership and commitment to the industry during this difficult time,” said Brian Casey, National Restaurant Association board chair.
“Tom’s unique industry experience was invaluable in helping the Association and Foundation navigate a once-in-a-lifetime global pandemic.”
During Bené’s career, the NRA successfully garnered critical protections and support for America’s restaurants and acquired majority ownership of Winsight Holdings, the leading events, expositions, and media provider for the industry.
“I am incredibly proud of the work this team has done and all that we have accomplished together during this incredible time,” said Bené.
“Whether it's the significant impact we've made to support the industry through our advocacy efforts; the new governance model that we put in place to drive deeper engagement and more effectiveness; or the restructuring of the organization to meet the changing needs of the industry, our state associations, and our members, it has been a truly collaborative effort. I know the Association and Foundation – and these teams – are well-positioned for continued success.”