NRAEF Elects Three to Board of Trustees

At the Board of Trustees meeting held during the 87th Annual National Restaurant Association Restaurant Show here, Dr. Raphael "Ray" Kavanaugh became the board's new chairman, Ruben Villavicencio assumed the post of vice chairman, and Linda L. Bacin was elected treasurer.

"These three individuals continue to make invaluable contributions to the growth and direction of the NRAEF, further enhancing the state of education in the foodservice industry, and further establishing the industry as the cornerstone of career and employment opportunities," said Mary M. Adolf, president and coo of the foundation. "Under their experienced leadership, the NRAEF will continue to further its mission of delivering effective resources, materials, and programs, consistent with National Restaurant Association mission and policies, which educate and build a qualified workforce that adds value to the foodservice industry and ultimately to the consumers the industry serves."

Kavanaugh advances to chairman of the NRAEF after serving as vice chairman for the 2005-06 term. He has been an NRAEF trustee since 1997 and most recently served four years as chairman of the NRAEF's Certification Governing Board.

Kavanaugh is professor and head of the Department of Hospitality and Tourism Management at Purdue University. He holds a doctorate in educational psychology with an emphasis in organization development from Temple University. His industry experience includes serving six years as director of human resources for Red Lobster and five years as vice president of product development for the Educational Institute of the American Hotel and Lodging Association.

Kavanaugh's research concentration is human resources management and strategic planning in the hospitality and tourism industry. He is the author of more than 80 publications and has worked both in the United States and abroad to implement educational programs, having served as a hospitality consultant to the Belize Tourism Industry Association and a visiting scholar at the Inter University Center of Food and Nutrition, Institute Pertanian Bogor, Indonesia.

Villavicencio, elected to serve as vice chairman, currently serves as president and ceo of R&M Food Services, Inc. in Brea, CA. After receiving his bachelor's degree in Hotel and Restaurant Management from the University of Denver, Villavicencio began his career in the foodservice industry with a three-year stint as a food supervisor with the Army and Air Force Exchange Service.

Villavicencio was recruited by Alpha Beta Co. to become a restaurant manager, where he quickly climbed in seven years time from restaurant manager to president of Alphy's Restaurant Division. Six years later he became vice president of the Alpha Beta Co. After selling 45 of its restaurants to Denny's, Inc., Denny's sold 16 of the acquired restaurants to Villavicencio, which became a part of his new company, R & M Food Services, Inc. He changed the concept of his acquired restaurants to a family concept called Millie's which he sold in 2000. He currently operates seven restaurants called the Whole Enchilada, Mill's and Charo Chicken, currently employing almost 300 people.

In addition to his work with NRAEF, Villavicencio serves on the board of the California Restaurant Association and is a past chairman of the Board of Forest Home Christian Conference Center, which ministers to over 60,000 participants yearly in a camping environment.

Bacin, elected to serve as the treasurer, is the vice president of bella! Bacinos, an Italian trattoria concept developed, owned and operated by Bacin and husband Dan in the Chicago metropolitan area. Bacin has been a long time supporter of community and civic activism. The Chicago Mayor's Office of Special Events appointed her to the Taste of Chicago Committee, the City of Chicago's Sister Cities program and just recently to the advisory board of the Mayors Office of Business Affairs.

Her credentials include service on many boards including: the Chicago Convention and Tourism Board; the American Heart Association, Chicago Chapter; the National Association of Women Business Owners and the March of Dimes.

Bacin is a member of Les Dames d'Escoffier and, in 1991, was named Pizza Person of the Year by the National Association of Pizza Operators. In addition to her civic activism, Ms. Bacin has testified before Congressional and Regulatory agency oversight committees on behalf of the restaurant industry. She was also recently elected to the NRAEF's Certification Governing Board.

Members help make our journalism possible. Become a Restaurant Business member today and unlock exclusive benefits, including unlimited access to all of our content. Sign up here.


Exclusive Content


Restaurants have a hot opportunity to improve their reputation as employers

Reality Check: New mandates for protecting workers from dangerous on-the-job heat are about to be dropped on restaurants and other employers. The industry could greatly help its labor plight by acting first.


Some McDonald's customers are doubling up on the discounts

The Bottom Line: In some markets, customers can get the fast-food chain's $5 value meal for $4. The situation illustrates a key rule in the restaurant business: Customers are savvy and will find loopholes.


Ignore the Red Lobster problem. Sale-leasebacks are not all that bad

The decade-old sale-leaseback at the seafood chain has raised questions about the practice. But experts say it remains a legitimate financing option for operators when done correctly.


More from our partners