The Women’s Foodservice Forum (WFF) announced today that Laurie Burns, chair of the Board of Directors, will lead the strategic direction and guide the overall operations of the organization in light of the recent passing of president and CEO, Fritzi Woods, on Sept. 18.

Burns, a longtime member of the WFF, joined the Board of Directors in 2008 and was named chair in April of this year. With more than 20 years of industry experience, Burns is the senior vice president, SRG strategic platform and development at Darden Restaurants, and leads all development initiatives across Darden’s Specialty Restaurant Group brands, which include Bahama Breeze, Seasons 52, The Capital Grille, Eddie V’s Prime Seafood and Yard House. She previously was president of Bahama Breeze.

The WFF is initiating a formal search for the new president and CEO.

“We are fortunate to have Laurie’s leadership during this difficult time. I know that with her guidance, along with having the world’s best partners, members and employees, the WFF will continue to focus on advancing women in the foodservice industry,” said Anna Mason, general manager and vice president of operations for the WFF.

About WFF
The Women’s Foodservice Forum (WFF) is the industry’s premier leadership development organization with more than 20 years of experience advancing women in the foodservice industry. WFF services thousands of individuals and hundreds of employees in all segments of the industry including operations, manufacturing, distribution, publishing, consulting and more. Through highly effective and education events such as the Annual Leadership Development Conference, Executive Summit and Regional Connects, as well as professional development and rich networking opportunities, WFF provides the competence and strategic connections needed to make a positive different in the careers of women in the foodservice industry.